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Joshua Tree Boy Scout Trail is a 7.8 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Joshua Tree, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking.

Length 7.8 mi Elevation gain 173 ft Route type Point to Point
Backpacking Camping Hiking Nature trips Views Wild flowers Wildlife No shade No dogs
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (123)
Photos (372)
Recordings (121)
Completed (240)
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Alan J. Crossley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking
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Ben W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking

We did this as an out and back from the Boy Scout / Key West parking lot. We got there just before sunset in mid October and camped west of the trail about a mile in and had a nice secluded spot. The next day we got up and hiked 5 miles along the Boy Scout trail before turning back. You’ll get two very distinct terrains with the first part of the hike looking like another planet (covered in Joshua trees and rock formations) and the second more typical desert canyon. Awesome hike overall. Not terribly challenging but there’s a nice ~500 ft climb on the way back.

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T W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 11, 2020
HikingGreat!

We began at the trail head within the park and ended in Indian Cove. (Left a vehicle in the park and hiked to our house. Lol) Overall the hike isn’t bad, but I’m not a fan of sandy washes. There were quite a few people on the trail, but none that went the full distance—so we weren’t “competing” during the hike. Great views of 29 once it opens up around mile 4. Perfect weather yesterday!!! There are a few areas of scrambling, but nothing intense. There are some areas of shade, depending on the time of day. I wouldn’t do this hike July-Aug, and I live here! Less grueling than 49Palms, less traffic. Will do again, maybe. Apple GPS clocked hike at 8.25mi from parking lot to parking lot at each trail head.

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Javier Angulo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 10, 2020
Hiking
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German Miranda
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 10, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Starting at Keys West is a much easier hike than starting at Indian Cove. But I think that starting at Indian Cove is much better of a hike. The hike starts at a very dry and and sandy trail then it goes into canyons. The trail continues to be sandy until you get to the part were you start the incline up and over some very cool mountainous area with trees, shade and a view of the city below. After hiking you think that this hike cant get any better. Once you get down for the mountainous area the trail leads you to a forest of Joshau Trees. It's a spectacular trail that continued to get better as you hike it. You continue to hike and finish at Keys West end at a parking lot. But since we were backpacking we turned around from Keys West and hiked into Willow Hole to explore some more and turned around and hike a little over a mile out of Willow Hole and camped for the night. The food, the stars and the sleep never been so good. We hiked out at 3am to make it to the top of the mountainous area to catch the sunrise. Coming down was easy back into the canyons and out into the dessert and back to our car in Indian Cove. We did a total of 18.5 miles point to point and it took us about 7 to 8 hours. I definitely recommend starting before sunrise. Take lots of water and sun protection. Check out my Instagram:@natureisthefocus

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Ramon Rodriguez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020
Hiking
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Maria Uribe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 29, 2020
HikingNo shade

Beautiful trail, flat. I’d say it was on the easier side.

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Modesta Zapata
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 16, 2020
BackpackingNo shade

Did a quick overnighter off the trail about 4 miles in at the end of May. Just in time to catch the last of the spring blooms. Started at the Boy Scout Trailhead. Most others were camping near the big rocks for climbing. If you want to do that, seems that the spots closest to the parking lot go fairly early. If you’re just there to admire the beauty of the desert it’s pretty easy to find a spot. Stay on the west side of the trail if camping! The southern half is filled with flat Joshua Tree forests. The northern half has more interesting, big rock formations. We got lucky with a new moon, clear sky, windless night, and mild temperatures. Definitely pack in at least 4 liters of water per person, per day. I started to feel a bit dehydrated exploring with my camera in the afternoon, so try to be patient and wait out the hottest part of the day in the shade. Make sure you check the wind report before heading out, and try to camp between rock outcroppings for extra protection. Perfect, easy one-night trip from LA, though next time I’ll probably start in the late afternoon when the heat isn’t as intense, and so I’ll have more energy for stargazing late into the evening.

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Michael Rey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 1, 2020
Hiking

Fun short hikes that exposes you to a bunch of different terrain from canyons, to mountains and of course the traditional Joshua tree landscape. As with most desert hiking there isn’t much shade so dress appropriately, bring water and enjoy! Happy trekking!

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Leo Qvarnstrom
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 24, 2020
HikingNo shadeWashed out
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Sarah Kjenstad
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 20, 2020
HikingNo shadeOff trailOver grown
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Bailey Hutchison
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 9, 2020
Hiking

Amazing hike! Got to see joshua tree forest, hiked in a mountain then through canyons then back to the desert!

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Cris Hazzard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 28, 2020
Hiking

Really nice hike from the upper Mojave to the lower Mojave with some sweet viewpoints in between. Be prepared. It's like a Grand Canyon hike, you descend first then climb back. I have a video and full turn by turn images on HikingGuy com

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Roman Kazachkov
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 24, 2019
HikingNo shade

This is a pretty dull trail. 16 or so miles round trip and pretty much the same scenery throughout. There’s plenty of Joshua Trees to snap pictures of but that’s all you’ll see here. There is no end of hike reward. I’d stop and maybe hike a mile in and out and be done with this trail.

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Kyle Pickering
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 2, 2019
HikingNo shade
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Chuck Ellsworth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 28, 2019
Hiking

We were hoping to overnight about 500. Feet from Willow Hole but could not. Had to find a less inviting spot but we still enjoyed the trip.

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Cindy Hernandez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 18, 2019
HikingNo shadeRocky

The trail is gorgeous. It showcases some of the most diverse structures from open fields of Joshua trees to long-gone beach-like waterfalls to rocky, mountainous beauty. There is no shade, so appropriate wear is required. Water and snacks are necessary as well. This 8 mile trail starts off smooth and easy, but there are plenty of hills that tire oneself. 3 liters of water minimum, 6 recommended especially in the summer. Don’t dehydrate (like I did with only 1 liter of water)!

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Thomas Kiennast
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 23, 2019
Hiking

Eine feine Wanderung. Nur im Mittelteil anspruchsvoll. Tolle Blicke und viele Pflanzen. Für jeden etwas dabei. Bin von unten nach oben. War für mich interessanter.

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Kelly Pursley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 26, 2019
HikingNo shade
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Kimberly Richards
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 4, 2019
Hiking

Creds: AllTrails Pro for accurate mileage and altitude based on GPS. 16.1 mi. 1,657’ altitude gain. Parking available at Trailhead. Started around 10:am on 10 March 2019 Sunday. Recommend leaving earlier. Great overcast weather for long hike. Trail in great condition. Gorgeous hike. Went from desert to high plateau filled with Joshua Trees surrounded by mountains- felt like in caldera. Took 3 liters of water, snacks and lunch Definitely recommend hike.

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Chris Del Grande
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 26, 2019
Hiking

Rated average (3) because it’s a good general overview of JT as a whole, but doesn’t have anything 4-or- 5-star spectacular along the way like some other JT trails do. Also, I prefer winding, single track trails over walking in a sand wash, which there is a lot of on this trail. If you go in the direction indicated on this map (west to east) it’s essentially downhill the entire way. However, I started at the Indian Cove end of the trail, because I prefer going uphill instead of down. Choose your preference. There is about a 3/4 mile section that has a moderately steep incline, while the rest is a gentle slope. The middle section (Wonderland of Rocks) is the most interesting part, which makes it difficult to time if you want to be in the prettiest spot during sunset hour, cuz you’ll be finishing up in the dark. I really like trails that you can time to be in the best section during sunset and still make it back to the car before it’s too dark. (Such as Maze+North View, or Eagle Cliff+ Split Rock Loop)

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Brian Reitz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 9, 2019
Backpacking

great trail for beginning backpacking. troop 733 Feb 2019

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Lee Stehly
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 5, 2019

Rather nice. Very flat. Some good bouldering spots along the way needless to say...

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Miya Hosaka
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 29, 2018
Backpacking

Park entrance is open during off hours, so you can still access the park if you show up at weird hours. Backpacking is made so easy at JTNP. You don't have to reserve a permit. Can simply fill one out at the TH, ahhh the good old days. Warning, if you don't like crowds, don't go on Thanksgiving. Was shockingly packed! Easy trail. Vault toilet at the parking lot. My plan was for a 4 or 5 day backpacking trip, but got food poisoning the first day instead. :) Definitely plan on going back! Hoping to see some wildlife or flowers when I do.

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Mike Schneider
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 20, 2018
Hiking

Did a good chunk of this last month (Nov). Great part of the park to hike thru. You get a little of everything it has to offer from the JOSHUA Trees to the myriad rock formations to some great views up higher to some shady mini canyons along the way.

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Kelsey Walkup
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 23, 2018

Good long hike. One challenging part with some switchbacks about 4.5 miles in but otherwise easy/moderate. Definitely a good way to see the many terrains of the Park

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