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.

Length7.8 miElevation gain173 ftRoute typePoint to point
BackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsViewsWildflowersWildlifeNo shadeFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)

Joshua Tree National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are per vehicle or per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is per person. You can also purchase a park-specific annual pass. Please check with the park website for current rates. This is a point-to-point trail so depending on where you start/finish it will either be mostly downhill (starting on Park Blvd) or mostly uphill (starting on Indian Cove Rd). If you start from the Indian Cove/Northern end you will gain approximately 1500ft/460m.

Weather
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Reviews (233)
Photos (651)
Recordings (228)
Completed (435)
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Michael Carney
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Hiking

excellent

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Genevieve Yan
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BackpackingGreat!Rocky

Great trail! We did a family backpack trip: 2 nights, 3 days, split the trail in thirds, perfect! My dad and I cached water at two camp areas the week before, and then we did the trip over spring break with my husband, our four kids (ages 7 to 10), my sister, her husband, and their 3 kids (ages 11-15), 12 of us in all. The weather was great, the sky was clear both day and night, and we got lucky to not have any major wind,

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Carina and Julien Hoarau
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 28, 2021
HikingNo shade

28 Mar - My husband and I did this trail out and back from Indian Cove. Took 6.25 hrs hiking. We really enjoyed it, varying landscape and a great way to fully see Joshua Tree. There is no shade so be prepared for the elements. The uphill sections weren’t very steep and the majority of trail was flat - can be slow going in the wash though. As far as 26km hikes go, this was a relatively easy one so particularly good for people wanting to expand their endurance.

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Alissa Espinosa
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HikingGreat!

Great hike! Great workout! A must do from Indian cove, all up hill. Was very quiet and we had the trail to ourselves. Was really windy but I prefer it over a hot summer day.

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Judith Bell
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Hiking

Fantastic hike. Leaving from Indian Cove means you do the uphill first- my preferred way. Really beautiful hike with lots of changes in terrain and views.

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Courtney Istre
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Hiking

Lovely

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Aaron Martinez
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BackpackingGreat!No shadeScrambleWashed out

This trail has it all!easy flat land hiking scrambling over rocks and awesome switchbacks and views are all worth it!a must do when in JT!

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Caitlin Bartkus
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Hiking
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Nicki B
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HikingGreat!

Awesome trail, can be used for running. Did the full in and out took me about 5.5- 6 hours. The landscape changes quite a bit so not a boring hike at all. Great views. Lots of bouldering spots closer to Park Ave entrance.

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Brett Hartley
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Hiking
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Justine F
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Hiking

10/10. Amazing trail. Did it over two days - out and back 7.8 from JT and then the same the following day from Indian cove. Love that it’s less crowded and the views are spectacular.

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Rudy Carrillo
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Hiking
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Guadalupe Andrade
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Hiking
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Jason K
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Hiking
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Mike Boden
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BackpackingGreat!No shade

This is a nice trail that I finally completed. I hiked the upper section from Big Pine Trail to Keys West in November 2020 as part of a 15 mile hike. And on March 3, 2021 I hiked the lower section from Indian Cove to Big Pine Trail as part of a 38 mile loop. Overall, it’s a well established and marked trail. Very easy to navigate and moderately strenuous.

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David Da Costa
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Hiking
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Michelle Dhanak
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Hiking

Great hike. The elevation gain listed for the hike is incorrect. It’s about 1700 ft gain

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Kevin Mitchell
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CampingGreat!

Incredible! Hiked in ~3 miles to camp. Beautiful weather windy, but glorious.

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Bill Maloney
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Hiking
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Bill Maloney
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Hiking
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Rachelle Licursi
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Hiking
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Michaela Leffingwell
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HikingNo shade

Okay so my husband and I hiked this out and back on Sunday for a total of 16 miles and it took us 5 hours and 15 minutes with a 15 minute break halfway for lunch! 1. One helpful thing to know is that the elevation change is way off for this hike... so weird! It’s probably more of a 1,000+ft elevation change about 3ish miles in from the Indian cove trailhead. After you get to the top, it’s pretty flat the rest of the way into Joshua Tree! 2. This trail was way prettier than I expected and pretty diverse as far as scenery! You have the crazy rock formations, sandy stretches in the canyon portion, and then views of the Big Bear mtns among a walk through a bunch of Joshua Trees! 3. There is a bathroom at the end of the trail at the parking lot (I think it’s called Willow Hole??) which was a pleasant surprise! I would not suggest hiking this in the summer as it is completely exposed the whole way, but it was a fun hike and we pretty much had the trail to ourselves, even though it is during the park’s busy season! Happy hiking!

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Andrea Jensen
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Hiking
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Denise Allen
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Hiking

Awesome trail. Snowed on us overnight but the climb out was really easy to follow. Really nice doing this in two days hiked it from south to north 7 miles in 7 miles out. Took 3 L of water each which was perfect for this time of year.

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Alex Modiano
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Backpacking

So happy backpacking is allowed here! Started on the Indian cove side and hiked about 4 miles til we set up camp. Lots of uphill on this side, but a lot of diverse scenery and views. Way less challenging on our way back without the uphill.

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