Lost Horse Mine Loop Trail

HARD 183 reviews
#7 of 97 trails in

Lost Horse Mine Loop Trail is a 6.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Desert Center, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
6.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
810 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Parking is limited.

hiking
17 days ago

Love this hike. Gorgeous views. The parking is on a dirt road off the main road so if you don’t have 4 wheel drive just be aware (I have a corolla and drove very carefully).. Decent uphill work out. I have actually been inside the mine (there was a hole in the fence and couldn’t help myself). If you search carefully enough inside you will find a treasure. Graffiti from someone who was in a very famous band who passed away (I don’t want to say- you will have to look for yourself. It is on the ledge above the stairs). I felt reluctant to say anything because I don’t want anyone to be disrespectful to the mine or get hurt. But it is truly a treasure to see. !ALSO WANTED TO NOTE that while walking off the trail up to the mine, my friend walked close enough to a *RATTLESNAKE* to cause it to rattle. It was 5-6 feet long. So just be aware that they are up there. !

hiking
20 days ago

Great hike. Beautiful vistas. I’d avoid it during peak heat hours, but still very doable with good supply of water. Probably insane during the golden Hour for photos.

hiking
28 days ago

Except for the very end, I never got bored! This was a great hike. Very few people and amazing views. There were definitely bees, but they don’t bother you if you do t bother them!

hiking
1 month ago

Really pretty hike! There are a couple steep parts but it’s really not that bad. Well worth the views and pretty wildflowers. Also true what someone else wrote about the bees, they sure like to hang around you so be careful.

hiking
1 month ago

Loving his trail? A great lookout from the mine and further on at about the halfway point. Some challenges with the elevation to keep it interesting, slow and steady the way up. Nice, flat finish - would do again.

hiking
2 months ago

A great little loop trail. More easy/mod than hard/mod for the more seasoned hikers, but I enjoyed taking it at a more strident pace. The parking lot is small - it fits maybe 11-12 cars, so either go to the end to park and wait til someone leaves or park alongside the entrance road on a pull off. The bees were bountiful and boisterous- both in the trailheads bathroom ( pee behind a bush off the trail instead) and throughout the hike. Divine, but those who are allergic bring an epi pen. We enjoyed a very buzzy lunch together on the trail. The mine didn't look impressive, so I skipped it - there are several trail turnoffs by it, so pay attention to the signs at the junctions to ensure you're staying the right course.

hiking
2 months ago

Great scenery changes, never got bored. Great views especially after the mine at top of the hill if traveling clockwise, which I would recommend (it gets most of the hard uphill stuff out of the way on the first third of the hike).

hiking
2 months ago

As mentioned by others, this is a great loop trail and makes for a good hike through diverse terrain in the park. Best route is to go clockwise, hiking first to the mine and then continuing on to complete the 6.5 mile total loop. The trail is easily followed and well traveled.

hiking
2 months ago

Get to the parking lot early like around 8:30am. The lot was empty save for 2 other vehicles. Wait an hour and it will be tough to find parking. Wanting to do the mine trail (4 mile there and back), we actually started the trail at the trailhead that is near the lot entrance which is the loop trail. This took us to the huge 6-mile loop and we are so happy we did it. Yes it is strenuous and long, but we would have never seen the most amazing, panoramic views of the park on the backside of the mountain. Simply amazing!

hiking
3 months ago

Fun trip, the mine structure is a fun place to have lunch...

hiking
3 months ago

This is a highly underrated hike, and one of my favorites. Parking was crowded but the trail was nearly empty. I recommend climbing the lost horse mountain peak as it provides one of the best views in the park. The entire hike took us around 4 hours with several stops and a lunch break. Don't skip this one!

3 months ago

Nice diverse hike. Great views. Mine is really cool. Loved the Joshua trees

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! We went clockwise and it took us about 3 hours with plenty of stops. The mine was so cool to see, spotted lots of ravens and lizards along the way. The Joshua trees were beautiful! It was 60 and sunny but a bit breezy—I had on a fleece but wish I would have brought another layer with me.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was a pleasant experience. It starts with a hike through the desert hills until you arrive ah Lost Horse Mine. Afterwards, the best part of the trail (east of Lost Horse Mountain) provides spectacular views of the desert basins to the East. Finally, the trail follows a wash through a field of Joshua Trees back to the parking lot.

4 months ago

Good overlook

hiking
4 months ago

Great beginner hike for Boy Scouts, as it counts as a "mini peak" if you climb Lost Horse Mountain, which is inside the loop. Strongly recommend getting there very early. We did the loop "counter clockwise", which worked well for us as you get some amazing views this way.

hiking
4 months ago

The route to the mine is quite crowded and looks like it burned a year or two ago. Either there's no trail up to the mine or we missed it, but it seems like most people go to look at it anyway. After the mine there are far fewer people and you get vistas for a bit before walking back among some joshua trees

5 months ago

Fairly level, well marked. 6.38 according to my watch. Nice views.

hiking
6 months ago

This trail can be shortened by walking out to the mine and back. That made it only 4 miles round trip.

6 months ago

Great views on the northern portion of the trail. Limited parking but no large crowds. Starting your hike clockwise is easier (gradual elevation increase).

6 months ago

Nice hike overall. Soft sand in some areas adds to the exercise value.

7 months ago

Great trail, well maintained. Easy loop and well marked.

7 months ago

Nice November weather. Full trail is recommended. Completed in 2.5 hours.

hiking
8 months ago

Really enjoyed this trail. Grateful we went clockwise and went to the mine first since the last mile is Sandy riverbed and just tired us out. Lots of fun switchbacks and beautiful views. Signage was a little sparse in the riverbed, luckily you can just look down and follow the footprints.

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked this trail clockwise starting around 5:45pm in July and took it slow. Really enjoyed the plants and creatures! Saw only one other hiker and they were leaving the mine. Definitely hot and strenuous in the beginning but around the mine it was late enough there was lots of shade from the mountains. There are signs that say day use only but we were able to leave the parking lot fine after 9pm.

10 months ago

It is a moderately hard hike, with nice views of the valley and park, but the last stretch of it is on flat ground and nothing but dirt and Joshua trees, not much to see at the end. In the middle it is the best in terms of scenery, as you are in the mountains.

hiking
11 months ago

I did the loop Clockwise...I guess it depends on how much hiking you do. It's all relative. Really not much to see on this hike. Some nice views at about the 3 mile mark but that's it. A little elevation gain over the first 1.5 miles but really not very steep. The the last 2miles (?) are a just plain boring as you trudge across sand (in and out of a wash) with really nothing to see.

The trail is very well marked...took 2:15 to do the loop, I'm generally a faster than average hiker.

My recommendation would be to go past the mine about a mile and then turn back.

Mid June, mid-90s, Breezy, no shade. Bring a couple of liters of water

hiking
Friday, April 21, 2017

nice hike with a few steep parts. make sure you bring water as the trail has no shade. once we arrived at the mine we hiked up the hill behind it and the views were amazing! if you dont want to do the full loop you can hike to the mine and back and that is 4 miles. to complete the loop is 6 miles

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easy day hike. A good loop trail for families with children.

hiking
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A little difficult in the beginning due to it being very uphill, but once you get past the first part, it's a pretty easy hike. It was very windy when we went which was a little more challenging with the cold breeze blowing in our faces. Once we made it to the mine, we stopped and had lunch in an area where there was no wind. A little sad that the mine is gated off, but I understand it's for safety reasons.

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