Mojave River via the PCT

MODERATE 111 reviews

Mojave River via the PCT is a 6.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Arrowhead, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.4 miles
892 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




nature trips

rock climbing





wild flowers



no shade

5 months ago

Time: 10:45am at beginning of trailhead
Followed AllTrails map.
Temperature: 80s.

If you stick to the All trail map, the mileage is pretty accurate. Very little shade on this hike. Path is narrow in a lot of areas so be careful.
If you stop at the location specified in the map, there’s a shaded open area with rocks to sit and lay on next to the river/ stream which was green from the algae but still nice and serene.
There were quite a few dirt bikes at the beginning before the trailhead which kicked up a lot of dirt. They don’t tend to slow down so watch out. Apparently it’s a thing here. The majority of hiking trail does not allow motorized vehicles.

A couple of reviewers mentioned a waterfall on this trail. You need to detour off the trail down a pretty steep hill to go to Aztec Falls. This was about 1/3 of the way in so look out for it if that’s what you want to do.

Tip: bring extra water if weather is hot
Bring poles if you go down to Aztec falls. It will help.

6 months ago

Went here on a Friday afternoon, no one else was at Aztec falls, was beautiful and surreal. Very steep hike down to the falls; I basically sat down and scooted whole way down, and climbing up was a bit hard, had to find rocks and branches to pull up on. The falls were very worth it! While hiking on trail by bridge heard a noise, looked down to see a huge rattle snake less than a foot from me! We also saw other small snakea crossing the trail! Easily got to Splinters cabin parking area in Nissian Maxima! Beautiful, would highly recommend! Defiantly check out the waterfall, was the highlight of the hike! Very special when no one else is there! Was weary about some of the reviews stating that there was trash all over by the falls. There were a few cans but that's about it, still very beautiful. One of the best hikes in the area! Very much worth it.

6 months ago

Great hike!!! But it’s Splinters trail to PCT. Legit 7 miles of uphill both ways.

6 months ago

This trail was awesome! i went with my friend we are both beginners and we had a great time jumping in the water is so cold and refreshing. It is a very short hike to get to the main pool we did not go up the whole trail we stopped at the main pool in the pictures and explored downstream a bit I recommend this for hikers age 2-adult I saw a 2 year old trooper there and some older crowds this hike is great for all ages just watch out for rocks and snakes. Also you need a parking pass but I think you purchase them in town somewhere? There was no office there to purchase them and there is no cell service.

6 months ago

I chose to park where the pavement finally ends, and walked in. The road is too rocky for my car, and it’s not a far walk to the trail head. I would recommend going in the cooler months though, because we were surrounded by people who came just to hang out at the river and drink. However, once you continue past the bridge, and go about a mile or so, you’ll find yourself alone with nature again. The trail follows the river from high up on the canyon, but it eventually “ends” at the river, where the water is pooled up — and there’s a sign where you can read about a rare species of toad that lives there. If you do plan to go during the hot months, just remember to bring a hat and plenty of water and you’ll be fine!

8 months ago

Amazing, scenic, not hard, along the river, a very good hike

8 months ago

Excellent hike. Not too steep, well maintained trail. Not sure exactly where All Trails has the end though to come up with 6.4 miles. Deep Creek Day Use Area is about 2.4 miles in (4.8 miles). Or keep going up the PCT and there's a lovely bridge 3.4 miles in. Aztec Falls is about a mile or 1.5 in & down 1 of 2 steep trails. Definately recomend AWD for the rocky road in. Looks like you're not supposed to be there past the 1st gate but its fine & Google maps says you have arrived well before the parking area.

10 months ago

Super fun hike, as easy or challenging as you want to make it! We only spent 1.5 hours, but did a bit of bouldering and had fun in the couple inches of snow on the trails. Heads up: you need to buy a pass to park your car at the trailhead, but some locals told us they visit often and that the rangers usually only check in the evenings. Still, I would go for the pass over a hefty fine!

11 months ago

Absolutely beautiful. Amazing bridge and creek.

11 months ago

Awesome hike my group ended up doing today bc Sugarloaf was closed. Very easy. Took my sedan and parked when I got to the sign that reads 'Splinter's [something that I forgot lol]'. i suggest parking there unless you have a better car for dirt road as the end of the 1/4 miles left to the trail parking is pretty rocky and lower cars would prob not manage.. you can go slightly past the sign, but after the small paved portion, I wouldn't risk it. Nice views of the river and you cross it once before arriving to it again. Started the hike at 8am and by the time we were heading back, it was much warmer with about half the trail shaded. Very remote, only saw 2 other parties and a couple dirt bikes could be heard in the distance.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Nice hike with a lot of shades. Parking was a problem for me. I drove my Mazda 3 into the parking ("Splinters Cabin Day Use Area" on google map) and I almost was not able to drive it out. So I suggest parking along paved roads if you are driving a car not suitable for off-road driving.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Nice hike. Day after Christmas hike this year. Wish we had to snow to play in but this hike was a nice alternative this year!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

There are multiple parking areas for this hike past the “trailhead” in alltrails, but the road is attrocious and really only for trucks and suvs. Having said that, some stunning views of Deep Creek from this trail which is mostly high above the river. Around Aztec falls there are steep trails that will take you down to the falls but we ran out of time (and drinking water) to check it out - sadly you can’t actually see the falls from the trail. But along the way you’ll see some spectacular crystal clear pools of water that people have also clearly found paths down to. The trail ends in a large pool of water that’s also beautiful, though when we went quite a few people were there, having driven in on off-road vehicles on a separate trail. Though it is generally down hill the way there and uphill the way back, he uphill is not bad at all, very manageable. Great hike!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Beautiful hike in the fall! Narrow/bumpy dirt road to get to parking lot, was fine in our Ford Escape and we even saw a Prius in the parking lot, but I wouldn't drive a nice or low car down that road. We enjoyed this hike with our dog. Saw a snake on the path, be on the lookout!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Must have an adventure pass to park or the rangers will ticket you.The first mile of this trail is pretty busy as people headed to Aztec Falls to cliff dive and party. Up to this point you will see some graffiti and trash. If you proceed down the PCT it is deceiving but you are descending and about 2 miles past Aztec Falls you can easily go down to the waters edge (this is not the Mojave River it is Deep Creek) great place to soak the feet and have lunch before heading back which is a gradual uphill return. Views of the river all along this section of PCT not a lot of shade and the trail is narrow, but a great hike.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Here is my advice: about 0.5 mile from the bridge, you'll see a blue spray painted arrow that leads you down to the waterfall, cliff jumping and a a good chill spot. Then go home. It's really easy to miss bc the trail is not obvious. The rest of the hike is along a desert hike with lots of sun exposure (plan accordingly!) with nice desert scenery, ending in Deep Creak. The cliff trail is above the Mojave River so you don't get an opportunity to enjoy the water past what I mentioned. Deep Creak is a nice tranquil spot but not worth the desert hell of walking back (mostly flat elevation). Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Gorgeous place. Great for swimming and camping. Spent most of the day by the swimming hole. Didn't go to the waterfall. Next time.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Awesome, not sure what the other users confusion about the bridge is.
Very simple:
Stay on the PCT as the map describes, no reason to cross the bridge on use the bridge at all (the bridge will lead you on the PCT but in the wrong direction)
Blue marked rock leads to "main" popular water fall cliff jumping and swimming
There are many many more isolated pools to swim in if you continue on the along the PCT trail, there are many fairly steep side paths that will lead you down to the pools. Awesome.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Followed the directions from Google maps but not sure we took same tail as others have commented on. Only saw one parking lot and there was no bathroom. We actually continued on in the car based on previous review but quickly realized the trail is only for off road vehicles. Did not see a bridge as mentioned in previous review. We took the main trail for about 20-30 minutes and then reached a point where the trail split in 3. We took the middle one which had nice 360 views. Trail is up and down, which I like as you don't just go up on way out and down on way back. Hiked for about 2 hours round trip. It was a cool and breezy day in August so it was awesome. Poles would have been helpful on a few of the downhills but not necessary.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Very cool trail. Some Important tips we wish we would have known...
Many people, thinking they've arrived at the trailhead, park at the first gate a quarter mile before the actual parking lot. Don't, unless you're looking for a longer walk up hill after you hike. Drive through the open gate and park at the actual parking lot where the restrooms are. You'll be glad you did.
If you want to see the pools and small waterfall, don't go across the bridge near the beginning of the hike (as most people do); stay to the LEFT and keep going. We crossed the bridge (because unfortunately, there is no signage) and walked 2 miles into no man's land. There is no river or waterfall that way.
To locate the first waterfall off the correct trail, look for the big 3' BLUE boulder sticking out of the trail on your left (someone painted it blue) about 3/4 mile in. THAT is the only indicator you've arrived and now need to leave the main trail and go down the steep hill/trail to your right to the pool and waterfall. We missed it and walked three miles looking for a waterfall only to figure it out on our way back. The trail down to the river is steep. But the pools are worth the trouble.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Beautiful trail except for the random garbage...
Next time I'm bringing a trash bag to haul it out.

Monday, July 17, 2017

beautiful hike. lots of shade and plenty of places to pull over and sit for a bit. plenty of water everywhere. climbing over rocks through the river. got to the bowls and there were lots of people having fun jumping in the water.

park before the actual parking lot. you have to walk about 10 minutes to the parking lot but it gets packed a lot.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The directions take you through a road made for off road vehicles. I would recommend taking the 173 to Kuffel Canyon to Hook Creek Road or type in Deep Creek into maps instead of using the directions from the app.

Great hike. Take bug spray. Beautiful views and clearly marked trail. Would definitely hike again.

We forgot to get the day pass but didn't get a ticket.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Awesome trail with great views that is not heavily populated. Be aware, a parking pass is needed or you will receive a hefty ticket. We picked up an annual pass at the local grocery store for $30. It's valid at all trailheads in all major parks. So worth it. A daily pass is available too.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

As usual we ended up off trail and hiking along the water which proved difficult in some areas with 3 dogs but they loved the water and adventure. We did lose our leashes somewhere by the water which made it a fucken nightmare getting back to the car since we didn't make the rocky road to the parking lot and left our car back by the trail sign. Someone along the way back said they saw a girl pickup the leashes but we never found them. Walking that curvy ass road carrying one dog and trying to keep the other two close by for cars was a bitch. The bigger bitch is whoever picked up our leashes and took them :(

Monday, April 24, 2017

Great hike. Lot's of water features - rivers, streams, falls and little lakes.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Great hiking.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Perfect time of year to hike this trail. River is beautiful.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Beautiful views and very peaceful.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Great views

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