Mojave River via the PCT

MODERATE 95 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



20 days ago

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

1 month 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.

2 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!

3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful. Amazing bridge and creek.

3 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.

4 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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!

5 months ago

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!

7 months ago

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!

8 months ago

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.

8 months ago

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!

8 months ago

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

9 months ago

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.

9 months ago

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.

9 months ago

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.

10 months ago

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

10 months ago

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

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Nice hike, but my dog had a lot of ticks on her. And my husband had one too. Gross.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Great hike however my 2 dogs came home with ticks ALL over them! My husband got one on him as well! Be super careful on this hike!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Nice easy hike. Enjoyable and highly recommended.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

The directions from the All Trails app (via google maps) led us directly to the trailhead parking lot. The last few miles is on a dirt road but manageable for regular cars barring huge puddles. The signs and parking lot is a bit confusing as all signs reference Splinter's Cabin and I did not see any mention of the Deep South Trail. Anyhow, the PCT trail marker is easy to locate from the parking lot.

You quickly come to the iconic bridge. The PCT trail indicates it goes straight past the bridge and also crosses the bridge. I didn't see any reviews discussing which direction to take. We crossed the bridge and that appears to be the wrong route to reach the cliffs and waterholes. We still had a nice, mostly flat hike through the hills will some good views looking back through the hills to the valley down below. Overall, it was a good day but I need to return to do the hike as intended by NOT crossing the bridge.

Friday, October 14, 2016

thru hiked the PCT 2016 one of the best parts in southern California

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