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Pinto Mountain Trail is a 10.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Twentynine Palms, California that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from February until May.

Length 10.5 mi Elevation gain 2,490 ft Route type Loop

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Views

Rocky

Scramble

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)

This trail summits via the West Wash.  The beginning of the West Wash is about 3.3 miles from the trailhead traveling across the Pinto Basin Desert.  The West Wash is gentle to start and gains in steepness with the last 500' very steep.  This trail includes rock scrambling and hiking up steep vertical section with loose rocks.  It was very windy at the peak but beautiful 360 views of Monument Mountain, San Jacinto, San Gorgornio and all the mountains towards Arizona.  We took the South Wash on the descent.  This is a fairly steep wash with rock scrambling and loose rocks.  Once at the bottom of the wash there is about a 2.5 mile hike across the Pinto Basin Desert to the trailhead.  This is a strenuous hike and tough on the legs/knees due to rock scrambling/loose rocks but very rewarding experience.  

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (21)
Photos (23)
Recordings (25)
Completed (30)
Damon Grannan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat May 23 2020
HikingNo shadeOff trailRockyScrambleWashed out
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Trevor Cook
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Jan 25 2020
HikingOff trailRockyScramble

I took this trail in the clockwise direction. (Note, without the app and downloading the map, you can get twisted around. ) This is not a route for those not packing properly and be ready to do a lot of climbing. You don’t need ropes and stuff to climb, but you will be on your hand and knees, trying not to grab on to a cactus for a good portion to get to the top. If you are going with someone, expect falling rocks from the climber above you. Coming down is not quick task either. There were some big drops where you will slide down some smooth rocks. Wear long socks and boots, I had regular running shoes and felt my ankle twist in more than one occasion. On a positive note, there is cellular reception at the top of the mountain; with LTE! I have Verizon and was able to send photos and text messages. I started the hike at 0615 and was finished by 1245. At the top I stopped for maybe 10-15 minutes to grab a snack and catch my breath. Very rewarding for sure! But I won’t be doing this trail again.

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Alexander Azarov
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jan 23 2020
HikingOff trailRockyScramble
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Kristen Hofmann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Jan 22 2020
HikingNo shadeOff trailOver grownRockyScramble

DO NOT ATTEMPT UNLESS YOU’RE AN EXPERIENCED HIKER. This trail should be rated difficult to extremely difficult. There are no trail markings on any part of the route, making it extremely difficult to stay on “path” through the descent. Terrain after mile 3.5 is solely rock and can get dangerous at points with heavy scramble on top of bedrock. Would recommend taking this trail over two days and backpacking - it is at least an 8 hour hike to finish safely. THIS IS NOT EASY.

Sasha Soloviev
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jan 19 2020
HikingScramble

Water!!!!!

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Dylan Ryder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jan 09 2020
HikingScramble

Waaaaaterrrr

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Katie Surprise
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Dec 14 2019
HikingNo shadeOff trailRockyScramble

Stunning views from the top, but rocky scramble to get there! We started our hike around 11am, and ended it close to 8pm. (Around 3 hours, 45 mins to the top + 3 hours, 50 mins to the bottom) Don't underestimate the steepness and heat of the desert (even in winter)! There are trail cairns starting from the small ridge all the way to the peak, so keep a lookout for those! I plan to do this hike again, but want to break it into two days and camp near the summit. This is the perfect peak to bag if you want to escape the crowds. It was a Saturday and we were the only two people for what seemed miles. Check out my blog on how to reach the peak here: http://katiesurprise.com/index.php/2019/12/27/hike-to-the-summit-of-pinto-mountain-joshua-tree-national-parks-isolated-peak/

Brian Blaine
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Nov 30 2019
Off trailRockyScramble
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Clint Stevenson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Nov 23 2019
HikingNo shadeOff trailRockyScramble
View Clint's Recording
Erica Castellanos
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 30 2019
HikingNo shadeOff trail

I did only the first part of this trail (this time). Up the left leg to where the trail turns right. This section was easy and fun, lots to look at including a lot of neat geology. Things to note, however: I didn't find A Trail. The Alltrails track did not exist; usually I can follow the line exactly, but not so in this case. There wasn't really a trail at all, so I hust struck out across open ground. Which was fine, the objective was very clear. It was overcast so that was nice for me, but there's no shade on this trail. With all the dark rock underfoot, could be brutal on a hot day. Because you're off trail, I highly recommend pants, I didn't get scratched much, but my socks were full of stickers at the end, and it would have saved quite a bit of effort going around the scrub. Looking forward to going back & doing the whole thing!

View Erica's Recording
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