Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Desert Center with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Maybe it's because that was one of the last hike of the day, but I found it a little dull.

3 months ago

Agree with prior reviews that the trail is longer than posted, and that it is relatively flat (~150 ft elevation). Missed the path into Pine City and went on the spur along Pine Canyon and to the Twentynine Palms overlook. Did not go beyond the maintenance (or lack thereof) sign. On return, stepped over log and rocks to explore Pine City. Afterward returning to the carpark, took the short trail to the house ruin and Desert Queen mine overlook. A great afternoon complementing the morning's geology tour and getting away from the Spring Break crowd at Hidden Valley.

Did this trail from Black Rock Canyon campground to Ryans camp over this past weekend with scouts from BSA Troop 384. Great scenery, excellent weather.

This is a hike that requires either good map and compass and route finding skills (and perhaps a bit of luck), or moderate map skills and a GPS. Perseverance is also big help. There is no real established trail to the top as far as I could tell. The middle of the hike is relatively easy to follow as you walk up porcupine wash (there are a couple of decision forks but it is relatively easy to follow the proper route). No so for the beginning and end of the hike. The herd path from the parking lot actually misses the wash - we followed this path from the lot, even up through a small pass complete with cairns marking the "trail". Finally checked the compass and realized we were way off. Looked at GPS and we were 1/2 mile from porcupine wash, made a bee-line for the wash to get back on track. On the way back to the car out of the wash did not see many tracks (the wash is very wide approaching the lot) so just be aware the main path from the lot may be a faise trail to follow. The wash is a little to the right of the main herd path we initially followed. Once in the wash, you follow it for miles to the large open valley north of Monument Mountain. You'll know it when you finally enter this, and can see Monument Mountain off to the left as you hike west. It's best to stay in the wash for a while rather than head straight to the mountain. Stick to the left side of the wash and eventually you can see a cut (wash) in the distance heading up a hill toward the direction of the mountain (we were in the wash in the valley for about 1.5 miles before turning direct to the mountain). Break out of the wash "valley" as (or before) going gets tough and then just head cross country over a bunch of ridges to get to the peak. There is no real path from this point to the mountain, everyone has found their own route it seems. We ended up approaching the final peak climb from the north side, the slope was more gradual than straight up from the east although the east face is doable just steep in places. The view from the top of the mountain is pretty great. Did this as an overnight backpack, recommend that vs long day hike. Also worth noting that with the meandering that takes place as you walk through the miles of wash, my GPS put this at closer to 19.5 miles round trip (even eliminating the error at the beginning I mentioned above). Gave it 3 stars - if you are into following established trails it is probably 1 star, if you are adventure seeking and enjoy finding your own path it is probably 5 stars.

It’s not an easy hike and there’s not much of a trail to follow. Set out alone on day one and couldn’t find it. Found a spot to camp for the night snd then set out again the following day with a partner. The key is to know what the mountain peak looks like. You can see it off in the distance from the parking lot at the backcountry board. The route I took led me off trail and I had to cheat by following a dropped pin in Google Maps. Once I found the main wash it was easier to stay on course. There are so many high ridges and false peaks you may think you’re never going to find it. But if you stay in the wash it’ll open into a large flat valley and Monument Mountain will be clearly visible on the left. I took a rather direct approach and it was very difficult. I’m sure there are easier/more gradual routes. Definitely worth the effort. Amazing views from the top. Don’t forget to sign the register.

Beautiful trail and fantastic rock formations. Many areas to discover on this trail. The view at the top of spectacular

Did a few years ago. Loved the ruins!

Most beautiful 38 miles I've ever hiked

Sunday, January 22, 2017

This is one of three trails that can be accessed from the parking lot on Desert Queen Mine Road, an unpaved road in the north half of the park. The other two trails are the Desert Queen Mine trail and the Lucky Boy Vista – Queen Mine Loop trail, which is a much longer loop that includes the first two.

This hike is rather longer than the sign in the parking lot indicates. Someone had changed the original official length on the trail head sign from 1.1 mile to 1.9 mile by scratching a little square on the one to make it a nine. But our GPS indicated that the length of the trail from the trail head to Pine Canyon/Pine City was 2.3 or 2.4 miles. Much longer than stated and almost five miles for out and back.

The first part of the trail was very flat and in spite of the trail’s name, we found only two pine trees along the way. As we approached Pine Canyon, the view was much more interesting. We were able to look down into a large gash in the rock that was, we think, Pine Canyon. This stretched for quite a distance and provided great views.

We did not go into Pine Canyon so cannot report on that part of this trail.

I hiked the full 38 miles of this trail just before Thanksgiving of last year. The goal was to complete it in under two days. Starting at Black Rock canyon I managed to complete a very challenging 26 miles the first day. Set up camp in the backcountry then finished the final 12 the next morning before noon. It takes you the entire west-east length of the scenic part of Joshua Tree.

Backpacked out to this area back in '13. Certainly a wash. Nice area if you like the desert. Watch out for jumping cholla.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

this was a pretty fun hike. we decided to go through the first little canyon thinking it was a shortcut and it definitely wasn't. once you reach the main mine you might be a little underwhelmed if you are an adventuring type like me because the mines are bricked off.

Pine city trail is on trail head along with the Maze Loop, Trail. It's actually in Joshua Tree National Park the west entrance side of the park. Not Desert Center. There are several less trafficked trails on this side.

Nice easy hike through some beautiful desert. Not a lot of people, on the trail, I saw only two others. I did this trail after the Desert Suitable for small children as long as they like to walk. There are not a lot of climbable rock formations around this trail.

Tried this last July, got lost twice and finally had to abandon the effort. Obviously not a popular hike since there are no reviews. I hope to try again in a couple months. Please post if you have information on this hike. Thank you, Frank

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Beautiful views on this hike. Trail is rather flat and suitable for all skill levels. The rock formations, pines and valleys are wonderful. The trail ends about 1.6 miles in at a sign that states the trail is not maintained past that point. This is an excellent spot to sit and relax under a pine or in a rock and just enjoy the solitude. If you like peace and quiet this is definitely a must do.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Great easy hike amongst the Joshua Trees, Junipers and Honey Mesquites. You have to drive down a well maintained dirt road to get to the trail head. There's a bathroom at the parking lot.
I took the spur a bit past Pine City up to a vista. The extra mile (rt) was well worth the view.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

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