Explore the most popular birding 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.

This is a great hike, but as others have said, it isn't marked at all. We relied on information from other hikers and Alltrails to figure out where to go. The ladder and ropes are fun and the hike is mostly pretty. The upper loop to the top of the big canyon is completely exposed. We got an incredibly late start, so this part baked me, but the canyon was worth it. As a bonus, we saw a little gray fox. The road in was rough, but ok for a regular car.

It is a short and very easy trail. It does have some very interesting and beautiful rock formations. Great for taking pictures. The information signs are very informative and interesting.

Definitely coming back to this hike, lots of trails to explore.

I would recommend coming early to avoid high temperatures (it reached 112 when we went last week) and bring plenty of water.

hiking
10 days ago

The Grottos can easily be gone through without a rope or climbing gear. You will need a light unless you are up for groping your way through in the dark. If you don't see an opening look to the left or right side, there is a rope in one place if I remember right. One passage is very narrow and a bit of a scramble but not difficult.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail was awesome even this late in the season. I hit the trail early and was back at my car by 1145. The trail rating is moderate is correct in my opinion. There are sections of climbing/bouldering at the canyon entrance and exit. You are also exposed for most of the trail with no water and very limited shade until you reach the oasis. Pictures don’t do this place justice. It was beautiful. I did submit a recording. It accidentally paused it for .7 if a mile. I also didn’t make the full loop the end of the trail so you’re looking at 7.5 miles easy round trip. Be prepared for heat, have water and enjoy! As an experienced hiker this trail was not a waste of time. Not as challenging as some, but there is more to a hike that elevation gain etc.. absolutely beautiful and highly recommend.

Love this app

1 month ago

Beautiful hike! Can’t wait to bring my kids on this one!

Loved this hike! I did it twice it was so much fun and full of little trails to explore. A must do when you visit the area!

Driving a wrangler JL 2 inch lift with 35s and made it through on 2wd. Great drive and one moderate section that needed to checked out first. Great through and through for the National Park!

Best hike we did in Joshua Tree. AllTrails says it’s an in and out but when you arrive there is a loop trail marked, take the Loop!!! The backside of the loop drops you into a valley that is far better then the famed Hidden Valley Trail. Start early and you will see tons of wild hares and rabbits. Parts are in the wash that can be a little confusing so just keep an eye out for the trail signs...if your unsure just push on slightly looking for the signs, if in doubt double back and try another wash, just stick with it. Super secluded, we saw no one on our 2.5 hour walk.

fairly easy hike to complete quiet and beautiful views

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike took my 3 boys 7yr old 10yr old and 11 yr old and they all loved it we went at about 6pm when it was not as hot and it was great

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing area! My only complaint: this is the most poorly marked trail that I have ever been on. Do your research so you know where to go. There are several trails at the top and a lot of them are dead ends. Otherwise, great day of hiking and exploring with my husband and 7 year old. Bring more water than you think you need!!!

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

Maybe I missed what was special about this, but I would personnally skip it. It's not very different then other small hike in the area. Of course if you are camping there, why not?

hiking
2 months ago

Nice morning stroll if you are camping in cottonwood camping. Took about 3 hours, including going a bit deeper once I reached the palm trees. It's nice, and getting to oasis spring is special, it feels like you just arrived somewhere totally different with these big trees.

hiking
2 months ago

It's a short trail but maybe the most interesting one.

hiking
2 months ago

Actually I didn't find this rock like a cap. Not as interesting as many other rooks in this park. However, it's luck that we saw some people climbing the rock beside the trail. They are great!

hiking
2 months ago

Easy hike to neat forgotten vehicles and mill

Nice path and great sunset viewing

Great rock formations, lots of lookouts, and some different path compositions through the trail.

In answer to Charlie Nunez’s question: yes you can get to the trailhead in a regular car. It is a bumpy five miles and you could drive faster in a truck or 4x4, but my Honda sedan made it and there were several similar cars on the road or in the lot, including a Mini. Take it slow and it is fine.

rock climbing
2 months ago

This was one fun trail with family. Multiple peaks overlooking Salton sea and 360 degrees breath taking views. Passing the mine and walking counterclockwise in the loop through the wash back to the parking lot.
I would say an hour and a half hike (walking time).

hiking
2 months ago

I have a question for anyone who has been here. Can I make it down the dirt road to the trailhead in a car? I've camped in Mecca before in the slots but parked close to the road behind a bush. Just curious if I could make it to the trailhead in a normal car.

Hit the trail today with some friends. Really good time, beautiful colors.

hiking
3 months ago

Very fun trail up a slot canyon, lots of ladders or optional scrambling.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! Part slot canyon, part wide canyon, part open hike with views of the Salton Sea. Felt like I was in Zion. Here's an easy way NOT to get lost... prior to arriving (because you may not get service there) go to google maps and you'll be able to see the actual route. You may even want to download the area to your "offline maps". Follow the trail via google maps on your hike. I didn't lose GPS at all during the hike and you can tell if you missed a turn within about 30 feet.

hiking
3 months ago

Miles 1-2.5 are moderately strenuous, upgrade out and downgrade return. Thereafter the trail becomes more challenging with steep sections, wide and narrow washes, a steep switchback down to the Oasis from the sign, and nary any shade. Definitely doable in dry weather. Mind the previous comments about distance, heat, and bringing plenty of water. The scenery is awesome.

hiking
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.

Super awesome trail! Make sure you follow the arrows. About 1/4 mile from the start is the first arrow pointing you up to the left up some rocks. Take this instead of going straight!

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