Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

The actual "pine city" part of this trail is not indicated on the trail itself so you will most likely overshoot it. The trail is, as mentioned above, longer than posted, but not that hard. (Closer to 2 miles each way). Overall nice but I wish we could have found the old mineshafts. Great trail for plant life. A lot of low lying colorful plants. (August)

hiking
14 days ago

interesting walk. We stayed at the Ryan campground so it was a very short way walk to the ranch. the remains were great for pictures.

Such a unique place. Challenging but fun hike, we went late morning. It was about 101 when we set out and before we hit the half way point we turned around because of the temps. Back at the car it was 107 and even though we had plenty of water, there were parts of the trail without any shade and we were starting to overheat. Aside from that we really enjoyed this spot and will make a return trip very soon and head out early for sunrise. The mountains and rock formations are amazing here and you’ll have plenty of photo ops in the canyons. Pack out what you pack in... dirt road is a bear coming down Painted Canyon Rd. Be ready for some major vibrations for about 5 miles of unpaved road. Best done in a truck, your pretty luxury car will cry coming here.

Nice views, but after taking in Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Channel Island NPs during the same week, this was not that memorable.

The Vista Trail was very easy & very short, 1.25m of pretty flat hike with little immediate scenery, and then BAM! you get to the vista and wow, you're looking across miles and miles of gorgeousness. Did this hike based on the distance & the glowing words of the reviewer below me, and took the wash loop back. This was both a blessing & a curse (no fault of the reviewer). Dropping into the ruggedness of the S. end of the wash was incredible, after having so little to see on most of the vista trail. But after getting out of the rugged portion into the wash it was less enchanting. It was a v. hot day, and in the wash there was little breeze. The last 1/3 of the wash is all loose sand and slightly inclined, so it was a pretty wretched hot dry when-is-this-going-to-end slog. Other than the sand part, which was more tiring than expected, there is nothing difficult about this hike, it's a terrific off-the-beaten-path gem and I absolutely plan to go back. I think starting from Queen Canyon Mine might be the key, if heat is a factor.

Nice little hike with a bit of history. Mill and abandoned vehicles are pretty cool to see.
Didn't see anyone on this trail (we went there on July 21st at noon, that's probably why!)

hiking
1 month ago

A short walk that can be done no matter how hot it is, which does come in handy in summer. Pretty rock formations around and we saw a rather impressive chuckawalla lizard.

Was a great hike yesterday here. Definitely a hidden treasure to admire close to the Imperial Valley. Take plenty of water, gloves, hiking light shoes with good traction, sun block, snacks and a beer or two to enjoy up on the canyon. I guess i learned yesterday that the north trail is called The Ropes, and the east trail is ladder Canyon trail. I recommend to go east trail and follow rock arrow into hidden canyon. You can go the other way also, half way there is a hill that will be safer to go down than up for some. I'm going back for sure; Enjoy and stay safe!!

hiking
1 month ago

This hike offers a great desert experience, just know that there are no Joshua Trees in this part of the park. That said, the hike has some beautiful views of the desert as well as an enjoyable (if small) oasis at the end. We did the hike in early June and knowing that the temperatures would easily get to 110+, we aimed to start as early as possible. In the end, we only managed to hit the trail at around 7am but got back to the car comfortably just before noon even with a detour to the Mastodon Mine.
There is a sign posted close to the trail-head, which warns people that hiking out into the desert could be life-threatening this time of the year, and without bringing enough water, that is very true. We carried almost a gallon each and drank most of it by the time we got back, so if you're planning on doing this hike in summer, make sure you are well prepared and start early in the morning - there is no shadow or water anywhere along the trail. The trail itself is fairly level for most part with only a short, steep descent/ascent to/from the canyon with the palms but, in summer, the heat does make this a fairly strenuous endeavor. Overall, I would definitely recommend the hike, just know your limits and don't even think about doing it in summer without bringing lots of water!
As for wildlife, we saw plenty of rabbits, some antelope squirrels, a kingsnake, and a bunch of reptiles.

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
1 month 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.

The tour is beautiful! Snakes back through rock formations. I wouldn't advise anyone going not in 4x4, despite the other reviews. Digging yourself out of the sand would be a huge bummer in 105° weather.

We did it in a factory 2018 Tacoma (9.4 inch lift). Two rock crawling sections, everything else was sand. Probably took us just short of 2 hours and was gorgeous. We did the Berdoo Canyon add on as well.

Drove this in a base model Discovery Sport with factory all season tires and did not need to take it out of highway mode. Saw no other cars. Maybe due to the 100 degree temperatures. Made sure to get the 2 page print out from the visitors centre. The marker posts are often difficult to spot.

hiking
2 months 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

Love this hike. Gorgeous views. The parking is on a dirt road off the main road so if you don’t have 4 wheel drive just be aware (I have a corolla and drove very carefully).. Decent uphill work out. I have actually been inside the mine (there was a hole in the fence and couldn’t help myself). If you search carefully enough inside you will find a treasure. Graffiti from someone who was in a very famous band who passed away (I don’t want to say- you will have to look for yourself. It is on the ledge above the stairs). I felt reluctant to say anything because I don’t want anyone to be disrespectful to the mine or get hurt. But it is truly a treasure to see. !ALSO WANTED TO NOTE that while walking off the trail up to the mine, my friend walked close enough to a *RATTLESNAKE* to cause it to rattle. It was 5-6 feet long. So just be aware that they are up there. !

2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

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!

Great hike. Beautiful vistas. I’d avoid it during peak heat hours, but still very doable with good supply of water. Probably insane during the golden Hour for photos.

Easy trail, have done this several times in a Sierra 2500 Z71, 3” lift and 33x10.5 Ko2s. Only time I have ever needed 4 high was when it had lightly rained the morning of, and at that i could have probably just picked a better line and got through it with rear locked but 4x4 was easier.

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!

Except for the very end, I never got bored! This was a great hike. Very few people and amazing views. There were definitely bees, but they don’t bother you if you do t bother them!

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
3 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
3 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!!!

Really pretty hike! There are a couple steep parts but it’s really not that bad. Well worth the views and pretty wildflowers. Also true what someone else wrote about the bees, they sure like to hang around you so be careful.

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

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