Explore the best trails near Joshua Tree with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Mark T. on Willow Hole Trail
Easy wide flat and scenic.
DO NOT GO ON THIS TRAIL!!!
This is my favorite trail in the park ... a beautiful example of biological and geological diversity in a desert environment ... and I want to keep it that way! Fortunately, the trail does not appear on the NPS brochure or magazine, and I hope that will keep traffic to a minimum.
As per the trail map on this website, the Willow Hollow trail splits from the main trail (Boy Scouts) and a sign post provides clear definition at the split. Wait for the sign before you go to the right ... don’t think that some of the other visible trails earlier in the trail lead to Willow Hollow … those actually lead to rock climbing sites.
The sign along the trail provides mileage information, but like some of the other trails in this park, our tracker indicated the posted distance is incorrect. It states that the Willow Hole trail is a 2.25 mile trail, but it was actually about 4 miles from the split to the end of Willow Hole and back to the sign. So 2.25 miles is neither the one-way nor the round-trip distance.
After a rain, water begins to flow downhill into the Willow Hollow gully, and provides the occasional moisture that a wide variety of desert plants and animals need to survive. We’re pretty sure we saw coyote tracks in the sand. Birds abound. It also makes the Hollow somewhat cooler than surrounding areas.
I love this place. STAY AWAY!
I took this trail today the day after a big all day rainstorm that set records in California. The fun thing about this hike was you were actually hiking through a creek for a little less than a half-mile. You get your feet wet no matter what! Nothing scary, I just wish I thought of going barefoot before socks got wet. Beautiful day. If you go all the way through there is a hidden waterfall with a sketchy approach - so I only heard it. You walk through a beautiful valley.
This hike is everything great that's been written. Many patches of sand along the trail which make the going slower, true, but the scenery's worth. Bring lunch and have it under the dense shade of the willows. High season's hell to park off Park Boulevard so arrive early. Well worth it.