Explore the most popular hiking 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.

4 months ago

Really enjoyed this trail. Hiked it Memorial Day weekend, which was warm but not crazy hot. It took us about 90 mins to get to the Willow Hole, taking plenty of pictures along the way. So cool to see all the different types of plants in the desert. Enjoyed having the shady area to rest in before heading back. We saw some sort of reptile rustling around in the sand and leaves near the willows. Pretty cool. Also saw a jackrabbit on the way back. The way back was a little quicker since it was warmer and we wanted to get back to the car. Bring plenty of water and protect yourself from the sun.

Starting out takes you across flat desert for a mile or so. After that, you get into the Wonderland of Rocks. It lives up to its name. Winding, rocky trail with different formations at every turn. It was a fun, moderate hike.

6 months ago

A very nice hike through many zones of the park. Great to park a car at Indian Cove then drive back and start from the top so most of the hike is downhill.

No sign in at the trailhead and the parking area is for day use only, no over night parking. Probably a great hike though if you get there early enough.

7 months ago

I would recommend starting this trail at the opposite end and maybe turning around after the slot canyon. The views were much better a couple miles in, although the slot canyon was fun.
Sand makes for a little tougher ascent but it’s gradual so not too bad.
What I loved about this trail is the fact that it is less visited and you can go miles without seeing anyone.

I really liked this trail. It's very scenic once you get off the Boy Scout Trail. Not a lot of ups and down, but at the end there is plenty of rocks to scale and places to explore. At the end of the trail, if you break left under the willows, there is a natural running stream deep down under the rocks. This area is where we also observed 2 adult and one child Big Horn Sheep.

8 months ago

Very long and flat desert trek with not much variation until the final 1/4. Final destination is underwhelming. Not nearly as interesting or rewarding as other JT hikes.

8 months ago

Well-maintained trail with very little elevation gain (but beware of a lot of sand). Pretty views, especially with a snow-capped San Jac in the distance! Lots of rocks to scramble on along the way as well. Perfect intro to Joshua Tree scenery.

9 months ago

Great scenery. Lots of sand

9 months ago

Just completed this hike today. it was a fun hike with different scenery than other trails I've done. Flat trail with very little elevation change. The water at the end was dry, but you can tell that there definitely is water under the soil.

Fun trail. Canyons, open desert, washes. All the desert hiking you could ask for!

9 months ago

Wonderful views of mountains and huge rock structures. Little elevation gain made for an easy hike. +\- 4 hours - we sat at the end of the trail for a few to drink in the view. Majority of the trail is sandy. Would definitely do again.

Mostly flat and a lot more wide open space the first 1/2 than I anticipated. After you turn off the boyscout trail onto willow there was a camper - not sure it was legal for them to camp there. Once you hit the wonderland of rocks it is quite pretty and not crowded so for a holiday weekend I had a great time and beat the crowds because I started around 8:30/9:00.

Beautiful! Great as a first hike to get an impression of the wonders of Joshua Tree.

first two thirds of the trail is awesome. the last third wasn't so much. family had fun though.

on Big Pine Trail

10 months ago

Enjoyed this trail in the end of November.
The first mile and the last mile back (because it is a out and back trial) was a little harder because this is all sand.

But the rest was definitely okay!

10 months ago

This out and back trail is not too strenuous and takes you through an awesome canyon wash. Be prepared to walk in loose sand. If you are out of shape this will challenge you. The approach could be considered boring to some people but for me the Joshua Tree forest and the sweeping views make the beginning just as epic as the canyon. The trail ends at a stand of giant willow trees, which seem to have no business being there. Near the end you enter into a giant wash and if you look to your right there is a few bushed blocking a path to a little boulder cave. It is nice and cool as it is shady and a breeze is channeled through the canyon. It is a great lunch spot. We completed this trail in about 2.5 hours but we stopped and explored a lot. It could be done much faster.

10 months ago

Really enjoyed this trail for its diversity and options to combine with other trails. Did the Maze trail out to connect with Big Pine, a very pretty but easy walk. Indeed it’s the journey not the destination. Did the North View Trail back which was more challenging due to elevation changes but definitely well worth it for the views and incredible rock formations. Only saw two other people on the entire trail. Was very glad to have this app to verify the trail route as a few points are a bit deceptive particularly on the North View trail. Enjoy!!

Very Beautiful. The best views are gotten by trudging through the sand. I️ wish I️ had worn shoes with a higher ankle profile.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Great hike. I would definitely do it again. I really enjoyed the hike it starts off in a Joshua Tree forest then ends in a canyon with some amazing rock formations.

Monday, October 02, 2017

did this hike in 2016, was amazing, best part it rained on us while in the desert. No flash floods thankfully, but enough to leave us in wonder.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

I put most of Big Pine together with North View and Maze for a good walk. I was glad to get out of the sandy areas, loved climbing around in the rocks (didn't know that the trail ended where it did so just kept crawling down...). Nothing too difficult.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The first part of this trail was basically the same as the fist half of the Boyscout trail. Mostly desert. A little over half way in, you start seeing more green and trees due to the extra moisture in the area. It really begins to look like an oasis. Unfortunately, from this point onward you are hiking in a wide wash with super deep sand. Not fun with a full backpack and several gallons of water. The end of the trail has a couple of water pools that may either be, or appear to be just mud. But right before you get there, you pass under a few willow trees which are probably the best part of the whole trail. Absolutely beautiful place to stop and have lunch in the cool shade of the rustling willows (if you don't mind sharing the spot with a few passers by since this trail is fairly busy).

You can hike beyond the springs and into rattlesnake canyon if you don't mind scrambling some boulders. If you go far to the left immediately after entering rattlesnake canyon, you'll see the deepest spring, and the one most likely to have actual water in it (looked to be several feet deep when I visited). Beyond that the canyon continues dropping. Very scenic with lots of cactus.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hiked quite a number of trails in Joshua Tree last week and this was our favorite. The East end of the trail intersects the Boy Scout Trail at near the half-way point on the Boy Scout Trail. Probably because of this, the trail appears to be very lightly used. Several short loop trails are available off the Big Pine Trail at around the mid-way point.

The trail starts off (on the East end) following a wash with very steep rock walls on either side for about a half mile, then it opens up. At this point, there is a fantastic spot for secluded and hidden back-country camping if you scramble the low ridge to your right into a small valley.

From here the trail becomes very beautiful, moving between several different mini valleys, each with their own scenery to offer. About 2 miles up the trail, there is a Y and a sign that points to "Big Pine Spur" to the right. About another half mile gets you to the dead pine tree. You can continue down the wash and scramble some boulders for a view of the town of Joshua Tree. This spur trail is somewhat hard to follow but you can very quickly see the gap where the pine tree is located so just go in that general direction.

We saw probably 15 people on the Boyscout Trail but not a single person on the Big Pine trail. We didn't explore the section that goes East from the spur junction so can't comment on that.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

first half was gorgeous but the second half through the sand wash was really unpleasant..
The mud pit at the end did not reward the hard work.. just not worth going further once u hit the sand

Sunday, February 26, 2017

A long walk to heaven

on Willow Hole Trail

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Easy wide flat and scenic.

Monday, January 23, 2017

We hiked it two days ago. A Sunny day and due to previous days of rain it was getting greener up and water flowed. it was awesome!

Saturday, January 21, 2017


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!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Lots of gorgeous views. The trail is clear and well maintained.

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