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

Beautiful, easy hike. Just wish it was a bit more off the road. I always see chuckwallas and last time a 4 foot diamondback

Worth doing along with the other loop around there. Not great but it's giving you a good feel of this area, and it's fairly short

Honestly, I think the skull rock is the only interesting rock on this trail, but the only one worth five stars.

Incredible and easy. Terrain changes from open and flat to Boulders and rock formations.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a challenging, unmarked "trail" that is perhaps a little more than "moderate", read: not great for younger or inexperienced hikers. The majority of the route involves scrambling over large boulders including some substantial obstacles in the eastern gorge. Travel time for two adults and one ambitious 11 year old was 4 hours excluding the final climb to the peak. I've done this hike twice and the view from the peak is impressive and a little nerve-wrecking due to a substantial dropoff on the north face.

The landscape is incredible. The trail is a “raiders for the lost ark” expedition- if you don’t have gps and AllTrails you will have no idea where you are. This trail seemed much more than ‘moderate ‘ going up the boulder gorge at the beginning. I just wish it wouldn’t have bested me and I could have completed it. We abandoned the boulder gorge and went around the backside of the loop but ran out of daylight

Definitely more “touristy” due to the short length and ease of the hike, but still fun to see. Would recommend doing this either earlier or later in the day to beat or follow the crowds as there is sometimes some congestion around Skull Rock. Climbing on the surrounding rocks is fun and a good way to get away from some of the people in the trail.

Easy hike and kids could free climb fun boulder mountains

A fantastic overnighter (Indian Cove-Willow Hole-back). One of the better trails for a moderate backpack trip in JT and nice for a solo excursion. All the uphill is near the beginning at Indian Cove, followed by cathedrals of rock formations. Going in ~5 miles to camp in the rocks is nice, then ~13 miles to Willow Hole and back.

Tips: Camping is only on the west side of the Boy Scout trail and not allowed on the Willow Hole trail. There's a lot of sandy washes so gaiters might be good. Midweek is nice and quiet. Take sun protection seriously and pack lots of water! That's standard fare for JT but being 6+ miles from anything means "for reals."

This was probably my sons favorite trail as there were so many cool rock formations to climb. To get the full loop you hike into Jumbo Rocks campground and head toward the main road. You catch the last part of the loop on the opposite side of the road. Don’t miss this part of the loop! It’s super cool terrain!

I love this place,
so much to explore,
Great sunsets from the top of the boulders!!

I love this place

hiking
2 months ago

So cool!! We had a great time walking along the trail and watching others climb the rocks.

Beautiful!! Slightly uphill the whole way but awesome view everywhere — I ran 1 hour in but next time I’d like to run 1:20 in so pretty!!

You can see Skull Rock without doing the hike since it can be seen from the road (Park Blvd) and you can park on the side of the road and walk less than 50 ft to reach it. I used the All Trails app and did the loop hike which is 1.7 miles if you stay on the trail but it is hard to resist going off trail to explore the boulders and check out the views from the tops of the boulders you are comfortable climbing. Our hike ended up being about 2.1 miles RT. We then drove to the start of the Split Rock trail but that is so close that you could go do that loop without even driving since it is right next to Skull Rock.

hiking
3 months ago

This was a short easy trail, suitable for families with small children. Which there were quite a few just climbing and playing on the rocks. Skull rock is pretty cool to see in person and worth stopping by to snap a couple pictures with it.

Pretty little nature trail with signs describing the plants. Perfect for families, but a bit too over crowded for me! Great spot for some rock scrambling, though.

Trail is well marked, as well as unremarkable. Wash running uphill with a few rocks here and there. Found dirty water at willow hole. Cool rock formations once there. This would be an awesome trail to do right after a big rain, as the majority of it is in a wash.

Nice easy trail. The road/campground part was a little boring and not well marked.

Xelent place to camp & boulder hooping

More of a view

Easy kid friendly and short hike with lots of spots where you can go off trail for a bit and climb some of the impressive rock formations. We were here at dusk and it was beautiful!

Nice trail, beautiful views of the rock formations in JTNP. Good for families.

Best hike to do while passing through from LA to PHX

hiking
5 months ago

Short nature walk, good for almost all skill levels. The trail is a little tricky where it crosses the road (not super well marked), but the skull rock at the end is pretty cool

Mainly bouldering

rock climbing
5 months ago

It has been many years, but typically this area was great for rock climbing in the Winter Only! Than in the Summer folks would typically use Idylwild: taquit and suicide rock. I was instructed by a world class climber, makes a difference believe me. I don't know what kind of fees, permits, reservations etc are involved these days, there was no administrative protocol back in the day. Just do it.

hiking
6 months ago

Skull Rock was very cool to see in person. If you don't feel like doing the 1.7 mile hike you can park along side the rock on the main road and walk up.

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