— as spring pertains to a sweltering close we want to highlight among the better places, hikes, and vibes in California. Joshua Tree nationwide Park is known for mesmerizing desert landscapes, world-class absent climbing, and also the top spiked tree the grows in many on the land.

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Spring yes, really is the finish of the visiting season in ~ Joshua Tree as temperatures start to rise right into the 90s and above. Summer is not a friendly location at this stunning park, therefore the end of May and beginning of June has tendency to it is in the final time to visit prior to fall comes around.

Even v all the potential heat, Joshua Tree is getting much more and an ext crowded each year. We decided to to mark a trail the is much more off the grid than some of the rather so that even if you’re camping v a bunch of other people, you can acquire a day hike that’s mostly secluded.

The north View, Maze Loop, and home window Rock Trails

The different trailheads provided above incorporate to kind one 7 mile loop v a ar of Joshua Tree. Just a few years back these trails were not very well marked and therefore complicated to navigate and find. The Park has included signage due to the fact that then, yet still that is not the most apparent trail in the world.

A big portion of that is because of the herbal environment. This is a desert that’s full of sand and also rocks. Those room the worst two facets to have when it come leaving well-marked trails, as cairns often tend to blow over and blazes can’t yes, really be rooted right into anything. Joshua Tree likes to save the trail rather obscure as well, so over there aren’t posts every 100 feet telling you which means to turn.

What we’re saying is be aware, have a map, and also let the rangers know you’re going for a hike in the Maze. It’s called that because that a reason.

You’ll gain and lose about 400 feet in elevation over the 7 miles and also reach peaks that administer incredible see of the whole National Park and Mt. San Gorgonio in the distance, if it’s a clear day. The classic rock formations, wild expanse that land, and Joshua Trees will certainly all be present.


Getting There

If you’re driving into Joshua Tree national Park you’ll want to head come the northwestern entrance, specifically the entrance in ~ the phibìc Visitor Center. You’ll desire to obtain onto Park Blvd and continue into the nationwide Park. You’ll cross v the West Entrance and see the Mile mite 24 about 1.7 mile after entering. You will see a tiny dirt parking lot on the side of the roadway with a pair signs — this is the trailhead.

If you’re already in the Park — say, at hidden Valley Campground or Jumbo Rocks Campground — you’ll desire to drive as if you’re heading the end of the West Entrance and stop here prior to exiting. Just a couple of campgrounds space on this road — the key ones, Indian Cove Campground and Black rock Campground, room accessed via different roads.

Once you’ve got to the trailhead you’ll see indications for Maze Loop Trail. There room two main trails the branch the end of this small area: Maze Loop and also North view or North Canyon, depending upon the direction you’re heading. This loop complies with Maze Loop and eventually hits North watch Trail, but if you want you might start on phibìc View and eventually come approximately to Maze Loop. Either way, the hike is roughly 7 miles, will certainly take 4-5 hours, and provides a heavy workout.

Maze Loop in Joshua Tree national Park

In recent years this trail has actually been a little an ext built up, therefore it will certainly be clear when you’re top top Maze Loop. You take it this and are immediately collection in the Joshua Tree landscape v low-lying shrub and strange rock formations. Take it the Maze Loop trail simply under 2 mile until it hits the window Loop Trail. Follow home window Loop, i m sorry will start to gain in elevation.

The rocky outcroppings in the window Loop ar of this hike room incredible, and also are named for a certain square-cut window formation. Make certain to point out this, and also if you have actually your bearings and also aren’t breathing also hard, try scrambling up few of these formations.


The window Loop will curve earlier around and also eventually reconnect through the Maze Loop. Don’t follow the Maze Loop ago (it would take you mostly west, a little south). Friend will want to continue straight in ~ this juncture, and in ~ the next Maze Loop trace split, too. The Maze Loop trace is basically a big box, and you’re adding two separate trails around this box.

Eventually you will hit the North watch Trail and a junction at huge Pine Trail. Large Pine leads in the direction of Indian Cove Campground — don’t head the way. Proceed on North check out Trail for the rest of her hike. You will obtain the most elevation throughout this leg, getting accessibility to Copper mountain View and also West Hills View, each of which give you a various panoramic the the neighboring land.

This component of the hike is a tiny strenuous, so make sure to eat and also hydrate together you start the climb.

The North view Trail will reduced south after climbing and head earlier to the initial trailhead.

Resources and Safety

As we’ve said, in current years the Park has increased signage for all of these trails. Over there shouldn’t be an issue when in reality coming come a brand-new trail — this will be marked. However, there are big stretches that space sandy or on flat rock, so no real trail can be sculpted out like there would be in a forest.

It is necessary to lug a map, compass, and also have a basic understanding of the land before embarking on her trip. Make sure to monitor cairns wherein you deserve to (stacked rocks or various other objects), though make sure you room able to deduce a man-made cairn indigenous a herbal rock formation. Water is crucial in Joshua Tree, and also you should not leave without a day’s supply.

While this trek really goes about the Maze, if you setup to scramble or endeavor into the rockier sections, make certain you know just how to obtain back. Going through a companion is strong recommended.

There room a number of excellent resources on this hike, though some room outdated. Likewise, the national Park page does no list this as an main hike, so ask the rangers around it as soon as you arrive.

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While us billed this as a spring Hike, you have the right to do the Maze Loop in Joshua Tree nationwide Park in fall and winter as well. Summer is not much of one option, uneven you like excessive heat.

Images in order: Joshua Tree nationwide Park by Christopher Michel via Flickr; Trail accessibility and window Loop screenshots courtesy Smoky Scout’s long Adventures, All rights Reserved