Joshua Tree National Park: Lost Horse Mine - Backpacker

Joshua Tree National Park: Lost Horse Mine

Explore a desert moonscape of otherworldly cacti on this 4.2-mile hike to an abandoned gold prospect. Take plenty of water and sunscreen.
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Trail Facts

  • Distance: 3.3



Location: 33.9509010314941, -116.152603149414

Views of exposed granite monoliths. Look for stark, metamorphic rock patterns in a terrain of playas & desert varnish


Location: 33.9456214904785, -116.145401000977

Views of Pleasant Valley through rugged canyons. Warning: 6 species of rattlers live among Calif. junipers


Location: 33.9409408569336, -116.137702941895

Turn R @ Y to loop around mine, or scramble straight over boulders


Location: 33.9406204223633, -116.137603759766

L @ Y, head N around mine; take in undulating land to S, note junction of Colorado and Sonoran Deserts, with spiky ocotillo plants and jumping cholla cactus


Location: 33.9411811828613, -116.136901855469

R @ Y; spur trail to L. Optional 2-mi., out-and-
back SE traverse of Lost Horse Mtn. for panoramic views of Pleasant Valley and Hexie Mtns.


Location: 33.9404182434082, -116.137298583984

L @ Y; retrace route to car. Bighorns may hide in east-facing valleys


Location: 33.9421997070312, -116.140502929688

Enjoy superb views of Malapai Hill in the only shade on the whole hike


Location: 33.9487609863281, -116.149398803711

Bighorn sheep refuge nearby; Little Bernardino Mtns. to W


Location: 33.950870513916, -116.159896850586

Start @ SE end of road. L @ first Y. Hike into sparse piñon scrub and ancient alluvial fans


Location: 33.9418067932129, -116.137298583984

Crest of abandoned Lost Horse (5,278 ft.), site of 10-stamp mill. Many uncovered mineshafts; watch footing

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