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Lost Horse Loop Trail

Joshua Tree National Park

Western Sonoran + Colorado Desert, California

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Lost Horse Loop Trail

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  • Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) along the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) along the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Scale-bud (Anisocoma acaulis) along the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Desert dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata) along the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • California evening primrose (oenothera californica) along the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Mojave mound cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis) along the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • White tidy-tips (Layia glandulosa) along the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • View back north along the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Hiker along the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • View west toward San Jacinto Peak (10,834 ft) from the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • View southeast near the half-way point of the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • White-margined sandmat (Euphorbia albomarginata) along the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Desert Blue Bells (Phacelia campanularia) along the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Chimney remains from an old mine residence south of Lost Horse Mine.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Miscellaneous remains from an old mine residence south of Lost Horse Mine.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • View east of Pleasant Valley and Malapai Hill (black) from the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Old mine shaft south of the Lost Horse Mine.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Mojave mound cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis) along the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Mojave mound cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis) along the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • First view north of Lost Horse Mine from the summit saddle of the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • View east toward Pleasant Valley and Malapai Hill (black) from the Lost Horse Loop Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Lost Horse Mine.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Lost Horse Mine.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Mine shaft diggings at the Lost Horse Mine.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • View northwest toward San Gorginio Mountain (11,503 ft) from above Lost Horse Mine.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • View looking down the Lost Horse Road (now the Lost Horse Mine Trail) from the mine.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Notch-leaf scorpion-weed (Phacelia crenulata).- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Stone rubble enclosure/ruin en route to the Lost Horse Mine.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Hikers along the Lost Horse Mine Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Hiker along the Lost Horse Mine Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Mojave poppy (Eschscholzia glyptosperma).- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Desert mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) along the Lost Horse Mine Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Mojave mound cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis) along the Lost Horse Mine Trail.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
  • Closed gate indicating the Lost Horse Mine direct-route trailhead.- Lost Horse Loop Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Historic mine, and ruins originating from 1893. Panoramic views.
Cons: 
Limited parking. Sun exposure.
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Region:
Western Sonoran + Colorado Desert, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
560.00 ft (170.69 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
6.20 mi (9.98 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,585.00 ft (1,397.51 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

While many will finish the Lost Horse Mine Hike, turn around and double back down the trail to the parking lot, those skilled in backcountry navigation and with a wild hair should continue the half mile up to Lost Horse Mountain. After some careful scrambling, views from the summit of Lost Horse Mountain (5,313 feet) offer panoramic vistas of the valley, the surrounding hills, and the Wonderland of Rocks to the north.

From here, drop sharply southeast to a pass .4 miles to the Lang Mine. The trail ends at this point, but well-defined trail contours guide you forward, with cairns marking the way every so often.

Negotiate the small hill to the southeast before finding a stone chimney, tailings, and the trail of the Optimist Mine. From here the trail is relatively easy to track back to the parking lot. When it doubt, follow the wash! Don’t neglect to keep a sharp eye out for early 20th century mining relics and elusive desert fauna.

Bringing along a good topo map, a compass or GPS device, and some navigational savviness is ideal. Additionally, as with all desert travel, bring more water than you think you’ll need and expect sometimes excruciatingly hot temperatures with not much reprieve if you travel in late spring to early fall.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

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(37 within a 30 mile radius)

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