Share:

Lost Horse Mine Hike

Joshua Tree National Park

Western Sonoran + Colorado Desert, California

Start Exploring
Lost Horse Mine Hike

Share:

Advertisement
  • Closed gate indicating the Lost Horse Mine Trailhead.- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • Mojave mound cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis) along the Lost Horse Mine Trail.- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • Desert mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) along the Lost Horse Mine Trail.- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • Desert mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) along the Lost Horse Mine Trail.- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • California evening primrose (oenothera californica) along the Lost Horse Mine Trail.- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • Unidentified species (help us identify by providing feedback).- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • Hiker along the Lost Horse Mine Trail.- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • Mojave mound cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis).- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • Mojave poppy (Eschscholzia glyptosperma).- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • Hikers along the Lost Horse Mine Trail.- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • Stone rubble enclosure/ruin en route to Lost Horse Mine.- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • Notch-leaf Scorpion-weed (Phacelia crenulata).- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • Lost Horse Mine.- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • Lost Horse Mine.- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • View looking down the Lost Horse Road (now the Lost Horse Mine Trail) from the mine.- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • Mine shaft diggings at the Lost Horse Mine.- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • View back north toward the Lost Horse Mine from the trail's saddle.- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • View east toward Pleasant Valley and Malapai Hill (black) from the Lost Horse Mine Trail.- Lost Horse Mine Hike
  • View northwest toward San Gorginio Mountain (11,503 ft) from above Lost Horse Mine.- Lost Horse Mine Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Historic mine originating from 1893. Panoramic views.
Cons: 
Limited parking. Sun exposure.
Advertisement
Region:
Western Sonoran + Colorado Desert, CA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
560.00 ft (170.69 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,585.00 ft (1,397.51 m)
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Smack in the middle of Joshua Tree National Park, this excellent day hike weaves in and out of desert washes, through groves of pristine Joshua trees, among historical sites, and allows for ample extracurricular exploration. In the springtime, the wildflowers ignite the hillsides along the Lost Horse Mine Hike—the quiet desert hills almost feel as though they are breathing.

Although the trail can be a bit difficult to track as it parallels Quail Wash, the hike is relatively well-marked with signage appearing every quarter mile at most. That said, 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.

At the terminus of this gently-graded 4-mile trail sits the Lost Horse Mine. It rivals the Wall Street Mine for the best-preserved historical mines protected within the park. Strewn about the area are relics of the early 20th century miners’ day-to-day lives—keep a sharp eye out for old food storage tins and other miscellaneous items.

Though mining in these and the surrounding hills yielded enough precious metal to spark a second, slightly smaller gold rush, the Lost Horse Mine was purportedly one of the only ones to actually yield productive quantities. According to the National Park Service, this small mine yielded about 10,000 ounces of gold and 16,000 ounces of silver. 

Feeling like going the extra mile? Don’t turn back and do this one as an out-and-back—summit Lost Horse Peak and finish the trail as a loop.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(37 within a 30 mile radius)

Advertisement
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
17 Members
Who's Done It
26 Members
Submission by
Contributor
207 Adventures Explored
182 Adventures Published
Team
1275 Adventures Explored
1273 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info