Rock Springs Loop

Mojave Desert, California

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Rock Springs Loop


  • Rock Spring Trailhead.- Rock Springs Loop
  • Visitors are immediately welcomed to walk the trails.- Rock Springs Loop
  • A nicely situated picnic table provides a shady respite in the hot desert.- Rock Springs Loop
  • Beavertail cactus is just one of several species of cactus in the Mojave.- Rock Springs Loop
  • Along the trail there are big views in every direction.- Rock Springs Loop
  • After a heavy rain you will find water at the Rock Spring.- Rock Springs Loop
  • The rock house, built in 1929, is a testament to some hardy residents of the Mojave Desert.- Rock Springs Loop
  • Clusters of berries grow on the California juniper.- Rock Springs Loop
  • Sprigs of color pop up in the springtime.- Rock Springs Loop
  • When the trail reaches this rock wall, turn right and look for the spring.- Rock Springs Loop
  • Running water is a rare find on this dry desert.- Rock Springs Loop
  • Mushrooms called shaggy manes sprout from desert sand after heavy rainfall.- Rock Springs Loop
  • Yucca flowers brighten up the dull landscape.- Rock Springs Loop
  • Wispy clouds swirl above the Mojave Desert.- Rock Springs Loop
  • The rock house blends in with the arid landscape of the Mojave.- Rock Springs Loop
  • Look closely at the craftsmanship of the stout rock house.- Rock Springs Loop
Overview + Weather
Quiet. Seasonal wildflowers.
Remote. Very little shade.
Mojave Desert, CA
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
120.00 ft (36.58 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
100.00 ft (30.48 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Rock Spring is one of several springs that pop up in the Mojave Desert, providing much needed water to residents and passersby. The spring was home to Native American tribes, a short-lived military outpost in the 19th century, and a couple of homesteaders in the 20th century. 

The short trail passes several interpretive signs that tell the natural and human history at the spring. The first sight you'll see is the Rock House, a sturdy structure that provided a home for a sick war veteran in the early 1900s and an artist in the 1980s. The shrubs, trees, and burrows surrounding the trail have provided shelter for the native animals for many centuries. On your visit, you're likely to see a number of lizards scurrying from one shady patch to another and jack rabbits bounding away as they sense you coming.

Continue along the trail to explore the natural spring. Wander up the wash and see if you can find running water. If you do, you're likely to see some wildflowers, critters, and maybe even some mushrooms nearby.

After visiting the spring, the trail passes the site of an old army camp that was infamous for being a particularly hostile site for its inhabitants. Many military personnel defected due to its remote location and scarcity of water.

As you round out the loop, enjoy views of the New York Mountains to the north. Enjoy some shade near the trailhead at the lone picnic table. And savor the peaceful solitude of this desert trail.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

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