The Keys family created one of the most successful homesteads in the Joshua Tree National Park area, and this viewpoint is named for the family and the ranch that sits near the Hidden Valley Nature Trail and campground. From this 5,185-foot overlook in the San Bernardino Mountains you'll gain an excellent view of the Coachella Valley and the the Indio Hills that mark the San Andreas Fault's course through the valley. Keys View is a great spot to contemplate the forces at work here, as you can see the earth rise from near sea level on the valley floor all the way to 10,834-foot summit of Mount San Jacinto. The collision of plates at the fault creates this massive uplift immediately west, the steepest of its kind in the country. Palm Springs sits beneath Mount San Jacinto, and Indo is the town to the south along I-10, its location marking sea level. In fact, this entire Salton Basin would be part of the Gulf of California were it not for the massive deposits made by the Colorado River over millions of years. Because of these deposits, the basin remains below sea level and still dry, at least for the time being. The basin has hosted lakes in the past, as is evidenced by the dry beds and the Salton Sea itself, which is 230 feet below sea level and visible to the south on a clear day.
Keys View is ADA-accessible, and vault toilets are centrally located in the parking lot.