Boy Scout Trail

From the trail head, you progress downhill, through picturesque, sandy washes lined with oak and pine trees. Traveling through a variety of terrain, this trail can also be taken one-way in either direction. The latter portion skirts a rocky mountainside, then finishes through open desert, ending up at the Indian Cove Ranger Station and backcountry board. 16 miles RT. Moderate. Access: Keys West backcountry board, 6 1/2 miles east of the West Entrance Station.

California Riding and Hiking Trail


Marked by distinctive brown posts stenciled with "CRH," the many miles of this trail pass through distinct areas of the park, from pinyon and juniper forests to flat, lower desert terrain. In general, traveling from west to east is easier than the reverse, because the western sections are at higher elevations. Hiking the entire trail takes 2 to 4 days, but you can break it into sections ranging from 4.4 to 11 miles. In deciding which of the six access points to use, your best bet is to consult with park rangers and obtain a topographical map to help you stay on track. Up to 35 miles one way. Easy to strenuous. Access: 6 points along the trail.

Lost Horse Mine

This trail leads to the ruins of the area's most successful mining operation. Well-preserved remnants include the steam engine that powered the machinery, a winch for lowering equipment into the mine, settling tanks, and stone building foundations. The trail, actually an old wagon road, winds gradually up through rolling hills; once there, you can take an additional short, steep hike to the hilltop behind the ruins for a fine view into the heart of the park. Hikers with children should keep a watchful eye around the mine ruins. Hikers can head back the way they came or continue on a loop trail that is 6.2 miles. 4 miles RT. Moderate. Access: End of a dirt road leading from Keys View Rd., 2 1/2 miles south of its junction with Park Blvd.


Lost Palms Oasis

This long trail leads through sandy washes and rolling hills to the oasis overlook. A steep, rugged, and strenuous trail then continues to the canyon bottom. Whether or not you're up to the entire challenge, the beauty of birdsong and rustling palms echoing through the canyon makes this a special hike. Lost Palms is the park's largest oasis; look closely for elusive bighorn sheep in the remote canyon bottom. 7.2 miles RT. Moderate. Access: Park at Cottonwood Spring, accessible by paved road just beyond the Cottonwood Campground.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.