At the terminus of a gradual 4-mile round-trip trail is the Lost Horse Mine ten-stamp mill and foundation. This is one of the best-preserved mills under National Park protection. Lost Horse Mine was one of the few mineral speculations in Joshua Tree National Park to be productive. According to the NPS, The mine yielded approximately 10,000 ounces of gold and 16,000 ounces of silver.
Lost Horse Mine
The hike to Lost Horse Mine is gentle with just a slight uphill grade. There are Joshua trees and yucca along the trail, and the surrounding landscape really comes alive during wildflower season. Outside of that time, the surrounding boulder strewn ridges can actually become monotonous en route to Lost Horse Mine.
From the trailhead, Lost Horse Mine Trail heads east, before turning southeast toward Lost Horse Mine. After a few miles, the trail will begin to cling to the north side of a rocky slope. Wrap around a pair of ravines to spot Lost Horse Mine. The tall, intact mill is enclosed by a chain-link fence, so you must admire it from a safe distance.
If you hike to Lost Horse Mine, it is advised to go the extra mile, or in this case the extra third of a mile, and continue up the steep ridge behind the mine to a vast overlook. You can return the way you came or follow a loop back to the trailhead. The loop is described in detail in Hiking California’s Desert Parks by Bill and Polly Cunningham. No permit is required to hike to Lost Horse Mine, so get out and enjoy!
To get to the trailhead: From Park Boulevard, take Keys View Road south 2.4 miles and turn left onto a dirt road leading to the trailhead for Lost Horse Mine.
Trailhead address: Unnamed Road to Lost Horse Mine Trail off Keys View Road, Joshua Tree National Park, CA 92277
Trailhead coordinates: 33.950685, -116.159805 (33° 57′ 02.46″N 116° 09′ 35.29″W)
Use the map below to create your own directions:
View California Desert Hikes in a larger map
This 1.2-mile hike leaves the crowds at Keys View for even grander views at a 5,550-foot summit that looks out on the Coachella Valley, the Salton Sea, Mount San Jacinto, and much of Joshua Tree National Park.
This one mile loop circles the interior of a small valley surrounded by tall rocks that serves as an excellent bouldering arena.
This 3-mile round-trip hike offers summit views from the center of Joshua Tree National Park.
This 0.8 or 1.2-mile round trip hike visits the ruins of an old adobe homestead beneath Ryan Mountain.
|Desert Queen Mine|
This 1.6-mile hike follows a level trail to an overlook before crossing a canyon to visits the ruins of one the most profitable gold mines in the California desert.
|Lucky Boy Vista|
This level 2.5-mile hike visits a modest overlook at the site of an old mine.
|Wall Street Mill|
This level 1.55 to 2.15-mile hike visits a well-reserved gold mill, exploring the mining history of Joshua Tree National Park.
This level 1.5-mile loop visits a small foreign-looking reservoir within the Wonderland of Rocks.
This 3.9-mile hike ascends 700 feet up a wash, a canyon, and an old road to a mountainside mine site that offers a glimpse into the mining history of Joshua Tree.
|Fortynine Palms Oasis|
The 3-mile round trip hike visits a cool desert oasis.
The 101-site campground is home to a 0.6-mile interpretive trail and endless bouldering and rock climbing opportunities.
This 5.5-mile hike summits a peak with impressive views over the west side of Joshua Tree.
|Cholla Cactus Garden|
This quarter-mile loop allows visitors to stroll through an intense concentration of cholla cacti.
This 2.6-mile loop visits a 3,400-foot summit with panoramic views of southeastern Joshua Tree.
|Lost Palms Oasis|
This 7.2-mile hike visits a desert oasis nestled between mountains in the southeast corner of the park.
|Hikes in the California Desert|
Explore more trails in Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and Mojave National Preserve.
|Joshua Tree Campgrounds|
There are nine campgrounds with 500 total sites spread throughout the park to facilitate your visit.
|Joshua Tree Wildflowers|
The desert in bloom is something any outdoor enthusiast in California should see.