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 view the trail and get directions:
Or view California Desert trails and campgrounds in a larger map
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