This short loop visits a natural arch within the granite formations surrounding White Tank Campground in Joshua Tree National Park. The 0.3-mile hike is a must for anyone staying at White Tank and is an easy and enjoyable stroll for visitors traveling down Pinto Basin Road.
To reach the trailhead, enter White Tank Campground and take the left split in the road. The trail begins alongside campsite nine, and day use parking is available near site fifteen (at the end of the loop). The arch is an eighth of a mile up the trail and easy to spot. Take your time getting to Arch Rock and read the placards along the trail that describe the geological history that contributed to the creation of the arch.
The single-track provides a side-view of Arch Rock, and a few steps off trail puts hikers right below the rock span. Climb right up and touch it if you like. Arch Rock is about 30-feet across and shaped somewhat like a brontosaurus. Though certainly not in the same league as the spans in Arches National Park, Arch Rock is still a fascinating formation.
Past the arch, the trail curves to the left, circling back to the campground to complete the brief loop. This is a level, easy, and family-friendly hike. Arches are always cool to see, so go check it out. Joshua Tree National Park has an entrance fee, but no permit is required to hike to Arch Rock.
To get to the trailhead: From the intersection with Park Boulevard and Pinto Basin Road, 4.5 miles south of the north entrance, head west on Pinto Basin Road for 2.7 miles to White Tank Campground. Enter the campground and proceed to the trailhead near site #9.
Trailhead address: White Tank Campground, Pinto Basin Road, Joshua Tree National Park, CA 92277
Trailhead coordinates: 33.9852, -116.01655 (33° 59′ 06.7″N 116° 00′ 59.6″W)
You may also view a regional map of surrounding California Desert trails and campgrounds.
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|Hikes in the California Desert |
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The desert in bloom is something any outdoor enthusiast in California should see.