Warren Peak is a high point on the western edge of the Little San Bernardino Mountains in Joshua Tree National Park. Located away from Park Boulevard, Warren Peak offers private peace of mind and near endless views. A 5.5-mile round trip hike to the 5,103-foot summit begins from Black Rock Campground, the only campground in the park where visitors can sleep surrounded by Joshua trees. Joshua trees are plentiful along the start of the trail to Warren Peak. Higher up, you’ll find Pinyon pines and panoramic views.
Park at the campground visitor center, and walk to the trailhead to the left of campsite 30. The trail has several junctions, so follow these directions:
- When you reach the water tank 0.2 miles from the trailhead, turn left and make an immediate right on the single-track trail continuing east across undulating desert.
- After another 0.4 miles, turn right up the wash in the center of Black Rock Canyon (and get ready for your pace to slow in the sand). From this point on, you will make a right at each forthcoming junction, following signs labeled WP for Warren Peak.
- After 0.8 miles up the wash, the trail passes through the diminutive Black Rock Spring before continuing another 0.2 miles to a fork where the Panorama Loop breaks off to the left. Turn right here.
- Make another right at a second fork, 0.4 miles later, where Panorama Loop rejoins the trail.
- After another 1/3 of a mile, the trail reaches a Y labeled WV-WP. To the left is the spur to Warren View. Take the right fork toward Warren Peak, which is now just 0.4 miles and 400 feet away.
The trail ascends the ridgeline east of the peak and takes a somewhat steep and rugged climb to the summit. Warren Peak offers a great view of the Mojave Desert to the north and the Coachella Valley to the south. Also to the south is Mount San Jacinto, the prominent 10,834-foot peak that rises above Palm Springs. To the west is Mount San Gorgonio, a 11,499-foot peak that is the highest point in Southern California. To the east is Eureka Peak and lower summits in the Little San Bernardino Mountains in Joshua Tree National Park. Warren Peak offers quite a view of these impressive Mountains.
Enjoy a moment of solitude on this less-visited summit, before returning the way you came. On the way back, you’ll be happy to find a sign at the junction where the wash meets the trail heading back to the water tank. The sign points to the left toward West Side Loop (Upper Campground). Turn left here. Everything else is self-explanatory – and downhill – so get out and enjoy the hike to Warren Peak!
To get to the trailhead: From Route 62 in the city of Yucca Valley, turn south on Joshua Lane (5.8 miles west of the intersection with Park Boulevard). Drive 4.6 miles to the end of the road and turn right onto San Marino Drive, which curves to the left and becomes Black Rock Road. Go up this pothole-filled road for a mile to reach Black Rock Campground. Park at the visitor center and find the start of the trail next to campsite 30.
Trailhead address: 9800 Black Rock Canyon Road, Joshua Tree National Park, Yucca Valley, CA 92284
Trailhead coordinates: 34.07155, -116.3909 (34° 04′ 17.6″N 116° 23′ 27.2″W)
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