December 28, 2012

Hike Review: South Park Peak and High View Trail in Joshua Tree

Location: Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California  near Yucca Valley
Distance: 1 mile and 1.3 miles
Difficulty: easy, kid friendly
Elevation Change: 275 and 400
Time of Year Best: Year round (very hot in summer)
Recommended Map: Joshua Tree National Geo Map

Directions: The parking area is located near Black Rock Canyon Campground in the northeast corner of Joshua Tree National Park.  Just before entering the camp, turn right the dirt road and follow this until it dead ends into a parking lot.  A trail leading north out of the parking lot and into a wash is the South Park Peak loop.  The High View Trail heads south.  The parking area for these hikes is on the border of Joshua Tree National Park and Yucca Valley.  The High View Trail is in the National Park and the peak loop isn't. 

Summary: The South Park Peak loop is just under a mile and climbs 275.  The High View Trail is 1.3 miles and climbs 400 feet.  These are very short, easy hikes that are not without some good heart pumping up hill exercise.  Both are kid friendly and both offer great views.  I hiked this in December.  The mountains to the west were covered in snow.  The temps were perfect and the skies were sunny.

Source: Deserts Summits: A Climbing & Hiking Guide to California & Southern Nevada