Hole-in-the-Wall

Baker, California

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1 Review
3 out of 5
This short but unforgettable hike leads through a rugged slot canyon and onto yucca-studded flats surrounded by volcanic cliffs and buttes. This short hike may be the most exciting and spectacular in all Mojave National Preserve. The Rings Trail passes through a very narrow slot in a cliff of volcanic rock, descends to the ominously named gorge of Banshee Canyon, then opens up into lower Wild Horse Canyon, a beautiful valley embraced by volcanic cliffs and buttes. Although the Rings Trail is potentially dangerous, it’s not as difficult as it may first appear. Anyone with even a little scrambling experience will enjoy the exciting descent into Banshee Canyon. The route is, however, not recommended for small children.

Hole-in-the-Wall Professional Review and Guide

"This short but unforgettable hike leads through a rugged slot canyon and onto yucca-studded flats surrounded by volcanic cliffs and buttes. This short hike may be the most exciting and spectacular in all Mojave National Preserve. The Rings Trail passes through a very narrow slot in a cliff of volcanic rock, descends to the ominously named gorge of Banshee Canyon, then opens up into lower Wild Horse Canyon, a beautiful valley embraced by volcanic cliffs and buttes. Although the Rings Trail is potentially dangerous, it’s not as difficult as it may first appear. Anyone with even a little scrambling experience will enjoy the exciting descent into Banshee Canyon. The route is, however, not recommended for small children."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Baker
Distance: 2
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 1 hour
Season: Best March through May and October through November
Trailhead Elevation: 4,280 feet
Top Elevation: 4,280 feet
Local Contacts: Mojave National Preserve
Local Maps: USGS Columbia Mountain

Hole-in-the-Wall Reviews

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12/27/2004
This fun trail commences adjacent to the picnic area at the Hole in the Wall visitor center. Though it is touted in the guidebooks as the "most exciting" hike in the MNP, the real draw is the initial descent through volcanic ash flows that have weathered into some amazing and interesting features. Though it was momentarily fun to descend through two steep drops within the slotted canyon on the existing iron rings, the trail eventually opened onto a relative flat plain within Wild Horse Canyon that is easy strolling. The vegetation within the Wild Horse Canyon is grazed by cattle, so there are significant components of non-native vegetation interspersed with native veg. I think the areas further north towards Mid Hills campground showcase relatively unspoiled habitat that better exemplify the regional ecology. Nevertheless, panoramic views and beautiful barrel cacti, cholla, and yucca abound along the trail. The weather was gusty, chilly (~40 deg F), grey and threatening rain, so I didn't explore as much as I had hoped to.
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Jun 2018