Carey’s Castle

Indio, California

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A prospector named Carey worked a mine in the remote Eagle Mountains in the 1940s. Near his mine, he built his “castle,” a one-room dwelling under an overhanging boulder. Now within the border of Joshua Tree National Park at the head of Red Butte Wash, Carey’s Castle has become a legendary destination for adventurous hikers. Getting to the castle involves 4 miles of spectacular cross-country travel up the twisty wash. The mountains are full of outlandish rock formations and exotic desert vegetation; they are especially attractive when the desert bursts into bloom after the winter storms. Solid navigational skills are necessary to locate the hidden site; a GPS receiver is handy but good old-fashioned route-finding is perfectly sufficient.

Carey’s Castle Professional Review and Guide

"A prospector named Carey worked a mine in the remote Eagle Mountains in the 1940s. Near his mine, he built his “castle,” a one-room dwelling under an overhanging boulder. Now within the border of Joshua Tree National Park at the head of Red Butte Wash, Carey’s Castle has become a legendary destination for adventurous hikers. Getting to the castle involves 4 miles of spectacular cross-country travel up the twisty wash. The mountains are full of outlandish rock formations and exotic desert vegetation; they are especially attractive when the desert bursts into bloom after the winter storms. Solid navigational skills are necessary to locate the hidden site; a GPS receiver is handy but good old-fashioned route-finding is perfectly sufficient."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Indio
Distance: 8
Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 6 hours
Season: October-April
Local Contacts: Joshua Tree National Park

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