Lost Horse Loop Trail is a hiking trail in Riverside County, California. It is within Joshua Tree National Park. It is 6.2 miles long and begins at 4,588 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 12.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,973 feet. Near the trailhead there are restrooms and parking. The Lost Horse Mine and Lost Horse Mine (elevation 5,003 feet) quarries can be seen along the trail.
Lost Horse Loop Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"This multifaceted hike offers something for every hiking enthusiast —a moderate out-and-back to a large mining complex, side trips to several high panoramic points, and a longer more strenuous loop for those wishing to add a bit of adventurous route-finding into the trip. The recommended direction for the loop trip is clockwise. A moderate round-trip in a historic mining district that can be extended for a longer loop trip with optional side trips to a peak and cabin ruins."
--Bill & Polly Cunningham, Hiking California's Desert Parks (Falcon Guides).
"The Lost Horse Mine, one of the few highly profitable gold mines in Southern California, yielded 10,000 ounces of gold between 1894 and 1931. The story of the mine was related by William Keys, a longtime resident of the area. Johnny Lang, a rancher, went looking for his horse that had vanished one night. He learned of the mine from a prospector and bought the rights to the mine for $1,000, naming it Lost Horse."
--Jerry Schad and David Money Harris, 101 Hikes in Southern California: Exploring Mountains, Seashore and Desert (Wilderness Press).
"The hike to this large historic mine site also provides superb views of the Wonderland of Rocks, Malapai Hill, and the vast expanse of Pleasant Valley. The mine is one of the best preserved in Joshua Tree."
--Bill Cunningham & Polly Cunningham, Best Easy Day Hikes: Joshua Tree (Falcon Guides).
"The wide trail, formerly a wagon road, begins at the east end of the parking area. It starts up the wash, but promptly veers left at a sign. Enjoy the junipers, Mojave yuccas, and nolinas that are common throughout this area. The trail tends east beneath a hill strewn with volcanic rocks."
--David & Jennifer Money Harris, Afoot and Afield: Inland Empire (Wilderness Press).
"The hike itself is a gem. It follows a wide old wagon path to the mine, and most sections parallel a wash that crisscrosses the trail numerous times. The way is relatively flat and easy and follows a steady climbing gradient all the way to the mine. A perfectly preserved ten-stamp mill stands at the base of the mine, protected by a chain-link fence, which is unfortunately needed to preserve this legacy from defacement. There are also many remains of lodgings, wells, cisterns, and outbuildings in the area waiting to be explored."
--Allen Riedel, 100 Classic Hikes in Southern California (The Mountaineers Books).
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