Lost Horse Loop Trail

Joshua Tree National Park, California

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4 Reviews
4 out of 5
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.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
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. This trail connects with the following: Big Trees Loop Trail and Lost Horse Mountain.
Activity Type: Hiking, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Joshua Tree National Park
Distance: 6.2
Elevation Gain: 1,973 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 4,588 feet
Top Elevation: 5,143 feet
Accessibility: Kid-friendly
Parks: Joshua Tree National Park
Elevation Min/Max: 4574/5143 ft
Elevation Start/End: 4588/4588 ft

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."

"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."

"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."

"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."

"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."

Lost Horse Loop Trail Reviews

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12/19/2011
Excellent loop trail, which I completed at the end of the day. I was the only one on the trail, but didn't have as much time to explore the mine and cabin areas due time constraints and not wanting to get caught on the trail in the dark. Trail varies from slightly steep to gentle, almost level, down hill portion. Fun little trip, not as strenuous as Ryan Mountain Trail nearby.
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11/15/2008
I thoroughly enjoyed this trail. It takes you through a beautiful Mojave ecosystem while also highlighting the history and culture of the area. My best piece of advice is to make sure you take the time to inspect the mine and, more importantly, go to the top of the little mountain. This provides the best views of the hike. Also, start early it gets very busy quick, especially the portion of the loop that includes the mine trail. By the time I was done, there were cars waiting in line for parking spots.
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4/9/2004
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12/27/2001
The trail was wonderful. nice and easy, with a small chalenging climb up hill near the mind. The history and the atmosphere is a wonderful experience.
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Jun 2018