Lost Horse Loop Trail

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Distance6.2mi
Elevation Gain1,973ft
Trailhead Elevation4,588ft
Top5,143ft
Elevation Min/Max4574/5143ft
Elevation Start/End4588/4588ft

Lost Horse Loop Trail

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.

Lost Horse Loop Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking California's Desert Parks (Falcon Guides)
Bill & Polly Cunningham
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"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." Read more
101 Hikes in Southern California: Exploring Mountains, Seashore and Desert (Wilderness Press)
Jerry Schad and David Money Harris
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"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." Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes: Joshua Tree (Falcon Guides)
Bill Cunningham & Polly Cunningham
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"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." Read more
Afoot and Afield: Inland Empire (Wilderness Press)
David & Jennifer Money Harris
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"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." Read more
100 Classic Hikes in Southern California (The Mountaineers Books)
Allen Riedel
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"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." Read more

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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Lost Horse Loop Trail Photos

Trail Information

Joshua Tree National Park
Nearby City
Joshua Tree National Park
Parks
Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Joshua Tree National Park
Local Contacts
USGS 7.5-minute Indian Cove and Key’s View
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018