Quail Spring Basin Trail

Needles, California 92363

Quail Spring Basin Trail

Quail Spring Basin Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This hike in the south end of the Providence Mountains takes you on a gentle slope up from the valley floor, enabling you to see the panorama of this central Mojave region without climbing a mountain. The view of the Kelso Dunes, the Granite Range, and the Providence Mountains makes the first 2 miles of the hike (and the last two) most spectacular. Closer at hand, the first section of the hike travels through brittlebush and creosote bush, with mounds of monzogranite piled in fantastic shapes as a backdrop to the east. These are soaring boulders in a cathedral-like setting, and vertical columnar granite reaches hundreds of feet over you. In addition to their size, the boulders have been eroded into imaginative shapes, producing holes and caverns as well as cartoon representations of mice, skulls, and faces. The peaks of these granite mountains look impressive as you hike up the rise from the parking area, but the loftiest one is in the back row, and can be viewed (and climbed, if you wish) from the eastern valley. Plenty of other bouldering activity exists for those who are not enticed by the peak. These large dollops of granite ice cream have a superb gritty yet firm surface for scrambling."

More Quail Spring Basin Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Southern California (Falcon Guides)
Ron Adkison
View more trails from this guide book
"This trip follows a long-closed road into lonely Quail Spring Basin on the south slopes of the Providence Mountains; expansive views of much of the preserve can be enjoyed all along the way. The trip to Quail Spring Basin on the south slopes of the Providence Mountains is one of the best hikes in Mojave National Preserve. It surveys landscapes ranging from open slopes studded with yuccas and cholla to a hidden high desert basin, and the ever-changing vistas take in much of the diverse landscapes present in the preserve. And since you follow closed doubletracks and gain only a modicum of elevation, it’s a pleasant outing for even novice hikers. The trail, a long-closed doubletrack, heads southeast past the wilderness boundary, carving a swath through a stand of tall creosote bush. Nearby slopes also support Mojave sage and cheesebush.Vistas are excellent from the start, reaching southwest to the Granite Mountains and an array of domes, spires, and cliffs near Granite Pass. To the north and almost overhead are the southern peaks of the Providence Mountains. More distant features include Cima Dome, Clark Mountain, and the summit of Charleston Peak, far to the north in Nevada. Your trail rises gradually but steadily; passing above 4,000 feet, the pattern of vegetation begins to change. Creosote bush becomes more widely scattered, and Mormon tea, blackbrush, Mojave yucca, pencil cholla, and deerhorn cholla begin to dominate nearby slopes. Stacks of granite boulders lie immediately north of the trail, arranged into a wide variety of shapes and forms."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
840 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
3 to 4 hours
October through May
3,560 feet
Trailhead Elevation
4,350 feet
Top Elevation
Mojave National Preserve
Local Contacts
USGS Van Winkle Spring
Local Maps

Trail Log