Desert Queen Mine and Wash Trail

Twentynine Palms, California 92278

Desert Queen Mine and Wash Trail

Desert Queen Mine and Wash Trail Professional Review and Guide

"This trip covers a variety of mine sites, from the most prosperous in the area (Desert Queen) to those that obviously were not successful. The Desert Queen was in operation from 1895 to 1961 and was one of the most productive gold mines in the Southern California desert. The magnitude of the Desert Queen operation is not evident from the gaping holes in the mountainside, but from the massive tailings that drip like blood down the mountain into the wash below. The debris left around the site—which continues to appear miles down the wash—is also evidence of the environmental repercussions of this industrial use of the desert. The experience of hiking down the wash erases the sight of the damage to the mountainside. The huge boulders that rise above and periodically in front of you, blocking your way, are reminders of the forces of nature that are still in operation. The vegetation of the wash is profuse and diverse. Mesquite, creosote, and smoke trees line the wash, sometimes even blocking your passage. The intermittent power of rushing water scours the wash, but these durable plants enjoy this location."

More Desert Queen Mine and Wash Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Defunct mines have a magical attraction for many park visitors. It’s not only that eerie hole in the ground, but also the elaborate engineering necessary for the operation. Here at the Silver Bell, the two tipples remain on the hillside above the mine, pe"

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Trail Information

Twentynine Palms
Nearby City
60 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
1 to 5 hours
October through April
4,436 feet
Trailhead Elevation
Top Elevation
Joshua Tree National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Queen Mountain
Local Maps