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Joshua Tree National Park, California, United States

Mastodon Peak Loop

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 (3 votes, 2 reviews)
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2.7 miles / 4.3 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly
Overview: This is a relativly easy hike. Lots of desert plants and flowers to see along with beautiful views. On clear days you can see the Salton Sea. There is an old mine to explore (only from outside as entrance has been sealed).

Tips: I recommend doing this hike couter clockwise as the northern section is a sandy wash. Easier downhill than up.
Where a hat, sunscreen, and bring plenty of water as there is no shade.
Easiest access is from the 10 freeway exit Cotton wood springs.
Pay your park entrace fee at ranger station and follow road to right towards cottonwood springs/campground

Points of Interest


Palm tree oasis

This palm oasis is located at the beginning of the trail. Located near the oasis is a remnant from the area's brief gold rush, a mule driven stone mill used to crush ore. As you begin hiking out of the oasis there are morteros(round holes in rocks used by the Cahuilla Indians to chush grains).


The trail leads you near the peak. Follow an interpretive path to the North around the back side where with a little bit of boulder scrambling you can reach the peak. From the peak are views of Salton Sea to the south, Cottonwood Mountain to the west, and Eagle Mountains to the northeast.

old mine

The ruins of Mastodon mine. Originally started in 1934. The mine consists of an inclined shaft depth of 45 feet. Ore was reported to have averaged $40 per ton in gold. Mastodon mine was owned by the Hulsey family until 1971 when the property was acquired by the National Park Service. There is no access to the mine shaft but lots of interesting pieces of it left.
Pictures in this guide taken by: lngblnd
i will go there tomorrow. your trip looks great, thank you for uploading!

by espunkt_kapunkt on Jun 08, 2014
Great short hike that covers the various different terrains that Joshua Tree National Park is known for. It's gentle enough to bring kids and grandparents, it's satisfying for regular hikers, too.
Visited on Dec 28, 2012

by haj7 on Jan 02, 2013

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