An enjoyable nature trail to a unique geologic feature.”
— David Hitchcock
Features: Views — Wildflowers
Family Friendly: The arch and boulders that are found around the trail offer great scrambling opportunities for the kids. It's an easy trail, and the placards provide information about the geology of the area.
Dogs: No Dogs
The Arch Rock Nature Trail is an easy route through the boulder fields found in the White Tank area. The trailhead for this is in the White Tank Campground, although there is limited parking which may force you to park along the road. Proceed toward Campsite #9, where the trailhead is located.
The trail leaves the campground and proceeds straight ahead along a sandy trail that has large rocks for the kids to explore off on the left. The trail breaks off to the right, and you'll find placards that provide information regarding what is happening geologically. It moves through a boulder field and cuts around to the right where the arch that the trail is named for comes into view. You can scramble up some rocks and get an up close view of the arch. It's a great area to explore and take photos. Leaving the arch, the trail winds through more boulders until it winds back on itself and leads back to the trailhead. There are stunning views of the surrounding area, wildflowers in the spring, and plenty of cacti to explore. For the kids, there are plenty of boulders to scramble up and explore.
As always in Joshua Tree, be careful where you hike and stick your hands, as rattlesnakes and scorpions might be hiding from the sun in shaded areas amongst the boulders.
Flora & Fauna
There are several varieties of wildflowers and cacti along the trail.