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Boy Scout Trail

Intermediate
 4.3 (12)

A great descent from Joshua Tree forest through monzogranite boulder mountains.


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Map Key

8.3

Miles

13.3

KM

Point to Point

4,182' 1,275 m

High

2,863' 873 m

Low

199' 61 m

Up

1,374' 419 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

38%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly The first roughly 2 miles (from the southern parking lot) make a great section to do as an out and back with kids.

Description

From the southern trailhead, where there is a backcountry board, sizeable parking lot, and bathrooms (but no water) the trail goes north, descending gradually through a classic Joshua Tree forest. After about 1.2 miles, there is a side trail to Willow Hole, which is nice, but not amazing. If you stay on the main trail, it continues through the J-Tree forest until it starts to descend more quickly though monzogranite boulder piles that are typical of the northern edge of the park between the towns of Joshua Tree and 29 Palms.

The last mile or so drags on a little bit, as you can see town, but as there are few markers, distances can be deceptive so you don't know how far you have to go to get to the northern parking lot (no water or bathrooms, much smaller than southern parking lot). I recommend doing this with two cars shuttling, as opposed to an out and back.

Flora & Fauna

Lots of J-trees, chollas, and hedgehog cactus. Very classic Joshua Tree.

Contacts

Shared By:

Peter Bugg

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 12 votes

#1014

Overall
  4.3 from 12 votes
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3 Star
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2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#128

in California

#1,014

Overall
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14,595 Since Apr 8, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

Joshua Tree National Park.
Oct 31, 2016 near Joshua…, CA
The elevation gaining section is quite winding. Beautiful area though!
Dec 4, 2019 near Joshua…, CA
First half of trail.
Jun 18, 2016 near Joshua…, CA
Boy Scout Trailhead.
Jun 10, 2016 near Joshua…, CA
A layer of snow dusts the landscape near the Boy Scout Trail. Photo credit: NPS/Brad Sutton.
May 25, 2017 near Joshua…, CA
Hedgehog cactus
May 1, 2016 near Twentyn…, CA

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Check-Ins

Mar 13, 2021
Bar Sarig
Jan 19, 2021
Lou Hibbard
Hiked south to north on a cold, windy threatening day. Thanks to my wife for the car shuttle. 8mi
Jan 10, 2021
Kev pat
Oct 30, 2020
Alicia Candelario
With Monica and Kelsey
May 18, 2019
Adriana Garay
Mar 17, 2019
Abir Valg
Feb 20, 2019
matt lokay
Dec 9, 2018
Stone Patrick