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Desert Queen Mine Trail

Intermediate
 3.1 (8)

A short trail to an abandoned gold mine with a fascinating history.


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Map Key

0.9

Miles

1.4

KM

Point to Point

4,455' 1,358 m

High

4,311' 1,314 m

Low

123' 38 m

Up

146' 45 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

20%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly Relatively short in distance, and featuring a history right out of a western, this trail will captivate the whole family.

Description

The trail to Desert Queen Mine starts at the end of Desert Queen Mine Road. Follow the trail for about half a mile until you reach a backcountry registration board. Continuing straight takes you to an overlook where you can view the mine and its tailings; turning right leads you down into a ravine to the mine's rusting ruins.

Several old mine shafts are sealed to prevent entry. The remains of the Desert Queen Mine are a decaying memorial to the scandalous gold-mining era that flourished in Joshua Tree a century ago. The man who discovered the Desert Queen Mine, Frank L. James, was shot and killed by local outlaw Jim McHaney, who took control of the mine and earned a small fortune. But when the mine ran dry, McHaney started counterfeiting gold coins - a crime that ultimately landed him in San Quentin Prison.

Thanks to guidebook author and photographer, James Kaiser, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about visiting Joshua Tree, check out his .

Contacts

Shared By:

James Kaiser

Trail Ratings

  3.1 from 8 votes

#22466

Overall
  3.1 from 8 votes
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Trail Rankings

#2,436

in California

#22,466

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768 Since Jun 2, 2016
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Photos

View of Desert Queen Mine and its tailings.
Jun 9, 2016 near Twentyn…, CA
Moon setting near Desert Queen.
Jun 8, 2017 near Twentyn…, CA
The beginning of the Pine City Trail is hard to see, but heads down into a wash.
Jun 14, 2016 near Twentyn…, CA

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Check-Ins

Dec 21, 2019
Teddy Magboo
Apr 27, 2019
Greta Samuelson
Mar 19, 2019
Christopher Smith
Mar 18, 2019
Christopher Smith
Jan 19, 2018
Carlos Mariscal
Jan 29, 2017
Alexander Jackson
There's no registration sign when you need to turn right. If you see the cabin, you've gone too far.
Jan 2, 2017
Katie Stuart
Jan 1, 2017
Matt Hage