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Split Rock Loop Trail



2.0 mile 3.2 kilometer loop


Ascent: 228' 69 m
Descent: -233' -71 m
High: 4,365' 1,330 m
Low: 4,228' 1,289 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 13% (7°)


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Trail shared by David Hitchcock

Make your way through the Split Rock area, which is popular with climbers.

David Hitchcock

Features Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly Visit this trail in the spring and your kids will love viewing the abundance of wildflowers and rock climbers scaling the nearby cliffs.


The Split Rock Loop Trail is located at the end of the Split Rock Picnic Area, roughly .5 miles off of Park Boulevard. It's a 2 mile loop trail, with a .1 mile side trip to see Face Rock if you so desire. The area is popular with climbers, especially on the weekends. It is also a good wildflower trail in the spring as there are wildflowers and cacti are found along the way.

Leaving the picnic area, the trail drops down and around a large split rock where a cave is located. Providing shade from the sun, it is a nice place to explore before continuing your journey. The trail is marked by rocks through an open section where no discernible trail can be seen. Working its way out into the boulders, views of the surrounding rocks come into view. You can understand why it's such a popular place with rock climbers. Follow the signs as they help guide you when the trail gets difficult to follow or what appear to be trails go off in different directions. Wildflowers and cacti bloom in the spring, adding a bit of color to the journey. Around .25 miles, the trail cuts back to the left and starts to climb up the hillside via a sand and gravel trail, with stairs found in the steeper sections. The trail begins to roll through the desert as the trail follows the contour of the landscape.

At roughly .8 miles, the trail enters a rock field, one of several that the trail will move around over the next mile or so. Rock climbers can be seen climbing above the trail throughout these sections. At roughly 1.25 miles, a side trail to Face Rock goes off to the right. This leads to a rock feature that looks like a human face, and then returns to Split Rock Trail. Continuing to snake through the landscape, various climbing access trails break off from the main trail as it descends gently for the last .4 miles back to the parking lot.

Flora & Fauna

Wildflowers and cacti can be found along the trail and bloom in the spring.

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Jun 27, 2019
Bailey Ramler
Jun 8, 2019
Rick Zieser
May 26, 2019
Camille Rohrlich
Apr 28, 2019
Victor Encinias
Apr 16, 2019
Milly S
Took in some views with Matt at Joshua Tree on both our first times there 3mi — 1h 30m
Mar 18, 2019
David Kohl
Mar 13, 2019
Andy Chaffin
Mar 13, 2019
Ryan Gillikin
13h 00m

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 17 votes


  3.9 from 17 votes
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Trail Rankings


in California


24 Views Last Month
1,920 Since Apr 17, 2016



The trail can be hard to follow in places.   Here, rocks mark the path as it moves across smooth rocks.
Apr 24, 2016 near Twentyn…, CA
Joshua Tree National Park's two stars - A Joshua Tree and a Boulder
Apr 29, 2016 near Twentyn…, CA
Climbers above the trail scale routes of varying difficulty.  The area is popular with climbers on the weekends, so the parking area may be full.
Apr 24, 2016 near Twentyn…, CA
Cacti bloom in the spring.
Apr 24, 2016 near Twentyn…, CA
How long can you hold me up?
Apr 29, 2016 near Twentyn…, CA
Interesting rock formations in the area.  The smaller rocks look like veins in the rocks.
Apr 24, 2016 near Twentyn…, CA


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