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The Maze Loop Trail

Intermediate
 3.6 (5)

A longer loop for hikers seeking solitude and some of Joshua Tree's more scenic geologic features.


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Map Key

5.0

Miles

8.1

KM

Loop

4,258' 1,298 m

High

3,959' 1,207 m

Low

372' 113 m

Up

368' 112 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

7%

Max Grade (4°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views

Description

This route is a bit long, and bit rugged, but for hikers seeking adventure and dedicated geologists wanting to admire Joshua Tree's famous and somewhat strange geology. The trail itself is a bit difficult to locate, as there isn't much of a trailhead at the start. There is a small parking area off Park Boulevard with room for 3 or 4 cars, and your journey will leave from there.

Like many desert trails, this one is less a true trail and more of a wash route. This means that a lot of the going is sandy, and can be a bit more strenuous than it might seem. Because this is a loop, you can choose to go either clockwise or counterclockwise, but for the purpose of this description, head clockwise. As you depart from the trailhead, you'll notice that you're climbing steadily for the first 1.5 miles. You'll be making your way toward a visible but manageable range of hills. Enjoy winding your way through boulders and interesting rock formations in this section!

As you carry on, you'll make your way out into more of a classic desert, complete with small cacti and sandy trail. Luckily by this point, you'll be on the way down, which makes the sandy trail easier to navigate. Aside from a few smallish sections of climbing, you'll enjoy a gentle descent as you complete the loop.

Once you turn from the far end of the route and start heading back to the trailhead, you'll continue your desert trek. There will be options to extend your route, leading to other interesting formations. Notably, the Window Loop Trail is a great extension. However, feel free to continue on this route, making your way gently back to the trailhead.

Contacts

Shared By:

Mikhaila Redovian with improvements by Daniel Hetzel

Trail Ratings

  3.6 from 5 votes

#11726

Overall
  3.6 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings

#1,223

in California

#11,726

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10,259 Since Jun 12, 2017
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Photos

My kids found a nice perch on the Maze Loop Trail.
Aug 15, 2018 near Joshua…, CA
View from Maze Loop trail.
Nov 25, 2017 near Joshua…, CA
Looking south from Maze Loop trail.
Nov 25, 2017 near Joshua…, CA
Joshua Tree on Maze Loop trail.
Nov 25, 2017 near Joshua…, CA
Trailhead sign at the parking area on Park Blvd in Joshua Tree National Park.
Nov 24, 2017 near Joshua…, CA
Little desert horned lizard friend (yes, we put him back right where we found him).
Aug 15, 2018 near Joshua…, CA

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Check-Ins

Feb 29, 2020
Daniel Norton
Nov 23, 2019
Kristoffer Friberg
Oct 15, 2019
Matteo Giacomazzi
Beautiful hike, suggestive. 5mi
Apr 2, 2019
Lori A
Alone. Contact for emergency: 414-430-2218 — 10h 07m
Mar 27, 2019
Jeanna Mielcarek
Saw horned lizards! 5mi
Mar 17, 2019
Jeff Grissom
Jan 20, 2019
Raquel Z
5mi
Oct 2, 2018
Travis Calanoc