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A short-but-sweet hike exploring the "Hole-in-the-Wall" area of the Mojave National Preserve.

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Point to Point

4,254' 1,297 m


4,122' 1,257 m


102' 31 m


132' 40 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (9°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Cave · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

This hike involves a steep, rocky descent on metal loop ladders. Some may find this section difficult to traverse.


This is a short but sweet hike that loops around the Hole-in-the-Wall geological formation in the Mojave National Preserve. It features a steep descent assisted by metal rings (hence the trail name), beautiful rock formations, and a native petroglyph site.

Need to Know

- While this hike is short and generally mellow, the climb down on the rings may be difficult for some. This section can be skipped by simply hiking the loop clockwise from the visitor center and turning around at the metal rings, creating roughly two mile out-and-back instead.

- The Mojave National Preserve is in a remote part of the Mojave desert. All visitors to the area should pack plenty of water. As always in the wilderness, pack the Ten Essentials when hiking here.


The trail starts at a parking lot just past the Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center. Several trails branch off from this lot, so look for the signs marking the Ring Loop trailhead. The trail quickly disappears into rocky and narrow Banshee Canyon. Scramble down the rocks into the canyon where metal-ring ladders are installed at the steepest sections to assist with the climb down. Continue following the trail down and out of the canyon, admiring the rock formations along the way.

After a short while, hikers will exit the canyon and arrive at the junction with the Barber Peak Loop Trail. Keep left to stay on the Rings Loop. From here the trail stays relatively level as it circles around the Hole-in-the-Wall formations giving hikers great views of the surrounding desert landscape. As the trail swings north, look for boulders to the left featuring petroglyphs left by native peoples long ago.

From here the trail follows a sandy, desert wash until it arrives back at the visitor center. Follow the road a short distance back to the parking lot to complete the loop.

Flora & Fauna

Cactus gardens, yucca, and other desert plants dot the landscape. Many species of birds and reptiles are common. Sometimes a hiker might spot a fox, bighorn sheep, or other mammals.

History & Background

The rock formations here were created by ancient volcanic activity. Check out the nearby visitor center to learn about the geology and other information on the Mojave.


Shared By:

Ryan Dunn

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 5 votes


  4.2 from 5 votes
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in California


8 Views Last Month
1,595 Since Dec 27, 2017



The view of the canyon is astounding.
Dec 7, 2018 near Needles, CA
The walls up close.
Dec 7, 2018 near Needles, CA
Looking down into part of the ring climb, in the canyon.
Dec 7, 2018 near Needles, CA
Metal Rings to assist with climbing down/up Banshee Canyon on the Rings Loop Trail.
Dec 27, 2017 near Needles, CA
Emerging from the winding canyon into a more open space.
Dec 7, 2018 near Needles, CA
The walls of Banshee Canyon can be extremely rugged, and very smooth.
Dec 7, 2018 near Needles, CA



Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


May 30, 2021
Keith Knife
Nov 23, 2019
Rui Zhu
Jan 1, 2019
Valerie Norton
The really cool stuff is off trail, but this was just trail: https://valhikes.blogspot.com/2019/01/hole-in-wall-rings-loop-and-barber-peak.html
Nov 30, 2018
Isaac Bozeman
Great! An absolutely wonderful trail.
Nov 3, 2018
Amanda D
Easy loop walk; it's only the ring climb/descent that is physically challenging.
Jan 13, 2018
Chris McCloud
Visited as part of California trip 2017-2018 with Jiaxin. Identify location of photos.
Dec 18, 2017
Ryan Dunn
Very cool short trail! 1.5mi — 1h 00m