Loop Trail

Rolling Terrain

Return to Lost Horse Mine

lost horse mine loop trail joshua tree np DSCF0333

Trek date: 2014 Jan 1. Time: Afternoon to the Golden Hour. Wayfarers Cali49 & Murbachi

See Also

Queen Valley Overlook


Lost Horse Mine 02f view of Pleasant Valley

Down, down, down… and around to the right

THE LOST HORSE MINE LOOP is one of the most memorable treks Cali49 and I hiked. From start to finish including the viewpoint above the mine, we traversed 8.4 miles. (The mine is 2mi. from the car lot.) Total elevation gain to the mine is 588ft, after which a steady descent back to the parking lot. There are only a couple of ascending stretches. Since our intention was to do this area comprehensively, we devoted the entire day.

Add a mattress, house, bus stop, Burger King and you’d feel right at home

We chose a clockwise direction. Weather was perfect, about 50 degrees, clear skies, light breeze. We wore our jackets and backpacks, but many of the loop-hikers we met coming the other direction were in shirt sleeves or tank tops. Europeans, some of them, enjoying California’s balmy winter clime.

View of Pushawalla Plateau in the distance

Turns out this direction was ideal for our purposes (and lazy bones), since going CW requires only moderate effort with perhaps one or two mildly strenuous climbs after reaching the mine.

Fields of blackbush. Looking west toward Keys View

The counter-clockwise direction on the other hand includes some strenuous, steep uphill slogging before you get to the diggings.

One section of the trail had thick stands of Mojave yuccas and tall ancient nolinas, and we came across acres of blackbushes.

These perennials of Joshua Tree green-up in March-April after winter rains, flower, seed, and return to hibernation by May-June once the scorching sun’s influence has done its trick. The last mile before the trail swings around to the parking lot, it follows a wide sandy wash where tall, multi-branch Joshua Trees (which had been absent most of the hike) return to greet your return.

It being the New Years holiday, there were many others sharing the trail with us. See Elliot Koeppel’s Cali49 web page describing Lost Horse Mine. Elliot  has made a close study of the mine’s history and recounts it in superb detail HERE.

Lost Horse Mine from the Loop Trail

A wildfire ignited from unknown causes in the rugged hills between the Geology Tour and Keys View roads began 2009 May 24. It started shortly before 4 p.m. and was fueled by desert scrub, junipers, pinyon pines and Joshua trees. Gusty winds fanned the flames. When the Lost Horse Fire was finally contained several days later, it had scorched some 450 acres. Luckily, the flames missed the Lost Horse Mine.



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Special Loopy 3D Anaglyph CaliGallery


To show my support for Cali49 acquiring a GoPro video camera & to promote his Youtube channel, special friends like you are invited to download any Elliot images from our circuitous January 1, 2014 Lost Horse Loop perambulation that intrigue you. Share them with others. Be the first to Tweet one to your favorite presidential candidate or cel’e’brity twitt.

Bonus! ♦ The Johnny Lang Gravestone Prize

In the Chöcölate Chip Cöökie Category for Most Memorable 3D Pose

Chocolate Chip Cookie Prize Winner DSCF0481

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(Includes all of the above. Suitable for 3D TV viewing. Half Side-by-Sides avoid the minor Anaglyph anomalies that can occur. Click images to enlarge. 1080p resolution. Or Windows users, right-click and choose SAVE LINK AS. Note: 3D H-SBS images should only be saved if you have a 3D TV. Otherwise viewing them properly will be fruitless.


Thank you!

If you like any of the pictures in this post, feel free to right click and download them to your computer. Use them however you wish, they are free for the taking. After all, no one charged me to take the pictures.

John Murbach






Posted 2015 Sep 4

Updated 2017 Nov 7