Skull Rock offers one of Joshua Tree National Park's only roadside attractions. A large pullout is located just north of Jumbo Rocks Campground along Park Boulevard. South of the road sits a tall monzogranite boulder with two distinctive eye sockets and a prominent nose. Skull Rock was formed through classic geologic weathering from tiny droplets of water accumulating in depressions of the rock. Over time, the water eroded away the eye sockets forming the skull shape visible today.
The area behind Skull Rock offers lots of fun rock scrambling, which is a great way to explore and get some energy out. Be mindful of snakes as you explore this area, and always look before you step or grab.
Skull Rock Trail can be started from three different points; the pull-out along Park Boulevard at Skull Rock, the entrance to Jumbo Rocks Campground, or near Loop E in the campground. Depending on where you start, the trail winds through the campground along the road, then heads north along a sandy wash (4) to Skull Rock (1). After Skull Rock you cross Park Boulevard and head back southwest through some nice boulder slots (6) ending at the entrance to Jumbo Rocks Campground.
Interpretive signs dot the path and describe the native plants (3) and the power of water on a desert environment (5). Learn about creosote, yucca, jojoba, woodrats, snacks, and juniper (2) as you walk through monzogranite slots. This trail is a must-do if you are staying at Jumbo Rocks; if not, consider hitting one of the other interpretive trails such as Barker Dam or Hidden Valley.