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Hike Pine City Trail

Joshua Tree National Park

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Hike Pine City Trail pano

4.5 Mi


2 - 3



Gain (ft)
4 Star Quality



If you are interested in the wide variety of plants found in Joshua Tree National Park, then a hike to Pine City is a must-do. An easy stroll finishes at an intricate rock canyon and views north towards Twentynine Palms. This is one of the park’s best kept secrets, providing solitude in an otherwise busy are of the park.

Hike Pine City Trail Map Hike Pine City Trail Elevation Profile
Marker Trailhead

From the parking lot, head north on the well established path parallelling a large wash to the west.

Marker A

After 0.9 miles the trail crosses a wash and turns northwest for another 0.6 miles to a trail junction overlooking Pine City.

Highlight #1Take your time moving through here and really look around at the fantastic flora that surrounds this trail. This is one of the best places to see the full range of Mojave Desert plant species in the park. Along the way, look for joshua trees, yucca, barrel cactus, silver cholla, pinyon pine, creosote, and juniper (just to name a few).

Lone Joshua Tree

Joshua Trees come in all shapes and sizes

Silver Cholla

Watch out for silver cholla leaning over the trail

Prickly Peak Cactus

One of many prickly pear cactuses along the trail

Marker B

You’ll know Pine City when you see it. A small rise overlooks the maze of rocks and dense vegetation below. The trail forks and it’s up to you to explore at this point. Traces of past human impacts can be found in the form of a small well and scattered log cabins, but this area is largely nature that is fully intact. Explore this rock labyrinth and pay attention to how water loving plants thrive in this region protected by the shady rocks and fed by seasonal rains.

Overlooking Pine City

Overlooking the Pine City site

Pine City

Explore the labyrinth of rocks in Pine City

Highlight #2

You can continue north for another 0.5 miles to a really nice overlook of the northern entrance to the park.

Hiking to Overlook

Hiking to the northern overlook

Though this is a relatively short hike, you can easily spend an entire day here exploring and resting in the shade. When you are done, head back the way you came in. The trailhead for Pine City also serves as the start to the short hike to Desert Queen Mine, which is a nice addition if you have some extra time after the hike.


  • The Pine City trailhead is located at the northern terminus of Desert Queen Mine Road. From Park Boulevard, at Jumbo Rocks campground, head west for 2 miles and look for signs for Geology Tour Road. At the intersection with Geology Tour Road, turn north to head up Desert Queen Mine Road. Continue along this maintained dirt road for 1.3 miles to a small parking area.
  • Driving Directions

    Permits & Fees

  • $25 : Joshua Tree Entrance Fee


  • September - May

What's Nearby?

Barker Dam Trail

Barker Dam Trail

Queen Mountain Trail

Queen Mountain Trail

Sheep Pass Campground

Sheep Pass Campground

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