From the parking lot, head north on the well established path parallelling a large wash to the west.
After 0.9 miles the trail crosses a wash and turns northwest for another 0.6 miles to a trail junction overlooking Pine City.
Take 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).
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.
You can continue north for another 0.5 miles to a really nice overlook of the northern entrance to the park.
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.