Barker Dam Nature Trail

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Very Easy
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
2.1 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
19 m
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Directions to Trailhead

Relatively short and with little elevation gain, the Barker Dam Nature Trail is a family-friendly hike that offers great views of the surrounding area. During the hike, numerous interpretive signs can be found to help educate you on the rock formations, desert vegetation, and wildlife found throughout the hike's duration.

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Route Description for Barker Dam Nature Trail

As the Barker Dam Nature Trail is within the desert environment of Joshua Tree National Park, hiking during the summer months can be rather hot, with little shelter from the sun. Therefore, it is suggested that you do the Barker Dam Nature Hike either earlier in the morning or later in the evening in order to beat the heat and intense sun seen during the summer months.

Having left your vehicle at the parking lot, follow the Barker Dam Trailhead in a northerly direction. After hiking a few hundred feet, you will arrive at a trail junction where you will turn right and follow the path north. The trail will bring you to a lake, where it will begin to veer west before arriving at the Barker Dam.

From the dam, the trail follows a southwestern direction before veering to the south. The Barker Dam Nature Trail will then bring you to a set of beautiful and historic Petroglyphs, so make sure you stop and admire them. After you have gotten your fill of the Petroglyphs, continue along the trail in an easterly direction until you arrive at the previously mentioned junction, where you will retrace your steps back to your vehicle.

Getting to the Barker Dam Nature Trail Trailhead

To get to the Barker Dam Nature Hike Trailhead, leave your vehicle at the parking lot at the end of Queen Valley Trailhead Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Hidden Valley Campground

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type


Barker Dam Nature Trail Elevation Graph

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