Hidden Valley Loop

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Very Easy
Duration
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.
0.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
1.5 km
Elevation
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.
35 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
10.0
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Panorama of the Hidden Valley Loop Trail in Joshua Tree National Park, California

This very popular Hidden Valley Loop hike quickly transports hikers from the busy road into a spectacular small valley, entirely surrounded by the classic boulders of Joshua Tree. The loop is well travelled and mostly flat, so everyone can enjoy the beautiful scenery.

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Route Description for Hidden Valley Loop

From the right side of the parking lot, the trail will head up a narrow canyon between two cliffs. Here is where the entirety of the elevation gain of the hike takes place. The trail is well graded and the elevation gain is minimal, so this shouldn’t pose a problem.

Once you have crested the ridge you will feel totally isolated from the humming roadway. Next, you’ll enter Hidden Valley and be treated to beautiful rock towers and cliffs on every side. Made of monzogranite rock, these formations are the most well known part of the park! They where formed over 100 million years ago when magma cooled into monzogranite beneath the surface of the earth.

Water then eroded sections of the rock to help form the impressive structures we witness today. Flash floods have since helped isolate these rocky islands, washing away the abutting sand and adding to their natural beauty.

The well-marked loop goes around the valley, typically hugging the cliff walls. You will complete the loop and descend the same access trail you came in on, returning to the parking lot and your vehicle.

Insider Hints for Hidden Valley Loop

  • This is an extremely popular hike. Get here early to avoid the crowds and heat!

Getting to the Hidden Valley Loop Trailhead

Enter the park from the West Entrance station below Joshua Tree town. Continue down Park Boulevard for just under 14.5 km. Turn right towards Hidden Valley picnic area and nature trail. Here you will find a relatively large parking lot that fills up quickly. We recommend getting here as early as possible.

Route Information

  • When to do

    Spring and Fall, avoid summer heat

  • Backcountry Campsites

    None

  • Toilets

    At trailhead

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Circuit

Hidden Valley Loop Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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Hidden Valley Loop Reviews

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