Mastodon Peak Loop Trail

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
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.
4.2 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.
124 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Mastodon Peak Loop Trail is a family-friendly route with no shortage of things to see and do. The route boasts a variety of notable historic sites to visit, accompanied by informative plaques to help educate you on the history of Joshua Tree National Park. If that isn't enough, the views on Mastodon Peak are spectacular as they overlook the expansive landscape.

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Route Description for Mastodon Peak Loop Trail

As the Mastodon Peak Loop Trail is a popular route within Joshua Tree National Park, it can become crowded at certain times of the year. Due to this, those seeking a more secluded hiking experience should do the trail earlier in the morning or later in the day to avoid the larger crowds. More experienced hikers may want to also skip this hike in favor of a more remote route further into the park's interior.

The trailhead can be found at the eastern side of the parking lot. The trail, named the Mastodon Mine Loop Trail, will take you east and through a stunning Palm Tree Oasis almost immediately. Once you have enjoyed the lush oasis, continue following the trail east as it crosses a stream, and begins to gain elevation. The trail will continue to gain elevation as it heads east before reaching a junction. At the junction, take the northernmost trail as it continues to gain elevation towards Mastodon Peak.

You will soon arrive at a plateau where the option to do an additional short hike to Mastodon Peak proper exists, but be warned. Although the views are spectacular, it requires you to do a steep scramble up, and is therefore not suitable for young children. Regardless of whether or not you choose to do the scramble to the peak—after you have gotten your fill of the views—continue along the marked trail to the north. You will soon arrive at an abandoned mine site that is worth stopping and checking out.

After the abandoned mine site, continue on the Mastodon Peak Loop Trail as it heads first northwest, and then south, declining in elevation as it goes. You will soon arrive at Cottonwood Spring Road, where it is just a short walk back to the parking lot, and your waiting vehicle.

Getting to the Mastodon Peak Loop Trail Trailhead

The trailhead for the Mastodon Peak Loop Trail can be found at the parking lot on the end of Cottonwood Springs Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Cottonwood Campground

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type


Mastodon Peak Loop Trail Elevation Graph

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