Though not a city, and containing only a handful of pines, the Pine City Trail is still a thoroughly enjoyably hike. The path is also not often travelled, allowing for some beautiful solitude as you cross the flat plane.
Enter the park from the West Entrance station below Joshua Tree Town. Continue down Park Boulevard for just under 25.7km. Continue straight, not turning towards Keys View. Instead, turn left on the dirt Desert Queen Mine Rd., with signs towards several hiking trails. Follow this road until its terminus, and park in the small dirt parking lot. The trail begins on the left side of the lot. You can also enter from 29 Palms and drive along Park Boulevard until you see the turnoff for Desert Queen Mine Rd. on your right.
|When to do|
Spring and Fall, avoid summer heat
Out and back
This trail remains mostly flat and continues straight for its entire length. It is extremely easy to follow, as there are almost no turns! At the trailhead there is a self-registration post for those wanting to camp in the backcountry.
As the path continues you will pass by several Joshua Trees, as well as many other cacti and shrubs. Though you won’t see as many as on the more popular hikes such as Split Rock, there are still several interesting monzogranite rock formations as you continue, classic to the Joshua Tree Park.
Finally you will see the first inhabitant of Pine City, a lone pine tree right beside the trail. Shortly after you will arrive in the “downtown” area, where half a dozen or so pine trees have rooted themselves firmly in the desert ground. You can continue a short ways further and gain a small ridge, which gives fantastic views back towards Pine City. You will also be able to see the full expanse of the great plane for miles and miles!
Turn around where the sign identifies the end of the maintained trail, and return the way you came to your car.
The road is easily passable by sedans, as it’s graded by the park service.
There is absolutely no shade on this hike; you have been warned!
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