Outbound Collective logo

Exploring the Forgotten Canyon

Twentynine Palms, California


Added by Cameron Gardner

Just outside of Joshua TreeCamping nearby at Indian Cove CampgroundNo real set trailsRock climbing in the areaMuch less crowded than inside the parkBeautiful scenery similar to Joshua TreeNo park entrance feeSolitude

This is an adventure where you probably won't have the same experience as the last person that went to the same area. At the trailhead which is basically in someones campground we just set off east into the desert. From what I remember there really wasn't a specific trail. We just headed out east, we did had someone who knew our destination leading us. Along the way you will pass tons of bushes and cactus, so make sure to keep an eye out where you are walking. Also it's good to keep an eye out for rattle snakes in this area while hiking around.

We were headed east for quite a while and along the way we passed some pretty large rock formations on our right. All of the rock formations that we passed had rock climbing routes accesible. Once we had hiked for a little over a mile we headed south (towards Joshua Tree) and went up into a remote canyon. Our plan was to do some rock climbing and highlining high above the canyon. This area is technically not part of Joshua Tree although it looks very similar with the same kind of rocks and desert life.

From the trailhead you can really make your own path and own adventure. It doesn't have to be identical to anyone else's path. This area is a great place to get off the beaten path and find some solitude in the desert. If you want to rock climb bring some trad and sport gear. It's also just nice to hike around to explore the desert without any real destination. Just make sure you know how to get back! We hiked back in the dark after having a little fire in the secluded canyon that we hung out at for the day. It was relatively easy to find our way back, just watch out for the cactus in the dark!

If you do plan on going out here make sure you are prepared with enough water and food. It can be really easy to get lost in a place like this if you aren't prepared or know what you are doing. The hiking is relatively easy and flat throughout the area. The canyon we went up though was class 2 and 3 climbing/scrambling. You definitely don't need ropes but you have to be careful because some huge rocks can be loose or have large drop offs. The rocks in this area are also very rough and can cut up your hands easily. Once you climb up any of the canyons you can get a great view of the desert from above. You can see Twentynine Palms and other cities off in the distance.

This is a great place to go on a day hike and then head back to your camp at Indian Cove afterwards. There is also rock climbing within Indian Cove if you don't want to venture too far off into the desert.

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app


Rock Climbing
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

Exploring the Forgotten Canyon Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Canyoneer Joshua Tree's Rattlesnake Slot Canyon

Boy Scout's Trail in Joshua Tree

Hike the Fortynine Palms Oasis Trail

Tour Keys Desert Queen Ranch in Joshua Tree National Park

Willow Hole Trail in Joshua Tree National Park

Watch the Sunset from Echo Rock