Hike the Covington Crest Trail

Rate this Adventure Covington Crest Trail

Distance

4.2 Miles

Elevation Gain

200 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness

Skill

Beginner

Season

Spring, Autumn, Winter

Type

Out-and-Back

Adult Beverages
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Over 2 Million visitors make their way through Joshua Tree National Park each year. Hidden in the northwest corner of the park is a oft-missed gem where the oldest grove of Joshua trees stands overlooking the Coachella Valley.

Accessing Covington Flats in Joshua Tree National Park requires a high ground-clearance overland vehicle. In the summer months a standard car might make it to the parking lot after the 7.5 mile off-road drive, but should always be prepared for soft sand. Bring spare water and emergency tools incase of a breakdown.

From Route 62 in Yucca Valley, CA take La Contenta Dr. South toward Joshua Tree. This is a backcountry entrance that does not have a gate, but still requires a park pass. 1 miles south the paved road becomes sand and dirt and 1.9 miles further hang left onto Covington Flat Rd. After 5.8 miles make a right turn onto Covington Crossover Rd. for 1.9 miles before taking a last left onto Upper Covington Flat Rd. Another two miles on the narrow road ends in the backcountry parking lot where two trailheads are.

On the south side of the lot is the Covington Crest Trail start,  marked with a little sign. Stay on the trail through the various washes as to avoid getting lost. There are plenty of opportunities to sneak off and photograph large Joshua Trees, with most of the bigger ones being to the east. After the forest there is an opening with few specimens before you walk through a younger grove mixed with Pinyon Pines, Chollo Cacti, and Mojave Yucca.

At the end of the trail is the ridge along the edge of the Coachella Valley that offers expansive views. Sitting here watching the sunset beyond the San Jacinto mountains is spectacular. Find times in the middle of Spring, and in late Fall to enjoy this hike in it's fullest splendor.

While sitting on any of the rock formations watching the sun drop is a perfect time to crack open a couple Momentous IPAs by Coachella Valley Brewing (brewed for Joshua Tree) and enjoy the moment. The hike and drive back is quick and well marked. Hangout and enjoy the lights twinkling below with good friends.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

Distance

4.2 Miles

Elevation Gain

200 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness

Skill

Beginner

Season

Spring, Autumn, Winter

Type

Out-and-Back

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Relax on Eureka Peak

Adventure

Camp at Black Rock Campground in Joshua Tree

Adventure

Backpack the California Riding and Hiking Trail in Joshua Tree

Adventure

Hike the Willow Hole Trail in Joshua Tree National Park

More Nearby Adventures

Related Stories

skiing

An Introduction To Ski Touring

Enjoy the peace and quiet of the backcountry and untracked powder.

backpacking

Marmot 4-season Thor 3p Tent Review

Marmot recently gave me the opportunity to test out their 4-season tent during my latest travel t...

More Stories