Hike Skull Rock Trail at Joshua Tree National Park

Jumbo Rock Campground, Riverside County, California, United States

  • Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    1.8 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    185 Feet

Adult Beverages
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

Easy trail to see some classic Joshua Tree scenery, with access to campgrounds and climbing

You can park at the Jumbo Rocks Campground to start this quick hike. There are two parking locations for this campground and it will be easiest if you use the first one you see, rather than going farther off the road and right next to the campsites. To start the hike, start going north and immediately cross Park Boulevard. 

You will follow the trail in a loop for just under 2 miles, with the popular Skull Rock being the main attraction. This trail is not as well marked as many other beginner walks in the park, but there is usually a bit of traffic on the trail, keeping things straightforward. 

The trail itself is not overwhelming, but it does show you around to some great climbing locations and is also a nice start-of-the-day walk if you are staying at the Jumbo Rocks Campground

Pack List

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Approach shoes
  • Sunglasses/hat
  • Camera
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Overall rating: 

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​I went into Joshua Tree without any climbing gear. Going to the Jumbo Rocks Campground you get beautiful views and it's a great way to start getting comfortable with heights. Also, it's right next to Skull Rock which is a great place for a cool photo. I loved walking along this trail and climbing the rocks!

about 1 month ago
about 1 month ago

Carter Clark

Educated in sustainable architecture. Working in photography and digital media. Living in a Panamanian jungle base camp. Wearing down shoes as quickly as I can.

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