Details

Distance

1.28 miles

Elevation Gain

85 ft

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by Will Cebron

A short loop trail that highlights some of the most fascinating scenery in Joshua Tree National Park. Wander among towering Joshua trees, climb massive boulders, view petroglyphs etched into the rock and see remnants of an old ranching dam.

The Barker Damn trail is a 1.5 mile loop trail across flat terrain which makes it great for the whole family. The hike starts out from the Barker Dam parking lot which is shared with the Wall Street Mill trailhead. You can find the Barker Dam trailhead just to the left of the bathrooms. After 0.2 miles straight on the trail, you'll hit the loop and can continue in either direction. You can reach the dam in either direction, but if you go right (counter-clockwise), the dam is only 0.2 miles away. The trail is well marked with signage and informative guides so it's a great hike for the less experienced.

Depending on the time of year you visit and the state of California's drought, there may be little water at the dam. If you're hoping to catch a rare view of water in the desert, the best time is to visit in the winter.

While most people come for the dam, the diversity of scenery on the trail is an under-appreciated part of the hike. At dusk, the way the sunlight hits the rocks and Joshua trees is magical. There are also countless areas to stop off and scramble up boulders for views across the park. Whatever your intentions are for this hike, the signage above the dam describes this adventure perfectly... a quiet place in a noisy world.

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Features

Rock Climbing
Photography
Running
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Scenic

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Leave No Trace

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

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