“A great trail with sweeping views near the southern boundary of Joshua Tree.
— James Kaiser
Views · Wildflowers
The trail to Mastodon Peak starts just north of Cottonwood Spring
. Follow the trail clockwise and soon you'll come to a junction. Turn right (turning left takes you to Cottonwood Campground), and follow the trail as it crosses a series of sandy washes on its way to the base of Mastodon Peak. You'll be climbing steadily, but grades are gentle and the desert views more than make up for it.
Shortly before reaching the summit you'll pass the remains of the Mastodon Mine, a gold mine worked on and off throughout the 1920s. Upon reaching the summit you'll be treated to sweeping views of the surrounding desert. On clear days you can see the Salton Sea across Coachella Valley.
After taking in the views, continue along the trail and descend the rocky summit. Some light scrambling is required. Shortly after reaching the base of Mastodon Peak the trail intersects with the well-worn Lost Palms Oasis
Thanks to guidebook author and photographer, James Kaiser, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about visiting Acadia, check out his Guide to Joshua Tree National Park