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The Maze Loop Trail

Intermediate
 3.6 (5)

A longer loop for runners seeking solitude and some of Joshua Tree's more scenic geologic features.


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Map Key

5.0

Miles

8.1

KM

98%

Runnable

4,258' 1,298 m

High

3,959' 1,207 m

Low

372' 113 m

Up

368' 112 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

7%

Max Grade (4°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views

Description

This route is a bit long, and bit rugged, but for runners seeking adventure and dedicated geologists wanting to admire Joshua Tree's famous and somewhat strange geology. The trail itself is a bit difficult to locate, as there isn't much of a trailhead at the start. There is a small parking area off Park Boulevard with room for 3 or 4 cars, and your journey will leave from there.

Like many desert trails, this one is less a true trail and more of a wash route. This means that a lot of the going is sandy, and can be a bit more strenuous than it might seem. Because this is a loop, you can choose to go either clockwise or counterclockwise, but for the purpose of this description, head clockwise. As you depart from the trailhead, you'll notice that you're climbing steadily for the first 1.5 miles. You'll be making your way toward a visible but manageable range of hills. Enjoy winding your way through boulders and interesting rock formations in this section!

As you carry on, you'll make your way out into more of a classic desert, complete with small cacti and sandy trail. Luckily by this point, you'll be on the way down, which makes the sandy trail easier to navigate. Aside from a few smallish sections of climbing, you'll enjoy a gentle descent as you complete the loop.

Once you turn from the far end of the route and start heading back to the trailhead, you'll continue your desert trek. There will be options to extend your route, leading to other interesting formations. Notably, the Window Loop Trail is a great extension. However, feel free to continue on this route, making your way gently back to the trailhead.

Contacts

Shared By:

Mikhaila Redovian with improvements by Daniel Hetzel

Trail Ratings

  3.6 from 5 votes

#11999

Overall
  3.6 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings

#1,240

in California

#11,999

Overall
171 Views Last Month
10,451 Since Jun 12, 2017
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Photos

Looking south from Maze Loop trail.
Nov 25, 2017 near Joshua…, CA
View from Maze Loop trail.
Nov 25, 2017 near Joshua…, CA
Joshua Tree on Maze Loop trail.
Nov 25, 2017 near Joshua…, CA
Trailhead sign at the parking area on Park Blvd in Joshua Tree National Park.
Nov 24, 2017 near Joshua…, CA
Little desert horned lizard friend (yes, we put him back right where we found him).
Aug 15, 2018 near Joshua…, CA
Rock beside Maze Loop trail.
Nov 25, 2017 near Joshua…, CA

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