Joshua Tree National Park High Point Trip Report

Quail Mountain on Indian Cove and Joshua Tree South 7.5 minute quadrangles

Author: Don Holmes

Here is the Hundred Peaks Section write-up for Quail Mountain. This is the latest version I have and is dated September 1990. There may be an updated version but I don't have it. I hope it helps.

Drive: Take I-10 E and Hwy 62 NE through Yucca Valley to the town of Joshua Tree. From here, turn right (S) on Park Road (sign "Joshua Tree National Monument") and drive S into the Monument (where the road is called Loop Road) for 12 3/4 miles to a dirt road on the right (SW), signed "Lost Horse Ranger Station". The dirt road is also 3.2 miles from the road fork to Keyes View, if approaching from the other direction.

On the dirt road (distances in miles):

0.0   Intersection with Loop Road; go SW.
1.2   Lost Horse Ranger Station; turn left.
1.9   Fork; go right.
2.6   Turn-around at a wire gate; park here (4,200 ft).

Hike (route 1): Go S around the fence and head due W, staying away from some houses on the right. After passing the houses, go N to rejoin the road. Follow the road until it disappears in a rocky area. Go SW down into a shallow wash; turn right and follow the wash up to a shallow saddle just S of elev. 4859'. Continue down into a wash to the W, and then go up a gully WSW to the top of the ridge, crossing it at elev. 4920'+ (just above "14" on the topo). Go W down into another wash; then turn right and go up the wash on the NE side of the ridge which comes down from the summit in an ESE direction. Continue up the wash about 1/4 mile to where a gully comes down from the left. Go W up this gully to where it ends on the ridge; then climb the ridge to the summit. The summit is marked by a large cairn on the S end of the ridge; it is not the bench mark on the N end.

Route 1 statistics: Four miles cross-country, 1600 ft gain, 2 1/4 hours duration.

Hike (route 2): From the junction with Highway 62 in the town of Joshua Tree, go S on the Loop Road in Joshua Tree N.M. for 10.9 miles to Quail Springs Picnic Area; park here. Hike W for about 2 miles on the road to Quail Springs; turn left (S) on a jeep road (at 3,812' elevation) which goes up Johnny Lang Canyon. The road goes 1.2 miles to Johnny Lang's homestead; it then becomes a trail. Follow the trail up the canyon to a fork at elev. 4060'; go up the right fork over elevation 4,549' and S to the old Lang mine. Continue S, going just W of elevation 5,041' and down into saddle 4900' (UTM 720635). Go W up the ridge, staying to the right of the rock outcroppings. Contour left to the saddle SSW of elevation 5,405'. Hike SW along the right side of the ridge to saddle 5,180', due E of the peak. Continue SW until you intersect the ridge coming ESE down from the summit; climb the ridge to the peak.

Route 2 statistics: 6.5 miles, 2,100 ft gain.

Note: The Stubby Springs Trail (a good dirt road) goes W from Keyes View Road about 1.5 miles S of its junction with Loop Road. It goes in to a turn-around just SW of the peak, but the road has been gated (locked) since about 1980. Some have ridden in on bicycles, and have then climbed the peak about 1.5 miles from the turn-around.


(Andy Martin)
I came in on the Lost Horse Ranger Station route. There was a locked gate near the station, which added about 3 miles RT to this route. Other route may now be shorter.

There is a huge cairn (over 6 feet tall) on the summit.