Cap Rock Trail

#8 in Best Things To Do in Joshua Tree National Park
Cap Rock Trail picture
Nine OK/Getty Images

Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Hiking, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
3.8scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 1.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

This short trail is an easy 0.4-mile loop which takes visitors through Joshua tree woodlands and between unique rock formations. The trail is located at the junction of Park Boulevard and Keys View Road. Look for adaptive species that thrive in microhabitats, such as shady boulder crevices. Interpretive signs describe the types of deserts shrubs and other plants that live here. Desert sage, Mojave yucca, silver cholla and New Mexico thistle are just some the plants you might spot.

Recent visitors appreciated how close to the road the trail is and enjoyed the easy walk. Many were also impressed by the rock formations.

For a more detailed description of the trail's plants, visit the NPS website.

More Best Things To Do in Joshua Tree National Park

Rock Climbing1 of 12
Stargazing2 of 12
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Rock Climbing

Climbers flock to Joshua Tree from around the world to tackle the literally thousands of routes open to them. There are challenges for all ability levels, with more than 8,000 climbing routes, 2,000 boulder problems and hundreds of natural gaps to choose from. Because Joshua Tree has its own particular set of safety issues, from high temperatures to remote climbing spots, it pays to do your homework first. If you're unfamiliar with the park, you'll want to purchase a climbing guide and hiking map, which are available at park visitor centers and online.

Certified guides can also lead you on climbs and provide a great way to explore in safety. If you do hire a climbing guide, make sure that they are permitted to work in Joshua Tree National Park. Each guide is required to have rock guiding certifications through the Professional Climbing Guides Institute, the American Mountain Guides Association or similar organizations. They are also required to be certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR and must carry insurance.

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