Arch Rock Nature Trail, Arch Rock Nature Trail Parking Area (White Tank Campground), Joshua Tree National Park, California

Arch Rock Nature Trail - 0.3 miles

Arch Rock Nature Trail Parking Area (White Tank Campground)

Arch Rock

Arch Rock

Round-Trip Length: 0.3 miles
Start-End Elevation: 3'815 - 3'815' (3,845' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +30' net elevation gain (+59' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Arch Rock Nature Trail - 0.3 Miles Round-Trip

The Arch Rock Nature Trail weaves through large monzogranite rock piles to the eponymous arch, an ideal excursion for climbers, scramblers and families. The trail begins from the White Tank Campground off Pinto Basin Road. 

Despite map depictions to the contrary, the trail is actually a loop. From the day-use only parking area in the White Tank Campground, look due east for the first of several interpretive trail signs - once located, the beginning of the Nature Loop should be obvious.

Follow signs counter-clockwise for interpretive signs in their intended order, which describe the area's geologic composition, formation and history. Striking demarcations and contrasts between older and newer rock types are of particular interest on the loop.

The trail is faint in some places, but generally easy to follow and marked by cairns.

The Nature Loop's proximity to White Tank Campground and visitors' affinity for exploring the vicinity have created many social trails. Since the official trail never travels very far from the campground, even a misstep or two is easily corrected by orienting yourself back toward it.

The trail is highlighted by Arch Rock, which is tucked between large boulders several steps off the main path. It's a short, fun scramble to the base of Arch Rock.

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Worth Noting

  • Be considerate to those camping in the area and steer clear of occupied sites.

  • Cars left in the day-use parking area overnight will be ticketed.

  • Many social trails emanate from the Nature Loop - use the White Tank Campground as a reference point for staying on course.

Directions to Trailhead

From Pinto Basin Road, turn east into the White Tank Campground. Follow the dirt road (a loop through the campground) counter-clockwise to the day-use parking area on the left. The trail begins to the east of the parking area.

Contact Information

Joshua Tree National Park
74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597

Trip Reports

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