Warren Peak (Joshua Tree National Park) 19-Apr-2018

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California

As part of a recent roadtrip around various western national parks and monuments, we spent a couple of days at Joshua Tree National Park, site of various rock climbing adventures in days gone bye. In deference to The LovedOne’s still touchy knee, we picked an easy (6 miles round-trip; 1,100 feet of elevation gain) hike to the summit of Warren Peak on the west side of the park. Aside from big views from the summit, we’d also be hiking in the Joshua Tree Wilderness. Conditions were cool and blustery but otherwise bluebird – perfect for hiking. A storm was coming in from the west but it never got as far as Joshua Tree (but it did give campers at Coachella 2018 some meteorological thrills).

We started our hike to Warren at the Blackrock Nature Center in the Balckrock Campground. We went south through the campground to Campsite 30 and the signed start of the trail (there’s also trailhead parking here).

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Morning at Joshua Tree
Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Leaving Campsite 30

From Campsite 30, an obvious trail took us to the campground’s watertank, and then to another signed trail that traversed (in 0.4 miles) into Black Rock Canyon.

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Dropping into the wide canyon

Once in the canyon, we followed an obvious trail south up the wash,

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Passing a flowering yucca tree

for a mile to a junction with the northern end of the Panorama Loop Trail, then continued south for another 0.4 miles past the southern end of the Panorama, before turning west,

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
The trail turns west

and starting up toward the summit.

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Toward the rocky summit of Warren Peak

Some trip descriptions we’d read mentioned having to scramble to reach the summit but we found an easy and not overly steep trail all the way to the top.

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
The trail got a little steep just below the summit

Once on top,

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Warren Peak’s benchmark
Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Happy smile on the summit (with an incoming storm on the horizon)

we had the promised 360ยบ view. To the north, the town of Yucca Valley;

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Yucca Valley to the north

to the southwest, San Jacinto Peak (10,833 feet) shrouded in clouds from the storm;

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Looking southwest over Palm Springs toward San Jacinto Peak

to the west, clouds stuck in Banning Pass;

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Looking west toward Banning Pass

and to the northwest, Mount San Gorgonio, at 11,503 feet, the highest point in Southern California.

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Looking northwest toward cloud-smothered Mount San Gorgonio

After a snack and hydration on the summit, we headed down,

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Leaving Warren Peak

through Black Rock Canyon,

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Back down the canyon

and the yucca trees,

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Traversing out of the canyon

to the campground.

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Descending toward the campground

On the way back, we took the time to enjoy some of the wildflowers and cacti that were in bloom along the trail. Sorry, we don’t have a J-Tree wildflower guide, so these IDs are tentative at best.

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Desert dandilion
Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Flower
Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Flower with pollinator
Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Mojave mound cactus

It had been a short hike, so after lunch in the town of Joshua Tree, we had time to visit some of the area’s more unusual attractions, such as the Giant Rock,

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Giant Rock (note The LovedOne for scale)

and the World Famous Crochet Museum.

Warren Peak Joshua Tree National Park California
Crochet Museum (note The LovedOne for scale)

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