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Split Rock Loop, Joshua Tree CA


• 5-star hike
• 2.0 mile loop
• Easy difficulty | Gain 266 feet
• Southern California | Joshua Tree National Park
• Driving Directions: Trailhead


Sun setting on the Split Rock Loop Trail.

We wonder how many people view Split Rock from the parking lot, then head straight back out in search of the next Joshua Tree icon. While we agree that there's lots to see in the park, folk may be missing out on the bigger picture. An easy two-mile looping tour of the rocky landscape around Split Rock reveals a dramatic and varied terrain with views in all direction and surreal stone formations as far as the eye can see.

Curious shapes weathered out of the stone over the years make this place look otherworldly. Rocky arches and gaps where the sun can peek through make for dramatic views. Spotting faces, animals and comically shaped heads in the formations is always fun too.

Sidebar, Fullscreen Map.

Split Rock Loop

We were lucky enough to visit here during golden hour towards the end of the day, and before the Split Rock parking lot gates closed at sunset. We shared the area with only a few people, enjoying great light while bird calls echoed around the rocks.

Check out neighboring roadside rock features just to the South of here, including Face Rock, Skull Rock and Jumbo Rocks. Also very popular is Arch Rock (AllTrails Public Link) located a ten minute Southwesterly drive away.


The Split Rock looms large over the trailhead.


Walking within the rocky landscape is a surreal experience.

Tangents:
• External Links: Official, AllTrails Public
• Facebook Group: Comment on this article

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