Wall Street Mill, Joshua Tree CA

• 5-star hike
• 2.4 mile out-and-back
• Easy difficulty | Gain 95 feet
• Southern California | Joshua Tree National Park
• Driving Directions: Trailhead

Abandoned mining equipment from the depression era.

We'd recommend the trail to Wall Street Mill as the best short trail in the park. Take a picturesque stroll between rocky outcroppings along the flat desert floor, passing historic ruins of mans' attempts to live in and off this arid landscape.

The one mile out-and-back trail leads you past a windpump, an argument leading to a shoot-out, and ultimately to a small preserved depression-era stamp mill. Local prospectors would commission Bill Keys' stamp mill to crush and grind their rocks into a slurry using a two-step process, so it can be separated into gold and mine tailings.

On the route you'll happen across a modern metal replacement for a stone monument that was originally placed here and is now in the Joshua Tree park museum. The monument was placed in this location by the mill owner Bill Keys as a warning, after an altercation and shooting over a property dispute. The law sentenced Keys to five years imprisonment but later received a full pardon.

A metal monument to a desert showdown.

At the mill site you can also check out other historic equipment and a motor vehicle rotting away in the desert sun. More derelicts can be found on your return trip just to the north of the main trail - we've included a detour to these in our trail map. While you're out here in the desert, keep an eye out for wild bighorn sheep that roam the area.

This is a very popular hike, so we'd suggest making it a first priority in the park. We'd also recommend combining this with the Barker Dam Nature Trail hike that leads off from the same parking lot.

Ruins of a desert dwelling.

Workings of the stamp mill. From the park's interpretive sign.

Sidebar, Fullscreen Map.

Phone Navigation:
Wall Street Mill Trail | 5★ | 2.4mi | Easy | 95ft | AllTrails

• External Links: Official | AllTrails Public
• Trailspotting: Southwest Articles | Southwest Map
• Facebook Group: Comment on this article
Follow us for new trail reviews:

Navigate Trailspotting:
NH HikesNH RailtrailsCA HikesMore

All website content copyright © 2005-2022 Stuart Green. Brought to you with no advertisements or affiliate links. Information on this site is provided without warranty. Users are responsible for their own actions and for validating all information.