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.

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

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