Arch Rock desert loop trail is a short .5 mile loop takes you to one of the most famous rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park. The fun and easy hike and scrambling can be done by your whole family and can easily be done in 20mins or much longer depending on how long you’re exploring the boulders.
The hike starts in the White Tank Campground which is not a campground that I recommend due to all of the people coming to see the Arch Rock in Joshua Tree. If you do stay at White Tank Campground avoid staying in sites #13 – #15 since the trail runs directly behind them.
I suggest going late in the afternoon as the sunset casts a wonderful reddish hew on the rocks that is fantastic for photographs. You also won’t have to worry about hiking out in the dark with its short half mile hike.
Park at the White Tank Campground close to campsite #8 on Pinto Basin Rd in Joshua Tree NP.
Enter the White Tank campground and turn left when you arrive at the bathroom. The trailhead is just over the wood bridge.
After about 700 ft the trail turns sharply to the right. Don’t worry if you miss it the trail loops around and you’ll soon find the Arch Rock.
The rock-lined trail is well marked with arrows and information plaques.
- Address: White Tank Campground on Pinto Basin Rd
- Duration: 20 mins
- Length: .5 mile loop
- Elevation Gain: mostly flat and rock scrambling
- Activity Level: easy
- Terrain: Full Sun – Bring a hat and lots of water.
- Other: Protected Desert Bighorn Sheep area. No Dogs.
- Wear good walking/scrambling shoes, bring lots of water, and wear a hat and sunscreen.
- Great sunset spot.
- Bring an umbrella for shade.