There are so many breathtaking hikes to choose from inside Joshua Tree National Park. I selected Lost Horse Mine today because I liked the story behind it and also because I brought along a couple of dudes who I thought would think it was “boss!”
My boys, 10 and 5, were pretty excited about heading to this mysterious spot where old gold miners once prowled. Yet, they weren’t quite AS excited when they realized there was a 4 mile walk involved.
The trail actually retraces the original mining road to the old gold mine. The oral tradition is that in 1893 cowboy Johnny Lang discovered the mine when he went looking for his lost horse. He quickly filed the claim and began mining. Between 1894 and 1931 the mine produced 10,000 ounces of gold and 16,000 ounces of silver.
At the end of the trail there are several rewards, one, the well preserved remains of the huge 10 stamp mill that is Lost Horse Mine and the other, the breathtaking view from 5,278 feet up.
On the trail you’ll see mostly Yucca Trees, Juniper and a few Joshua Trees. If you’re lucky you’ll spy several quail families foraging in the low lying scrub brush and finally (going against all I learned in Journalism school) I have saved the best for last…we spotted this darling, curious coyote hanging on the side of the main road, hoping for a handout!
Of note: 4 mile loop, moderate, time about 3-4 hours