The Mastodon Peak trail in Joshua Tree National Park is a three-mile day hike that features a cottonwood-shaded oasis, a gold mine, and a view of the desert.

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Expert Review of Mastodon Peak

Parks and Outdoors Review of Mastodon Peak

Away Travel Expert: Ann Marie Brown
expert favorite Parks Expert Favorite
ParksExpert Rating 5.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Parks and OutdoorsExpert Tips & Helpful Hints
  • The Mastodon Peak Trail begins at Cottonwood Spring Oasis, a small watery paradise for birds and wildlife. The trail travels for 1.5 nearly level miles among tall ocotillos (brilliant red blossoms in spring), yucca, and an abundance of oddly shaped boulders. Most children can easily accomplish this hike and will find plenty to interest them along the way.
  • Once you reach the base of Mastodon Peak, a short-but-steep scramble is required to access its summit. The view from the top is surprising: Not only can you see a great expanse of Joshua Tree's landscape, but also the Eagle Mountains, winter-snowcapped Mount San Jacinto, and the mirage-like Salton Sea glimmering in the distance.
  • A short side-trip from this trail leads to the Mastodon Gold Mine and Winona Mill site. The mine was worked in the 1920s with a modicum of success.

Cottonwood Spring area
Joshua Tree National Park
Price: $15 for 7-day parking pass

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 760-367-5500
Price Information: $15 for 7-day parking pass
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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