North View, Maze Loop, and Window Trail Hike in Joshua Tree NP

Desert Hot Springs, CA

On Monday we headed back north into Joshua Tree NP to do a hike recommended to us by Hans and Lisa (Metamorphosis Road).  The trailhead is 1.7 miles from the west entrance to the park at a small parking area on the north side of Palm Blvd.

Three trails branch off from this trailhead.  We followed the loop hiked by Hans and Lisa combining the North View, Maze Loop, and Window Trails for a hike of a bit over seven miles.  The trails went up and down as they weaved through neat rock formations

We’ve been told this is a Phainopepla

Some of the formations looked like walls built by ancient civilizations.

Most of the trail meandered through the rocks on a hard surface . . .

. . . but many times it went along a sandy wash

Some of the rocks above us looked like animals or objects.

Grizzly Bear?

Rubber Ducky ?

A hand held fan?

Dog head on a platter ?

About half way around the loop we could see “The Window” ahead of us.

The Window Trail goes around the other side of The Window, but the view of it from that side is not that impressive.

As we hiked the last third of the loop we thought for sure that we spotted a Big Horn Sheep sitting high on the rocks.  But a zoom photo revealed it to just be a rock.

Thanks Hans and Lisa for pointing out this hike to us.  It is long enough and has enough elevation gain and loss to give the legs a good workout and has enough great scenery to keep the mind engaged!

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22 Responses to North View, Maze Loop, and Window Trail Hike in Joshua Tree NP

  1. Laurel says:

    What a great hike! Those sandy washes in Joshua Tree provide a good workout, don’t they? And you are so creative with your rock-naming (dog head on a platter, haha!). I must say that window is a bit dinky compared to the amazing arches in the Alabama Hills. But it’s still a beautiful landscape. 🙂

  2. libertatemamo says:

    Great hike! You definitely got your legs worth on this one!

  3. Debbie L says:

    Nice! Agree about the rock shapes!

  4. I really enjoyed this post and your great photos. We visited Joshua Tree several years ago and really liked it. And you just missed a friend of ours who was there about a week ago!

  5. Dog head on a platter!!!! I like your bighorn sighting too! Glad you liked the hike. The stacked look to the rocks was pretty neat, it’s like Legos for giants!

  6. Janna says:

    You guys do find some strange rocks!

  7. pmbweaver says:

    I guessed a Grizzly Bear before I saw your caption. Great minds! Dog head on a platter…what imaginations. That rock does look like a Big Horn Sheep. Pretty cool.

    Now this is a hike Paul and I would really enjoy. This hike is much prettier than any hike we did in Florida.

  8. Looks like a great trail. Too funny naming that rock dog head on a platter! It is quite an unusual balanced rock.

  9. explorvistas says:

    Your 10th picture looks like a bearded man with a tootsie roll hanging out of his mouth! 🙂

  10. Desert Rat says:

    Love your hikes! We are going to Zion this weekend and I looked through your blog for your hikes there.

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks! I’m sure you were able to find some good ideas for Zion hikes. We were there for a month and hiked almost everyday. The east side is the best place if you want to avoid most of the people. Have a fun weekend!

  11. Mary says:

    I love rock formations like that, what a cool place. Joshua tree is on my list of places to spend time.

  12. Sherry says:

    Great to see the same trail from someone else’s point of view. Love your rock formation names. The big horn absolutely looks like it. How about “steps up the side of someone’s jaw” for the third one down from that great picture of the bird I’ve never heard of? I know he only has a mouth and a jaw but……………

  13. Gay says:

    Love those rocks! A great hike for sure…one I hope we can do one day! You two did a good job naming all the formations…

  14. Janet says:

    Interesting rock formations names 🙂

  15. harleyhawk43 says:

    Nice hike. Thanks for sharing.

  16. LuAnn says:

    Some great hikes to put on our list. Always interesting hiking in sand, isn’t it?

  17. Jodee Gravel says:

    You need to do a hike map with the names of the rocks to look for – that dog head is very cool! Definitely a sheep 🙂 Looks like your perfect weather is hanging around as well – enjoy!!

  18. jimandbarb says:

    Barb and I like to look for unusual shapes in the rock and cactus, make the hike a little more entertaining. I like the tram ride the other day too!

  19. We’ve got to hike that trail! I enjoyed all the rock formations and I got all of them except for that dog in a platter.

  20. rommel says:

    Loved Joshua Tree NP. The jumbo rocks there are impressive! Love the rubber ducky. Mother Nature is quite a sculptor!

  21. Pingback: Spring Hikes: The Maze Loop in Joshua Tree National Park, California -

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