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Arch Rock

Joshua Tree National Park

March 29th, 2010

0.4 miles
60 vertical feet
Total Time: 0:29

Starting elevation
3831 feet
Max elevation
3857 feet

Rating: 6/10

Directions: From Twentynine Palms, enter the park through the North Entrance Station. Follow Park Boulevard south. At the intersection, take the left fork on Pinto Basin Road toward Interstate 10. A short while later, turn left into the White Tank campground. There are no signs for Arch Rock from the main road. Once you are in the campground, turn left near the campground information sign. Find the trailhead next to camp site number 9. There is only parking here for about 5 cars.   View Driving Map

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We managed to find a parking space in a small parking area next to camp site number 9, where the trail begins. Then we followed the metal information signs along the trail. The trail itself is sandy and mostly flat. The signs explain some of the geology of the boulders that you pass by. The boulders are White Tank granite, and form some pretty interesting shapes.

At one of the signs we took a short side trip to Arch Rock itself, since it's hard to get a good view of it from the trail itself. It's almost perpendicular to the trail, and you have to kind of squirm your way over and through some other boulders to get to it. It's not very difficult to do so, and stand right underneath it, however.

Arch rock from the trail

Arch Rock

Rock formations near Arch Rock

Rock formations near Arch Rock

The informational signs are pretty interesting. One of them describes something called dikes, which form in fractures in the main body of rock while still beneath the surface of the earth. These manifest themselves as lines of rock embedded in the granite. We would see clear examples of this later on this trip.



Looks like a skull to me

While it's interesting to look at the rock formations, before you know it, the trail is over, returning in a loop to the trailhead.

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