Barber Peak Loop (dayhike)

Trip Date: 3/15/2014

Location: Mojave National Preserve

Permit/Pass: No fees

Trails: NPS Map 1, NPS Map 2

Directions: From Interstate 40 exit Essex Road and drive north 10 miles to the junction with Black Canyon Road. Hole-in-the-Wall is 10 miles north on Black Canyon Road. Turn left at the sign for the Visitor Center and proceed past the center along the gravel road which soon dead-ends at the trailhead.

Trail sequence: Rings Loop trail / Barber Peak Loop trail

Type: Loop

Distance: 5.8 miles

Elevation: Min. - 4093', Max. - 4696'


Rating: Moderate (factors: scrambling, heat)

Synopsis: One of the more spectacular desert trails we've taken. The rings scrambling portion is enjoyable, but the southwestern and northeastern quarters of the loop feature beautiful desert garden scenery. There is a stretch that wanders through an area that burned in 2005, but even this section is fascinating.


Barber Peak Loop - Mojave National Preserve

Turn by Turn:

  -- From the trailhead head down the Rings Loop trail into the canyon. After scrambling this section, follow the trail out the lower end and pick up the Barber Peak Loop trail.

  -- Barber Peak Loop trail begins heading southwest and circles around to the west before abruptly turning right and beginning a gradual northwest climb through some amazing barrel cactus habitat.

  -- About 2 miles into the hike you work your way through a low pass, then past a gate and down into a large wash. You continue on toward the northeast before leaving the wash (watch for the markers) and circling to the northeast. Soon you junction with Mid-Hills trail on the left. Ignore this trail and continue on Barber Peak Loop.

  -- The trail levels out and works east before beginning to drop toward the campground. You climb over some rock formations, and eventually slide through another gate before turning right and following the fence for a few yards.

  -- After you leave the fence the trail climbs up behind the campground and then drops down toward the trailhead along some rocky, winding trail.

  -- Soon you work your way past more of the pock-marked cliff faces that were featured at the beginning of the hike, marking your return to the trailhead and your car.


Photo Gallery: Flickr

Video: Youtube