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Quail Springs, Panorama, Samuelsons Rock Loop
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Quail Springs, Panorama, Samuelsons Rock Loop

 
Quail Springs, Panorama, Samuelsons Rock Loop

Page Type: Route

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 34.04023°N / 116.19821°W

Object Title: Quail Springs, Panorama, Samuelsons Rock Loop

GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Hike

Route Quality: 
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Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Jan 30, 2016 / Oct 27, 2017

Object ID: 964662

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Page Score: 80.49%  - 12 Votes 

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Overview

Quail Springs Trail starts at Quail Springs Trailhead on Park Boulevard. It follows an old abandoned dirt road/dry wash 3 miles west over a desert plain into a mountainous area. It then goes into a valley between the mountains, turns northwest and continues to follow the dry wash. Trails Illustrated Map of Joshua tree National Park shows a network of trails crisscrossing the mountains and the valleys of the area. These trails are poorly established/non-existent and do not appear on the official map of the park. They did however appear on my GPS map. Using my GPS, I was able to follow the faint Panorama Trail going 900 vertical feet up the mountains and then down to Big Foot Trail and Samuelsons Rock. In the 1920s, a Swedish immigrant homesteaded here for a few years. His inscriptions can be found carved into a rock face known as Samuelsons Rock. Returning to Quail Springs Trail, I made a 14.9 mile long loop hike.



The black line shows the path that I should have taken. I got off track for some time on Panorama Trail.

Getting There

From the park’s West Entrance drive 5.5 miles on Park Boulevard to Quail Springs Parking Area.

Route Description

This is a 14.9 mile lollipop loop hike. Lowest elevation is 3370 ft and highest elevation is 4270 ft. As mentioned above some of the trails are poorly defined or even non-existent in part. See map for detailed distances.

Map
Map


From the west end of the Quail Springs parking area get on the quail Springs Trail and head west. The trail follows an abandoned dirt road on the surface of a desert plain. A dry wash parallels the road for some time and may be confused with the trail.

On Quail Sprins Trail
 
On Quail Springs Trail
 
On Quail Springs Trail
 
On Quail Springs Trail
 
On Quail Springs Trail
 
On Quail Springs Trail
 


After 2.3 miles you will see a valley between the mountains to the south. Johnny Lang Connector Trail goes south into this valley. Continue straight on the trail/dry wash toward the mountains to the west.

On Quail Springs Trail
 
Quail Springs Trail following the wash
 
On Quail Springs Trail
 
On Quail Springs Trail
 


The trail/wash goes into a valley between the mountains and turns northwest.

On Quail Springs Trail
 
Quail Springs Trail
 


Continuing down the dry wash, you will see a two headed hill identified on USGS Map as “Mary”.

The hill known as  Mary
Mary


Beyond this area, trails became difficult to identify. I just followed the lines on my GPS showing the trails. On the north side of “Mary”, I turned east onto a connecting dry wash where Panorama Trail was and followed the wash up into the mountains.

West end of Panorama Trail
Looking up the valley where Panorama Trail goes


Farther up, a canyon formed. The trail followed the bottom of the canyon.

On Panorama Trail
 
On Panorama Trail
 


A Cairn marked the spot where I had to leave the bottom of the canyon. A faint trail could then be followed to the crest of the mountains.

From the high point of Panorama Trail
From the high point, looking west


The faint trail then took me down the east side of the mountains to reach Big Foot Trail which was nothing more than a dry wash.

Looking east from Panorama Trail
Looking east


I followed the wash south toward Samuelsons Rock.

On Big Foot Trail
 
On Big Foot Trail
 
On Big Foot Trail
 
On Big Foot Trail
 
On Big Foot Trail
 
On Big Foot Trail
 


Samuelsons Rock.

Samuelson Rock
Samuelsons Rock


Trails Illustrated Maps and my GPS showed a trail going east from Samuelsons Rock. I did not actually see such a trail but followed my GPS on the desert floor to reach a home site.

Old home site
Old home site


From there, I turned south onto a trail that took me back to Quail Springs Trail.

When to Hike

Summer can be dangerously hot. Spring, fall and winter are good times.

Images

Old home siteSamuelson RockOn Quail Sprins TrailOn Quail Springs TrailOn Quail Springs TrailOn Quail Springs TrailOn Quail Springs Trail
The hill known as "Mary"On Big Foot TrailOn Panorama TrailOn Quail Springs TrailMapOn Panorama TrailOn Quail Springs Trail
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