Covington Crest Trail

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 33.99040°N / 116.3073°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Difficulty: Hike
Sign the Climber's Log


This is a 1.6 mile long trail that takes you from Upper Covington Flat Trailhead to a spot at the edge of a plateau where eroded slopes drop close to 4000 vertical feet down to the northern parts of Coachella Valley near the town of Desert Hot Springs. San Jacinto and San Gorgonio Peaks will also be in good view. Some of the park’s biggest Joshua Trees can be found in this area.

Getting There

From the junction of Route 62 and La Contenta Road in the eastern parts of the town of Yucca Valley, CA, turn south onto La Contenta and drive 4 miles south. After 2 miles, pavement ends. You will then see the sign for Covington Flat Road. Turn left (east) onto this dirt road and drive 10 miles to the end of it at Upper Covington Flat Trailhead (at the first two road splits turn right and at the third one left). Many sources recommend four wheel drive. I drove this road in an all wheel drive vehicle but found the surface of the road well graded. On the day that I did the drive, my guess is that a passenger car would have made it. Under wet or other adverse conditions, four wheel drive may be needed.

Route Description

Elevation at Upper Covington Flat Trailhead: 4820 ft
Elevation at end of the trail: 4920
Length: 1.6 miles one way (sign at trailhead mistakenly said 2.1 miles)


At Upper Covington Flat Trailhead you will see two trails. The one on the left (southeast) is California Riding and Hiking Trail. Take the one on the right (southwest). The trail takes you up a gently sloped plateau through a growth of big Joshua Trees.

On Covington Crest Trail
On Covington Crest Trail
On Covington Crest Trail
Giant Joshua Tree

At the end of the trail, you will reach the edge of the plateau. Eroded slopes drop far below. San Jacinto and San Gorgonio Peaks will be well visible.

San Gorgonio PeakSan Gorgonio Peak
San Jacinto PeakSan Jacinto Peak

Coachella ValleyCoachella Valley

When to Hike

Summer may get dangerously hot. Spring, fall and winter are good times.