CRHT, Eureka Peak & Burnt Hill Loop

CRHT, Eureka Peak & Burnt Hill Loop

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 34.07515°N / 116.38792°W
Additional Information GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Hike
Sign the Climber's Log

California Riding & Hiking Trail

California Riding and Hiking Trail (CRHT) is a 37.5 mile long trail that starts at the northern entrance of Joshua Tree National Park near twenty Nine Palms. It heads south for 7 miles then turns west/northwest to end at the northwestern border of the park in Black Rock Campground. To create Summitpost pages and reasonable day hikes, I have arbitrarily broken CRHT into several several sections with approximate millage as below (the linked pages below may include descriptions of other nearby trails as well):

1) Northern Entrance to Pinto Wye, 4.5 miles
2) Pinto Wye to Juniper Flats, 13.7 miles
3) Juniper Flats to junction of Stubbe Springs Trail, 3.7 miles
4) Junction of Stubbe Springs Trail to Eureka Peak Trail, 10.1 miles
5) Eureka Peak Trail to Black Rock Campground, 5.5 miles

CRHT, Eureka Peak & Burnt Hill Loop

The loop described here starts at Black Rock Campground at an elevation of 3960 ft. It follows the western-most 5.5 miles of CRHT to reach the junction with Eureka Peak Trail where you will leave CRHT and go to the top of the 5518 ft Eureka Peak. You will then follow Burnt Hill Trail back to Black Rock Campground.

Getting There

From the junction of Route 62 and Joshua Lane in the town of Yucca Valley, CA, turn south onto Joshua Lane and follow it several mile to the end of it and turn right onto San Marino Dr. which soon becomes Black Rock Canyon Rd. Look for the sign for California Riding and Hiking Trail at a parking area on the left (east side) of the road.

Route Description

Total hiking distance is 11.9 miles (see map below for details). My GPS measured a total ascent of 2100 ft (due to the ups and downs on trails).

Map of Eureka Peak Loop HikeMap

Get on the California Riding and Hiking Trail. You will see signs for intersection with Black Rock Trail. You will come back via this trail. Head east on CRHT. Mt. San Gorgonio will come to view behind you to the west. The town of Yucca Valley will be seen to the north.

Mt. San GorgonioMt. San Gorgonio
Town of Yucca ValleyYucca Valley

Follow the trail past a saddle and then slightly down to reach a dry wash bed. For the next few miles, the trail follows this wash bed uphill.

Hiking in the washWash

After 3.55 miles, you will reach a split in the wash. When I was in the area, this junction was not signed. Turn left and continue up the wash bed.

Fresh snow

You will then reach the junction with Eureka Peak Trail. Turn right onto this trail leaving CRHT. Continue uphill toward Eureka Peak. The trail soon reaches the dirt road that goes to Eureka Peak and crosses to the other side of it.

On Eureka Peak Trail
On Eureka Peak Trail

After a steep section, you will reach the top of a 5482 ft point just before Eureka Peak. In my opinion, this spot provides you with better views than the summit of Eureka Peak.

Mt. San Jacinto and Coachella ValleyMt. San Jacinto
Mt. San GorgonioMt. San Gorgonio
The glare of Salton Sea
Looking east/southeast

Head north to reach the dirt road. Follow it a short distance to its end and get on a short trail to the top of Eureka Peak.

Mt. San GorgonioMt. San Gorgonio from the summit of Eureka Peak

Retrace your steps. Before reaching the road, you will see a trail going downhill on the west side. Follow it down a steep wash/gully. The north face of Eureka Peak will be visible.

North face of Eureka PeakNorth face of Eureka Peak

At an intersection, go left and continue down a valley to the junction with Burnt Hill Trail.

On Eureka Peak Trail
On Eureka Peak Trail

Turn left onto Burnt Hill Trail going up to a high point.

Junction with Burnt Hill TrailJunction with Burnt Hill Trail

You will then follow a broad valley downhill past the junction with Black Rock Trail back to the trailhead.

On Burnt Hill Trail
On Burnt Hill Trail
On Burnt Hill Trail
On Burnt Hill Trail
On Burnt Hill Trail
On Burnt Hill Trail

When to Hike

Summer can be dangerously hot. Spring, fall and winter are more reasonable