Walk the Hall of Horrors Nature Trail


Hall of Horrors Nature Trail is an easy 0.7 mile loop walk among the signature large boulders of Joshua Tree National Park. This walk is called the “hall of horrors” because there is a slot canyon hidden amongst all the rocks. We didn’t find it because we didn’t research and there’s no cell service inside the park. I’ll try and go back again soon and see if I can come up with some clear instructions, or you can watch this video by Magellan and Greyhound.

Tip: There is a great Self-Driving Audio Tour on Get Your Guide for the National Park if you enjoy having a historical background on the gold prospecting and cattle rustling of Joshua Tree’s past.

Hiking Info

  • Trailhead location: Cap Rock Parking Lot

  • Nature Trail: 0.6 Mile Loop Trail

  • Rated: Easy

  • Elevation change: 25 feet

  • There is a parking lot here with free parking

  • Bathrooms at trailhead

Tip: Make sure you bring good hiking boots, Danner makes some with vibram soles that have great traction. These Boot Trail 2650 are nice looking and fuctional.

When to go

  • The best time of year to visit Joshua Tree National Park is March-May and October-November.

  • Avoid July & August, too hot to do anything.

  • The winter months of December - February are cold but still doable if you prefer off season travel.

  • June and September are on the hotter side, but if you avoid midday hiking you would be okay.

The Hall of Horrors Nature Trail

You can walk this trail clockwise or counter clockwise, either way it’s an easy route to follow or even go off trail a bit because the parking lot is easy to spot. There are many shapes and sizes of boulders all over this area that are fun to climb on or just take in the view. I recommend just wandering around and exploring all the rock formations along the way.


There are also many signatures Joshua Trees all along this hike.


It’s fun to find shapes that look like animals in the rocks. This one below looks like a shark head to me. Do you see it?


This is a great hike to do if it’s a super hot day in the park since it’s a short well marked trail. Any other tips or facts about this trail? Please leave them in the comments below.


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