Queen Mountain is a fun destination not only for climbers but also for hikers. It boasts stunning views and exciting climbs. It’s not like most of the other trails in Joshua Tree National Park. The trails are not well-worn, and there is lots of scrambling involved in the climb.
We decided to head over to Queen Mountain to both hike and check out some of the boulders in the area. We were told that there were some really great bouldering areas for rock climbing, but you had to be willing to hike and scramble to get to the climbing locations. We thought it would be a good idea to scout out the trek before trying to do the hike with gear.
I give mad props to those who climb after hiking up the mountain with their gear. There is no way that I’d be able to climb after that hike. I was tired by the time we made it to the summit. Who am I kidding? I was tired before I reached the summit.
The trail starts out at the parking lot. There is a trail marker, but there is no trail name. The beginning of the trail starts with a sandy wash with a gradual change in elevation. You then go up a rocky hill and some more desert wash before getting to the base of the mountain. Once you get to the base of the mountain, the style of hiking completely changes.
Unlike other hiking trails in the park, the Queen Mountain hike involves mountaineering as there is no well-worn path. There are some cairns up the mountain to help guide you, but there is no set path. Scrambling becomes a regular part of the trek up the mountain.
For me, it was intense as I often found myself scrambling up rocks that were up to my waist. Toss in the fact that I’m allergic to the yucca plants that grace the entire mountainside and life can get pretty interesting. On more than one occasion, D had to block the yucca plants so I could safely make my way past them. I also found alternative routes when I couldn’t maneuver around the plants.
My asthma kicked in due to the super bloom and altitude. The flowers are stunning, but they’re not so great for allergies and asthma.
We both decided that we wouldn’t be climbing in this area as the hike up to the location paired with the climbing skills required were a bit above our current level of expertise. We still enjoyed checking out the boulders and testing out the rocks even if we weren’t going to be doing any actual climbing.
It was a long, hard hike, but we both were glad that we took the time to do something different. We went through a lot of water that day even if it wasn’t hot. I definitely would not want to do this hike in the summer heat.
Queen Mountain was our thirteenth hike in the 2017 52 Hike Challenge. We’d love to have you follow us on our year-long hiking adventure.