Cap Rock Nature Trail | Joshua Tree

Cap Rock in Joshua Tree is a short, flat, easy nature trail that is appropriate for everyone. This trail is not paved, but it is packed dirt, so wheels would be appropriate for this hike. There is limited shade like all of the trails in Joshua Tree, and a few signs that tell about the local flora.

We love that the trees are right by the trail.


Cap Rock is a nature trail in the center of Joshua Tree National Park that has limited parking. The most difficult part will be finding a place to put your vehicle while you make the 0.4 mile walk. This trail is located on the Keys View road and this road often closes due to lack of parking at the Keys View overlook and the Cap Rock parking area. We recommend doing this trail in the morning before parking areas fill up.

Cap Rock Nature Trail

The hike takes its name from a massive rock that has a small “cap” sitting jauntily on top of it. It is cocked to one side sort of like a real cap would be.

Can you see Cap Rock?

The hike starts out in a counter-clockwise loop. It weaves in and out of the juniper and Joshua trees. A lot of the hikes in Joshua Tree have interpretive signs, but the best ones were on this trail. We enjoyed reading short blurbs about the things we were seeing as we walked the Cap Rock Nature Trail.

The trail sign directs you counter-clockwise, but you could walk it in either direction.
There are lots of rock formations, as well as Joshua Trees.
Watch for information signs along the way.

This walk goes around some boulders and briefly leaves view of the parking lot, but mostly, it stay pretty close to the base of Cap Rock where you park. The trail was lovely in the morning when we visited and we loved walking through the rocks, and underneath a Joshua tree.

Cap Rock Nature Trail was one of our favorite stops.
Walking between the huge boulders is fun.
We thought this tree growing across the trail was amazing.

Cap Rock Nature Trail in Joshua Tree is only 0.4 miles around, and is flat and easy. It was one of our favorite stops for the nice views and easiness of the loop. If there is time, you should definitely squeeze this walk into your itinerary. There are also picnic tables and restrooms at Cap Rock. For other easy hikes in Joshua Tree National Park, visit our list of Family Friendly Trails in Joshua Tree.

Leave a Reply