California: Joshua Tree National Park – Lost Horse Trail 11km

Today, we are aiming to hike the Lost Horse Trail in Joshua Tree National Park, which we’ve been told is the most popular trail in the park. This is how the 11+km hike panned out.

First, a photo of the western entrance to the park. Gotta love these monuments…

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An overview of the Lost Horse Mine. The story is that Johnny Lang found gold when he went looking for his lost horse, hence the name.

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The hike to the mine and back is about 6+ km and the loop is exactly 11.1 km. Here is a marker in one of the many sandy and dry riverbeds that are dotted around the park.

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Unfortunately, Good Mrs did not make it all the way. A “bug” overnight left her feeling a bit off and she returned back.

A couple of pictures of what is left of the Lost Horse Mine. The mine operated intermittently between 1893 and 1936.

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Unfortunately, bush fires are not only a problem for Australia. The Lost Horse Trail goes through blackened areas from earlier fires.

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A pleasant surprise along the hike. Animals. Joshua Tree National Park has been almost devoid of animals so far. We couldn’t even find ants here, only the occasional fly.

Right of a sudden, 3 long horned sheep appeared out of nowhere. These animals are very shy and like their territory to be free of humans. Apparently there are a total of some 250 long horned sheep in Joshua Tree National Park but more commonly in its wilderness areas.

I managed to capture a couple of photos of them before they disappeared again.

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And boy, do they blend in…

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This is a white tailed antelope squirrel. Very cute little things. More used to humans, they occasionally pop up and beg for food, albeit from a distance.

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An overview from the Lost Horse Trail.

Absolutely fantastic views that a 2-dimensional photo can never make justice. The area below is declared wilderness and no official trail goes down there.
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A surprise along the way. A manmade “open fire” with a number of rusty items next to it (which was surprising given how dry it is here) including the bottom of a bed, with springs.
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I finished the Lost Horse Trail at the early time of 11.15am and Good Mrs was there to meet me. All good, now some touristy stuff, but that’s not for this blog…

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