Home | Getting Started | Gift Center | Gear Store | Topo Maps | My Wildernet | Newsletter Signup
California > California Scenic Byways > Route 62--29 Palms Highway
Destination Locator:

Route 62--29 Palms Highway

Joshua Tree National Park-

Search by Name within California:

Activity Locator:

Route 62--29 Palms Highway Customized Topo Maps and Aerial Photos
Outdoor Gear and Clothing

Search by Name within California:

Trip Planner

Hotels Airline Tickets Car Rentals
B&Bs Yellow Pages City Guide

Quick Facts
Designation: California State Scenic Highway
Fees: There may be area use and/or park entrance fees.
Length, One-Way: 9 Miles (15.0 Kilometers)
Time: 10 minutes @ 55 mph

General Information

Route 62--29 Palms Highway personifies the lower southern desert valleys of California
Copyright: - California Scenic Highway Program
Route 62--29 Palms Highway personifies the lower southern desert valleys of California
Description - This State Scenic Highway, which features high desert country scenery, leads to or from Joshua Tree National Park. Large "windmill farms," where wind power is used to generate electricity, can be seen along the way. Lying within the northern end of the Coachella Valley, this area is typical of the lower southern desert valleys of California.

Attractions - Route 62--29 Palms Highway features high desert country scenery while providing access to Joshua Tree National Park where backpackers can reach the 467,000-acre wilderness area amid a transition zone between the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. Vast differences in elevation occur ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 feet.

Two deserts, two large ecosystems primarily determined by elevation, come together in the Joshua Tree National Park. Few areas more vividly illustrate the contrast between "high" and "low" desert. Below 3,000 feet, the Colorado Desert, occupying the eastern half of the park, is dominated by the abundant creosote bush. The higher, slightly cooler, and wetter Mojave Desert is the special habitat of the undisciplined Joshua tree, extensive stands of which occur throughout the western half of the park.

Recreation - The Route 62--29 Palms Highway is known for it's scenic attractions.

Climate - The desert region experiences typically clear days with with low precipitation and humidity.
Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high / low of 85 and 50 degrees F respectively. Winter brings cooler days, around 60 degrees F, and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at the higher elevations. Summers are very hot, over 100 degrees F during the day and not cooling much below 75 degrees F until the early hours of the morning.

Location - This desert route runs along U.S. Highway 62 from Palm Springs / Interstate10 to the San Bernardino County line near Morengo Valley.

Directions from :

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: chekoya (Joshua Tree, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Thrilling Adventure My girlfriend and I decided to explore the Pinto Mt area as that was the subject of a lecture we attended Friday night at the Old Schoolhouse Museum. They're finding mammoth bones out there! We learned of basalt, black layer of rock from volcanic eruptions.......and the red rocks underneath are red from the heat of the fires, not iron as I would have thought! We entered the Joshua Tree National Park at the North entrance in 29 Palms. Drove the main road and passed the Teddybear cactus gardens and Occotillo patch. Then we turned north northeast onto a dirt road through very flat valleys with yellow flowers everywhere. At the base of the mountain we stopped at an arrastra, an old well where we took pics and then an old mining area where they processed the gold? From here the road becomes very rocky and we soon came to an old mine where all the equipment was rusting away. We stopped and took more pics. I found a cache of old iron balls in sizes from 1" diameter to 8" which were so heavy they took two hands to lift. Uphill now, and discovered an old home overlooking a gorge with a patio area to sit and have a grand view. Some graffiti, and deep holes drilled into the ground, surely an old miners place. Up up and up, getting really rocky, with all the sand washed away and deep holes. I got out here and put the jeep into 4 wheel drive to get over a tricky patch. Getting way up now and the path is narrow with steep drop-offs, first on my side, then on Pams as we wind around the mountain. Had to stop when it got so narrow and the holes so deep, and the rocks so large. Nowhere to turn around and damned if I was going to go in reverse at that point, so Pam leaned all the way over, practically had to tell her to get out of my lap! Skirted the edge with no inch to spare and saw only more of the same ahead. Bouncing hard and worried about the jeep, didn't want to get a hole in the oil pan or worse trying to go around the deepest holes with the sharpest rocky centers that would surely hole the jeep. Stopped at another mining home with a water tank in a fairly flat area to catch our breath. Pam was feeling nauseous and had to sit quiet for a few minutes. I had to get out and lean over to let the tension out of my back and neck. Walked down and around and these people were really miners! There was a hole so deep I couldn't see bottom with stairs descending into the dark. An opening into the mountain couldn't be reached as the path led over a wooden platform neither of us would trust. It was about 8 feet long by 4 feet wide overhanging a deep gorge. Thinking we were practically at the top now and should start down soon, and not wanting to go back the way we'd come, we continued on. From here it only turned worse. Narrow, rocky, breathtaking views, hands turning white from pressure on the wheel, bouncing hard, tilting first one way and then the other, but this old jeep, 21 this year, refused to tip or stall, and sigh of relief, we finally made it to the valley on the other side! Old Dale Road is still passable if you've nerves of steel and an old jeep that won't stop. It helps to be crazy too. Stopped in the valley and opened the cooler for the necessary drink of water and nervous guffaws and brave talk! Felt much better after we ate, though we will definitely bring blankets and canned food and a first aid kit on our next outing!! Our cell phones didn't work, and we had considered stopping overnight if it got too dark to see. Definitely not a road traveled in the dark!! Another perhaps 15 miles of valley so quiet and pristine with mountains rising in the distance on all sides and we came to hwy 62. We were east of 29 Palms, near the Old Dale Dry Lake area. Sound like the kind of fun you'd like to be having? And we do this all the time, at least once a week anyway!! The last hair raising drive we took was applesauce compared to this one yesterday!! Didn't know I was turning into a thrill seeker in my old age.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Scenic Driving Route 62--29 Palms Highway
ICON Viewing Scenery Route 62--29 Palms Highway

More Information

Additional Information:
California Scenic Byways - California offers one All American Road, two National Scenic Byways, and well over 50 state and National Forest designated scenic byways.

Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


About Wildernet |  Email to a Friend  |  Disclaimer |  Privacy |  Contact Us  | Comments & Suggestions
Advertisers & Sponsors |  Owners & Operators |  Tourism Promotors
©1995-2018 Interactive Outdoors Inc. All rights reserved.