The Rings Trail in Mojave National Preserve

By far one of the best trails in the entire Mojave National is the rings trail. This one and half mile trail packs a ton of punches in only a short period of time and has quickly become one of the best short hikes I have been on. If you are in this part of the preserve it is a must visit.

Rings Trail 3


  • Free
  • Does require some arm strength as you have to pull yourself up iron rings.
  • One mile
  • No real elevation

Rings Trail 22

Starting at the info center near the great Hole in the Wall campground, this trail quickly starts winding its way around the massive mountain you are starting next to. It bends and weaves as it proceeds forward and the longer you walk the more the mountain starts to show its pock-marked face full of wind worn caves.

Rings Trail 19

As you head around the front of the mountain it opens into a wide expanse of prairie like plains with a large mesa (flat top) mountain looming ahead.

Rings Trail 12

This part of the path is beautiful and has lots to look at on both the mountain side and on the foliage that lines the ground, especially during spring.

Rings Trail 13

Around this area you will also see the hieroglyphics, honestly I am not sure if they are real, but they are here.

Rings Trail 11

About a half mile from the start though the trail heads in again and this is where it starts to blow you away.

Rings Trail 20

As you make your way around the mountain you will see the giant limestone cliffs that beckon you forward but also create a sense of fear. Behind you is the monolith that juts out of the ground like it was pushed from below. The destination during this part is the crevice between the cliffs.

Rings Trail 17

As you near them you really do see how massive the cliffs are. They loom above you as you make your way up and into the cut out that the trail leads through.

Rings Trail 4

As you continue to climb the canyon seems to become a slot canyon and every rock has chunks missing from it. Some even forming what I thought looked like faces.

Rings Trail 1

The last part in this area is the push up over a bunch of fallen rocks.

Rings Trail 2

Once you hit the top of the rocks you will see the rings from which the trail gets its name, Rings Trail.

Rings Trail 24

These steel rings are lined along one side of the trail and provide footing up a steep incline. While it would not be impassable without them, they are a welcome addition and one that I enjoyed climbing.

Rings Trail 21

There are two sets of rings that you will be climbing up before you eventually crest at the top of the mountain. This feels like quite an accomplishment, even though the trail was not very hard and is one of those hikes that you will tell others about just because it is unique.

Rings Trail 18

After getting to the top make sure to head to the overlook as well, there are beautiful views from this location and it is worth the short excursion.

Rings Trail 7

Even though Keslo Dunes and the lava tube are amazing, the rings trail is easily up there with great trails in the Mojave Preserve. If you haven’t spent much time there then you really should go out and do it.

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  • Salvador

    Josh falto el mapa para llegar a Mojave,,,

  • Jackie Rivera

    Would it be safe for a mom and her 13 year old daughter to do? How should you prepare yourself to do this hike?

    • I have only been on this hike once and I didn’t see any other people the entire time I was there. It starts right at a small visitors center though so if you went when it was open I am sure they could give you more information. it is one of the more popular hikes in the entire preserve though so I am sure it does get traffic. The hike itself is not very difficult though to do so it does not require a ton of preparation other then making sure you are in hiking shape. Let me know what other questions you have.

  • Jenna

    Hi Josh,
    I’m really enjoying your blog! I’m planning a day trip from Las Vegas to hike the Kelso dunes. Do you think there would be enough time after that for the Rings Trail hike as well? Thanks!

    • I would say it might be hard as that is a long drive from Vegas and a decent drive over dirt in the park to get to the rings trail from the Kelso Dunes. It is possible but it would depend on when you leave, how fast you hike, etc.

      • Jenna

        Thanks for your reply. Perhaps we will end up doing part of the Cima dome trail after the Dunes instead (if we have time). Am trying to avoid too many dirt roads in a rental car! Thanks again for an informative blog.

        • That is probably a better bet as that is on the way back to Vegas and it is on the paved park road. Let me know if you have any additional questions!