Joshua Tree National Park is full of wonders that are not on any of the park maps. Much like all of the other national parks, some of the best adventures can only be had by those who put in the time and research to find them. Samuelson Rocks, the cube, and Eagle Cliff Mine are places like this. Samuelson Rocks is a small hill in the west part of the park where an early homesteader wrote sayings on the rocks that run the gauntlet between providing words of wisdom to insulting then president Hover. It is a wild spot to explore, and its fun to see these old (1920s) historical rocks. Here is all the information.
- 3 miles
- Need a GPS location to find it
- There is no cell reception out here, so make sure you download the track before you come out.
- This information is from my visit in 2017
- Read more about Joshua Tree National Park here
This hike does not have an established trail, and there is no marker I can give you to park at. I would recommend entering from the west entrance and getting a GPS track from one of the many sites online that have one, prior to going out of reception. That way, you can follow it all the way to the rock, and you can also see where to park. Note this hike is in the exposed desert, do not attempt it during the heat of summer.
From the road where you pull off (see above for recommendations on getting a GPS track), you will want to follow the path out towards the mountains.
Since this hike is still relatively popular, look for the footpath trail and try to stay on that as you head out.
The “trail” is open and uneventful for most of the first mile as you head back towards the mountains. Eventually, you will see a small mound on the right, up near the base of one of the mountains, that is where the rocks are located.
On the way there, keep your eyes peeled for the remnants of the homestead, which include an old jeep that is decaying into the ground and a house.
The jeep is much like what you would see on the Wall Street Mill hike with not much left but the metal.
The house is also pretty much destroyed as well, with no walls still standing. There was a small basement that you could look into, but it didn’t seem very safe to go in.
From here, we headed over to the mound with the rocks on it. There are seven quotes on six rocks (one has two). We found all but one on the small hill.
You will be able to see the first one easily as it has a small bench you can sit at right in front of it.
The rest are scattered around the hill, and finding them will require keeping your eyes peeled and hiking around the hill looking for them.
My friend Chris and I had a good time hiking around and looking for all of the rocks. This would not be a great hike when it is hot as there is no shade, but in the winter months, it is a lot of fun.
After you finish exploring, head back the way you came, following the GPS back to the car. Let me know what you think of this hike in the comments.