Considered by many to be one of the best hikes in Joshua Tree in the Black Rock Canyon region of the park, the Panorama Loop follows a sandy wash to some incredible views of the surrounding mountain ranges. It’s one of my favorite hikes to take friends who are game for a longer hike and don’t mind heights.
Black Rock Canyon is known for having some of the densest groves of Joshua trees in the park. I like that this hike is one of the few trails of its length in the park that visits juniper forest, too. The Panorama Loop is a killer place for epic panorama photos, and while I hate to admit it, I always stop at the top for something Instagram-worthy.
How to hike the Panorama Loop
Technically a lollipop loop, the trail starts and ends on a sandy wash by the Blackrock Backcountry Board. The trail is signed at all intersections, including connectors that go back to the Black Rock Campground nearby. After about half a mile, the canyon narrows. After passing Black Rock Spring (not reliable or always noticeable), you’ll reach signposts indicating where the trail becomes a loop. I’ve found that the signage and navigation is a little easier if you head counter-clockwise. As you climb, there are incredible views of Mount San Jacinto (10,834 feet) and San Gorgonio (11,503 feet), part of Sand to Snow National Monument. I always stop for a photo with the abnormally large Joshua Tree smack in the middle of the trail. The Panorama Loop is 6.5 miles round trip with 1,200 feet of elevation gain.