Before Joshua Tree National Park was created, it was home to several gold mines, notably the Lost Horse Mine and the Desert Queen Mine. While the Lost Horse Mine is more impressive to see, the hike out to the Desert Queen is easier. To get to the trailhead you will need to drive down a well-graded dirt road. Almost all cars can make it, just that you might need to visit a car wash afterward.
From the parking area, take the trail to the east. There are two other trails that share this same trailhead. Soon you will come upon an almost complete cabin off to your right. Feel free to explore it, just take care not to damage it. After the cabin, the route will make a right and head down toward a wash. If you go straight, you will come to the old water tank. This will give you a view of the mine shafts across the way. Now the trail will get a bit rougher as it descends, so some might be good turning back here. But if you continue, head down the trail and then up the other side. Here you will find several old mine shafts. The larger ones are sealed, but a few smaller ones do allow you to go in for a short distance. Once you are done exploring, return the way you came. All told this hike is about 1.6 miles round-trip
I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest.