Black Rock Canyon Campground is not accessed through the main gates to Joshua Tree National Park. It is just south of the town of Yucca Valley. It sits at about 4,000 feet, has thick Joshua Tree stands, piñon pines and junipers.
The West Loop Trail, when going clockwise, begins with a charming path through desert flora. It climbs up for magnificent views of Black Rock Canyon, then drops down into a sandy wash. Later on, the climb begins and it is not for anyone not wearing proper shoes and possessing a modicum of coordination. I’d call it moderately strenuous. The vistas, the silence, the plant life variations is worth the 4-mile-plus hike.
Pack plenty of water and a protein snack for this trail.
View this 1 minute recap of West Loop Trail in full screen.