Pinkham Canyon to Thermal Canyon Trail

Total Miles


1018.16 ft


3 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Spring, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

From the Cottonwood entry gate area you will see the trailhead sign for Pinkham and Thermal Canyon Road. Here it is mostly flat and sandy for several miles. Traveling down the middle of a wide valley. The trail is well marked with "Designated Route" stakes. It is important to stay on the trail and not widen the trail or create any side spurs. Both sides of the trail are designated Wilderness Area. You will have to make a decision whether to stay on Pinkham or to catch Thermal to continue on. Both trails are very similar in scenic landscape and difficulty. And both trails exit in the same general direction and vicinity.


Mostly sand and washes with minor drop-offs into the washes up on the flats. Once you are in the canyon the trail turns to sand and rocks.

Technical Rating


Access Description

You can access the trail right across the street from the Cottonwood entrance to Joshua Tree National Park on Cottonwood Springs Road. Look for the TH sign on the dirt road. You can not see it very well from the pavement.