Top of Teutonia

Hiking to Teutonia Peak in Mojave National Preserve

The best way to see just how vast and amazing Mojave National Preserve is? By bagging a peak, of course. From Teutonia Peak, you get a great perspective on the world’s largest and densest forest of Joshua trees, and the amazingly symmetrical landform known as Cima Dome. A quick but challenging 3-mile (round-trip) out-and-back on Teutonia Peak Trail gets you there.

The approach drive on Cima Road and the beginning leg of the hike puts you in the midst of that amazing forest of Joshua trees at ground level. As you head toward the rocky peak, keep your eyes open for lizards, blacktailed jackrabbits, thrashers, and red-tailed hawks.

After about a mile of gradual incline, you’ll cross a dirt road that leads to nearby silver mines in both directions. While these abandoned mines are sealed and strictly off-limits, you can explore their entrances before you begin the steep ascent to the 5,755-foot peak. You’ll navigate a series of switchbacks as you rapidly gain altitude, where Joshua trees give way to pinyon, juniper, sage, and prickly pear.

Finally, after a bit of easy bouldering to reach the true peak, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning 360-degree view. Now you can see the perfectly symmetrical shape of Cima Dome, which rose out of the ground somewhere between 180 and 80 million years ago due to shifting tectonic plates beneath the earth’s surface. Congratulate yourself—this is a perspective that landlubbers never get!

The trailhead is on the west side of Cima Rd., 12 miles south of I-15 and 1.7 miles north of Kessler Springs Ranch. The nearest camping is 22 miles southeast at Mid Hills Campground ($12). Bring your own water. Dog-friendly!

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Up Umunhum

    Rising from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Umunhum is one of the Bay Area’s highest points, reaching an impressive 3,486 feet. With the new 7.4-mile (round-trip) addition to the Bay Area Ridge Trail, locals can finally step up to its peak.

  2. Cross It Off Your Bucket List

    Crosstown Trail San Francisco may be one of the most beautiful city walks in America, passing through less-visited nooks and crannies while also taking in greatest hits, including mosaic stairways.

  3. Kirby Your Enthusiasm

    Just west of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin is one of the Bay's most-accessible secluded beaches. Kirby Cove is accessed by hiking or biking a 1-mile fire road down to the beach, where the reward is an all-time classic Golden Gate view.

  4. Napa's Wild Side

    It’s wine country’s Amazon. Cutting 50 miles through the famous Napa Valley and emptying into San Pablo Bay, the gentle Napa River is an ecological—and recreational—delight. And Napa Valley Paddle helps you enjoy it.


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Sponsored

    Weekend Sherpa Podcast: Take it Outside

    Adventure for your earbuds. What's new in the world of the outdoors? Listen to Weekend Sherpa co-founders discuss local hikes, beaches, bike rides, camping spots and all kinds of travel and adventure in California and beyond!

  2. Secret Trail at Torrey Pines

    Find cliff climbs, sandy strolls, and secret hikes throughout “America’s finest sandy stretch" at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in San Diego County.

  3. Secluded Royale

    Panoramic coastal views and a killer leg workout combine on this 2.7-mile (round-trip) out-and-back hike to secluded Coast Royale Beach in Orange County

  4. Border Field State Park

    Border Field State Park is the southernmost point in California as well as one of the last beautiful undeveloped coastlines in the state. Visit this natural refuge for a 4.5-mile hike featuring important history and wildlife habitats, plus stunning SoCal beach scenery.