The Mojave Lava Tube Trail sits 25 miles from the city of Baker amidst a landscape of cinder cones, joshua trees, and lava beds. This short hike only covers half of a mile round-trip, but the views and experience it provides makes it one of my favorites. In this guide, I’ll provide maps, photos, and a step-by-step guide for those of you looking to explore this lava tube in Mojave National Preserve.
The 3.4 mile hike to Teutonia Peak passes through an area with the most dense concentration of Joshua Trees anywhere in the world. This 700 ft climb to the 5,755ft Teutonia Peak also provides hikers with breathtaking views of Kessler Peak and Cima Dome. If the scenic views, Joshua Trees, and volcanic domes don’t pique your interest, you can also take a side trail on this hike to explore the old Teutonia Mine.
The hike to Big Pine Lakes via the North Fork Trail is a great way to see the beauty on display in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Starting at the Big Pine Creek Campground, this trail passes by Mt. Alice, before entering the John Muir Trail Wilderness of Inyo National Forest. There are 7 Big Pine Lakes numbered sequentially. For this hike, we only visited the first three, as snow and ice were blocking the trail for lakes 4-7. The first three lakes are known to be the most scenic, as they sit with the majestic Temple Crag in the background.
Mt. Baden Powell is a 9,407ft peak that can be accessed via an 8 mile roundtrip hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. The mountain is named after Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the World Scouting Movement (Boy Scouts). Mt Baden Powell is one of the largest peaks in the San Gabriel Range, and is the highest peak outside of the Mt. San Antonio massif.
Mount Lukens is the highest peak within the city limits of Los Angeles and the westernmost peak in the San Gabriel Mountain Range. Standing tall above the Crescenta Valley, Mount Lukens provides spectacular views of Greater Los Angeles Area, Tujunga Canyon, the San Fernando Valley, and the Verdugo Mountains.