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Las Vegas Hikes

Wee Thump Joshua Tree Hike

  • 7 miles - Easy Effort
  • Or: 1-6 miles
  • 1-3 Hours (Total)
  • Not Often Hiked
  • 400 Total Feet of Climbing
  • Max Elevation of 4,140 feet
  • Leashed Dogs Allowed

The Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness is only 6050 acres, but it packs a big punch; it's one of the densest Joshua Tree forests in the world. This hike through Wee Thump is simple and easy and gives you lots of time with these remarkable trees. Maybe you'll even spot one of the 700+ year-old trees!

In this Guide:
  • Video and Turn-by-Turn Directions
  • Where to Park
  • What Makes Wee Thump Joshua Trees Great

"Wee Thump" means "ancient ones" in the Paiute language and refers to the age of the trees, some of which are over 700 years old.

Where is Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness?

Joshua Tree Highway
Even the drive to Wee Thump is spectacular. You'll drive down the Joshua Tree Highway, which goes through one of the densest areas of trees that you'll ever see.

Wee Thump is located about an hour south of Las Vegas in the new Avi Kwa Ame National Monument.  There are two trailheads to access Wee Thump, and this one will start in the middle of the wilderness area. It's such a remote and unvisited area that most mapping systems have no reliable address. Your best bet is to use latitude and longitude. Here's the link on Google Maps:

35.51437, -115.10509

Wee Thump Location
The trailhead is about one hour south of Las Vegas.
Wee Thump Parking
The parking lot is small, but I've never seen it full.

There are no facilities at the trailhead. You do not need a permit to park here.

Gear Recommendations

This is an easy hike, and you don't need any special equipment. What you do need to prepare for is the sun. In the summer, temperatures are too high to do the whole hike safely. Winter is the best time to visit. The sun is always intense, so protect your body and bring at least 1L of water.

Chollla Cactus
Some parts of the trail are overgrown. Just steer clear of the Cholla Cactus, which has sticky barbs that are painful to remove.

Gear That I Love Right Now

Nothing is sponsored or promoted, just the actual gear that I use.

Gear Inreach Mini 2
Garmin InReach Mini 2If you are out of cellphone range the Mini 2 will reliably allow you to hit SOS via satellite. You can also send non-emergency texts to just say that you're late, let friends and family follow along, and check the weather. You can see my review here.
Gear Topo Pursuit
Topo Pursuit 2The wide toe box means no blisters, an aggressive tread is great on the trail, it dries very quickly, and it has lots of cushion for long days. It combines everything I love about every other shoe into one.
Gear Epix Pro Up Ahead
Garmin Epix ProThese watches are pricey, but I use them 24/7 for sleep tracking, workouts, heart rate, and tracking my hike. It has preloaded hiking maps that help me navigate the trails and is a backup to my smartphone navigation. The Epix Pro has a great battery life, a screen similar to an Apple Watch Ultra, and works in harsh conditions when just using the buttons. See my review here.
Hikelite 26 Gear
Osprey Hikelite 26This updated version of the Hikelite 26 offers incredible value for the money. It's got a wide trampoline back, so your back doesn't get sweaty. It's under 2lbs, has deep side pockets, and is a great balance of what you need without what you don't.

Check out the complete list here. ( Updated May 2024)

Wee Thump Trail Maps

The great thing about this hike is you can just go as far as you'd like and turn around. The trail is a straight line following an old wagon road. When you've had your fill of seeing Joshua Trees, turn around and head back. If you hike to the end, there's an old ranch to visit. You can also drive to the ranch if you don't want to do the whole hike.

Click Here To View

Use This Map:
View in CalTopo | PDF Map | GPX File

The hike is flat and easy.

Wee Thump Joshua Tree Hike Directions

Wee Thump Joshua Tree Hike 8
The trail starts behind the Wee Thump sign.
Wee Thump Joshua Tree Hike 7
Go through the fence and start hiking straight back into the wilderness.
Wee Thump Joshua Tree Hike 4
Right away there are plenty of Joshua Trees to see.
Wee Thump Joshua Tree Hike 6
When you reach the trail post after about 5-10 minutes, make the hard right onto El Dorado Wagon Road.
Wee Thump Joshua Tree Hike 5
Follow the road straight. There are no trail junctions. You just follow the road.

Turn around whenever you've had your fill of Joshua Trees.

Wee Thump Featured
Trees that are tall and wide are older.
Wee Thump Joshua Tree Hike 3
Some sections have more trees than others.
Wee Thump Joshua Tree Hike 2
When you reach the road, you've come to the end of the Wee Thump Wilderness. Make the right and hike down the road to visit the ranch.
Wee Thump Joshua Tree Hike 1
Enjoy the ranch and then come back the way you came.

Need More Info?

  • Have a question about the guide or want to see what other people are saying/asking? View the Youtube comments for this video. Leave a comment and I will do my best to respond.
  • When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.

This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard

Cris Hazzard 4 Mile Trail Yosemite
Hi, I'm Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn't so you don't waste money. I don't do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn't do it without folks like you!). You can stay up to date with my new guides by following me on YouTube, Instagram, or by subscribing to my monthly newsletter.