A short walk uphill (accessible) leads to a sweeping view of the Coachella Valley, the San Jacinto Mountain Range, Palm Springs area, Salton Sea, and the San Andreas Fault.
Even though the Joshua Tree National Park maps clearly stated that Keys View was not to be missed, I was hesitant to take up precious time that we had in the park to drive an extra 20 minutes to the site. I'm so glad that I went! I was thinking that it was 20 minutes one-way, but it was only 10 at the most. The parking lot was right alongside the edge of the mountain and the paved trail was easily accessible. We saw visitors in power chairs and with canes on the trail during our time. It was a short trail, about .3 of a mile.
The view was incredible. We visited on an early spring day. San Gorgonio Mountain had just a little snow. It was easy to see the Palm Springs valley.
One note-There was no guard rail along a portion of the trail, and the trail really does go along the edge of the mountain. I felt much more comfortable having my 4 year old walk on the inside of the trail for this section.
If you plan it just right, you can make it to Keys View to see the sunset. I am sure sunrise is just as beautiful (or maybe even better) but by no means are we ever the early rising type.
The road to Keys View is pretty much just that. No hiking trails, no camping or picnic areas, just a road to a scenic outlook thats just breathtaking. Bring binoculars and a camera!
While we checked out the views and took pictures we spotted several bighorn sheep on the hills / boulders behind us (looking away from the viewpoint). It got quite chilly this time of day (we went in November) so pack accordingly.
Worth making a quick stop here! Especially on a clear day!
We almost didn't take the 10 minute drive down to Keys View and we almost missed the colors of sunset, but we made it and it was worth it. We stopped for approximately 5 minutes, ran up the hill, gawked at the view, and then ran down again (we were hungry for dinner).
The view from the top is quite impressive. We could see the Salton Sea, Palm Springs and the Aerial Tram mountain, and then Hwy 10 heading west towards home. It was beautiful and worth the 20 minute round trip.