"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Friday, May 5, 2023

Climbing the Rings at the Hole in the Wall Trail - Mojave Desert, CA

Cima, CA
Hole in the Wall Campground 

The reason for coming way out here in the Mojave Desert between Interstates 40 and 15 was to hike the unique Rings Trail.
Our friends, John & Tina and Tim and Leslie were here last year and I couldn't wait to check it out.
We stayed in a huge site, #34, $6 no utilities.  It was 1/2 off with our Senior Discount.
We had lots of Yucca blooms around our campsite.  Very pretty.

Great view too.
A clever way Steve browned the sides.
Since it was Cinco de Mayo, Steve took out a pork shoulder to brown and make Carnitas.  
We usually enjoy going out for dinner but we are in the middle of nowhere.  So we created our own party.  We had a bottle of Ancho Chili Pineapple Margaritas.  It was delicious and went perfectly with Steve's dinner.  Everything was SO good.  We played Mariachi music too.  Too funny.

It was still very cold out, but there was no wind so we got to enjoy a nice fire.  We had planned to play some Mexican Train and watch Three Amigos but we stayed out so late with the fire we skipped the last two.  We have a great hike planned tomorrow.
We watched the full moon rise then headed to bed.

The Rings hike is a couple of miles round trip.  We were told to hike it clockwise as it's easier to climb up the rings than down them.  While the trail sign states it's physically demanding, it's a pretty easy trail until you get to the rings.  It's not too hard or long, but challenging.

The flowers continue to bloom all through the deserts.  Purple sage was everywhere in the washes.
The Rumex was my favorite.
Going in this direction, you quickly come upon some petroglyphs.
Petroglyphs are carved into rock while pictographs are painted on to the rock.


It would've been fun to explore up in these caves if we had more time.

The views turn into rocky bluffs after you leave the open desert.  The canyons close in and and there are some sections where there are lots of holes in the rocks.  This is where the campground gets its name.

We continue up the canyons and start a little rock scrambling.
This rock looked like a wolf head.
Interesting looking rock formation,
Banshee Canyon is a twisted passage through the rock barrier.  Metal rings provide hand and footholds through the steep parts.  The canyon gets its name from the screaming sound the wind makes as it blows through.

Up Steve climbs.

Once the canyon gets steeper, there are some rings to help you up the narrow slots.  The first one wasn't too bad.
Steve's turn.
The second set was much more narrow and challenging as there weren't any rocks stacked to help you get up the chute.
Me going up the narrow chute.
Once you make it up the rings, the trail ends and you can retrace your steps or continue the trail back to the campground.

We stopped to talk to some hikers and one had this moth on her pantleg.  She said it was a Sphinx Moth.

Back through the sage and we're at camp.  What a fun hike that was!
The next day we head out to Baker to fill up with gas as we'll be out in another remote area.
We pass the railroad and Kelso Depot and continue along Kelbaker Rd. until we get to the town of Baker.
We stopped for gas and to see the World's Largest Thermometer.  It was only 71 degrees here in the Mojave Desert.  We found out that we got 2 free tacos with a fill up.  Made for a nice snack.
It was a 3 hour drive total continuing up SR127/Death Valley Rd. to arrive at our next stop.


  1. Camped there with my dad a million years ago - had a great time on ATVs and exploring the holey walls. Didn't know about the rings, very interesting! The blooms are soooooo beautiful. Perfect time of year to catch them. Glad you had cool temps to enjoy the hike and that pretty site.

    1. What a great place that is for ATVing! We got lucky with the blooms and weather!

  2. That ring hike was one we didn’t do…to soon after Dianne’s knee replacement. We found it to be such a peaceful campground. Great pics!
    Safe travels!

    1. Glad she’s all healed up now. We love the quiet of the place too.

  3. Wow the flowers are beautiful.

    1. We really got lucky with the bloom!


I’d love to hear from you! It’s more fun when you leave a comment!