Keys View aka. Salton View (Joshua Tree National Park)

If you are a regular follower to my website you may be surprised to see something like Keys View on here. I tend to be known to cover more of the remote and obscure locations, and spend little to no time bothering with the standard tourist thoroughfare.

In my years living in the vicinity of Joshua Tree National Park I have visited Keys View on several occasions because it is an easy stop when friends and family come to visit. Lets face it, not everyone is up for a 5 or 10 mile hike, and sometimes when you are trying to show as much of the park off in as little time as possible the paved road is king.

I recently had family in visiting from New York. During my usual round of showing off the park we made a stop at Keys View.  Since I had my camera with me, and snapped several photographs I figured I wouldn’t let them go to waste, and add a page to the website. So that is where we are now.

 

Overlooking Keys View.

Overlooking Keys View.

 

San Jacinto, Palm Springs sits directly below.

San Jacinto, Palm Springs sits directly below.

 

Keys View was originally called Salton View for the view of the Salton Sea from the Little San Bernardino Mountains. The National Park Service changed the name to Keys View in honor of Bill Keys, a local miner, homesteader, and sometimes swindler and murderer that had made his home in what would become Joshua Tree National Park.

The popular overlook provides fantastic panoramic views of Coachella Valley, the home of Palm Springs, Indio, Palm Desert, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, and Cathedral City. Mount San Jacinto sits across the valley overlooking Palm Springs, with the even taller San Gorgonio a little further north. To the south the Salton Sea is visible without the rancid stench that it is famous for.  On a clear day one can faintly make out the outline of Signal Mountain in Mexico.

 

The Salton Sea from Keys View.

The Salton Sea from Keys View.

 

When visit be aware that Keys View has a major bee problem, prompting my wife and I to nickname it “Bees View.”

For a more off the beaten path overlook check out Eureka Peak.

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.