Explore CA Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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4 hours ago

Cool area. Parking is weird. I would park at the campground.

Great view of Joshua Tree when you reach the top. Watch out for high winds!

Excellent rock formations at the base, a moderate hike with few trees and sweeping valley views. Great way to get some altitude in a short amount of time. Hiked on New Years Eve in blistering wind. The hiking experience on the way up overtops the payoff at the top, so enjoy the journey!

Snowy but passable for this visiting Wisconsinite. Nice summit views. Warm temps. I only needed a light jacket and headband. I started the route by passing through the ski area and finishing with Baldy Bowl. I only saw three other hikers before summiting. on the way down, I passed many hikers going the other way, easily numbering 50 or more. By the time I finished at 1pm, the parking lot was a mass of humanity, completely full with cars of hikers and skiers.

This is a strenuous hike and well worth it. Did this hike on January 11, 2019. Snow was 3ft or higher and temperatures in the very low degrees. We were equipped with the necessary things that we needed to finish the hike at night. Starting at 10:20 am and finished at 8:20 pm. Well worth it. One important thing is to have a map or download AllTrails.

3 days ago

Crowded, nothing too special. View was mediocre not really a Joshua tree vibe.

First winter hike on this trail. Snowed all day long. I like snow covered Mt. Baldy than dry/hot summer hike. Weather is mild even in January here but still need to drive carefully to the trail head when it snows.

7 days ago

Very nice hike. Good views from the top, and challenging enough to make you work a little for it. We trail ran down which was super fun on all of rocks and “stairs”. Would definitely do again, but probably run the entire trail.

Short loop around the area. Boulders to climb and play on. Very quick with informative placards. Good for families.

Perfect short hike that provides great views of the surrounding valley and mountains. Top of the mountain has a great stop and overlook for pictures. Challenging due to hiking uphill the whole way, but very worth it. If it’s summer, definitely pack water and sunscreen.

9 days ago

Great short hike with amazing views!

Not for the unprepared or inexperienced due to weather!! Also, prepare for 1 hour + wait time for the tram if you do not arrive EARLY.

TRAIL DETAILS as of 1/6/2019

Went up yesterday to the summit. You will need snowshoes and crampons to get to the top safely and since the going is slow, plan your daylight time for an 8 hour round-trip just to be safe.

LOTS OF SNOW: there is about 3-4 ft of soft powder past Wellman’s Divide and you may or may not have a clear trail carved out for you. Pack for temps in the 10-15 degrees with strong gusts of wind. Reservoir tubes freeze quickly so know the steps to keep your water flowing as it’s a strenuous climb in the deep powder!

Otherwise, it’s a beautiful hike in near perfect winter/snow conditions but be smart and gear up to stay warm!!

Went up early January 2018. Sunrise at around 6:50am, it took us about 35 minutes to get to the top, the hike is fairly easy as it’s not particularly rocky and the steps are wide and flat. Does get very windy and cold at the top (~20F) around that time. Great 360* view although not a lot of Joshua trees

The vistas were quite nice of the canyons and the riverbed. The walk up the north loop was steep but nicely switchbaacked. The riverbeds for dry. I agree that it is a moderate hike

Completed this back in October of 2018. This was my wife and I first peak summit and enjoyed every minute of it! Overall the hike is closer to 15 miles, took us 7.5 hours. If you are into hiking and have decent fitness level you should be able to do this hike with no real issues. Make sure you have the proper attire and gear, plenty of water(we each brought 4.5L of water and had plenty) and a map for reference and you are in good shape. Well worth the effort! Strenuous but attainable!

14 days ago

I love this hike. When you get to the top, the silence is amazing. You can hear a single car approach from miles away. The views of the dancing Joshua Trees are captivating. I can't wait to go back! (Sept. 2000)

16 days ago

Quite possibly my favorite hike at Joshua Tree! Challenging enough to break a sweat and really feel accomplished when you reach the stunning 360 views at the top! Be sure to bring layers and sturdy shoes, in the winter it can get cold and even have ice/snow on some parts.

Started the hiking going up the Baldy bowl trail. Good amounts of snow once you get to the ski hut. Micro spikes and trekking poles helped a lot and were necessary for me in most of the snow and icy sections but there were some hikers who didn’t have spikes and or poles. I think if you had crampons they’re fine but might have been over kill. Reached the summit and then decided to do devils backbone on the way down. Not for the front hearted but definitely worth it. It says 9 miles or something but my strava got me at 12 miles. This is my second hike and I loved it. Can’t wait to do it again.

nature trips
17 days ago

Great little loop with the whole family. Lots of fun boulders to climb and idyllic picture spots. Really cold and crowded day yesterday. Had to park a half mile away in a pullout because the parking lots nearby were all full.

17 days ago

Loved doing something a little different to get above the rock formations and see wilderness as far as your eyes can see. Went early and had no trouble with crowds. Lots of kids with families on the trail, which was impressive!

on Ryan Mountain Trail

18 days ago

Busy, very chilly on Dec 29, and strenuous, but you don’t have to work very long to get to the simply stunning 360° views. If you only have a daytrip, consider making it your first hike and the other scenic loops will seem easy.

18 days ago

Good intro to the park and some easy bouldering for nice vistas. Don’t choose this if you want to avoid the crowds.

Great hiking experience with the snow :)

If you know when you are going try to book your tram ticket up online before hand. I just went today December 28th and it was a 2 hour wait in the tram station once you got your ticket so by the time I got up it was nearing 12pm. Lots of people, busy busy -which I hate so I was very relieved once I got up and could get away from the tourist side of things. I quickly found the ranger station, got my permit, put on my spikes and headed out. I started following some foot prints in the snow and ended up going in one big circle so that wasted about 40 minutes. The sun goes down around 4:30 now in Palm Springs so I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to make it up and down in time but, I started out anyways after my set back at about 12:45. The trail after that was pretty noticeable (even through the snow) and I started making some good head way. I’m not a very experienced hiker and not super in shape (I like to say average) but I was determined and with some motivation I was able to reach the peak by 2:15. I didn’t take any breaks despite the last couple miles I think I could have used one but I was worried about timing and just powered through. I didn’t stay up too long but I ate a protein bar and enjoyed the view for a few minutes before heading back down. I also rushed past the ranger station although I would have liked to go inside and check it out. I ended up getting back down much quicker than coming up and made good time. I was back down by 3:30pm so I would have actually had more time to hang out and explore but, I wanted to be back before dark and better safe than sorry. I only seen a couple people out there. It was nice and quiet, no wildlife. A bit chilly on my walk down. It was about 5 degrees Celsius. The spikes on my shoes were much needed and I’d really recommend going with them as it was icy. I didn’t bring poles but I could see how those would help. I know people say to train for this and I don’t want to encourage those not ready for it to go but, I think with some common sense and knowing your limits you will be fine. I didn’t train, I am from the prairies in Canada so I’m not used to inclines or elevation and I did just fine. Just make sure however far you go you can get back. Quit if you need to, dress appropriately, enjoy the gorgeous views, buy your tickets online to avoid wait times, don’t leave trash and have fun!!

We did this on 12/27, so some info for those looking for details on conditions, etc.

We went to the Ski Hut and then went straight up a chute as opposed to staying on the trail. There’s barely enough snow to do this, so be advised. Crampons, poles, and axe are recommended. I don’t think you’d need an axe if not climbing this part and instead stuck to the trail.

We then hit the summit and took Devil’s Backbone down. Again, crampons and poles recommended.

There’s decent snow/ice above 8500’ in most places.

The rest of it is pretty easy. I’d recommend hitting the ski area on the way down, grabbing a beer, and having a drink on the lift down to skip about a mile of pretty unrewarding terrain down (we did!).


19 days ago

Hiked in November 2017. Short but steep - great views at the top.

19 days ago

Great view but monotonous and busy.

on Ryan Mountain Trail

20 days ago

Nicely groomed at the start but gets a bit more challenging as the climb progresses. The views along the way make it easier to keep going and the outstanding 360° vistas at the top justify the whole effort.

Loved this hike! Great views when you’re up on the ridge. The only steep part is getting up to the ridge, which is quite short. We weren’t too bothered by the added challenge of hiking in sand. :)

21 days ago

Dec. 26, 2018 - everything was wide open trail-wise. Parking is indeed a challenge. Nice walk, especially up on the ridge. Not the best signage at the visitor center to start (you kind of fumble your way along until you stumble on the right path of many) but once we got going it was all good. Nice view at the top. And cows!

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