Explore Holiday 2018 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Holiday 2018 Map

One of our favorite hikes in Joshua Tree NP. Moderate level, involves a good bit of work and exercise, but the payoff is worth it.

We were rewarded at the end with a beautiful view of palm trees and a pool of water at the oasis! Really beautiful and worth prioritizing especially if you are short on time - this one only took us 2 hours total. While the trail is marked well enough, I can see how it would be easy to get lost on this trail. You won’t see the big boulder piles that characterize Joshua Tree, but you’ll see lots of beautiful vegetation here and enjoy a popular hike that is not as crowded as others in the park proper.

Excellent introductory hike to Joshua Tree. Includes a small bit of fun rock scrambling. This is one of the more popular hikes and for good reason - you get a sampling of the wonderful rock formations, boulder piles, wildlife, vegetation and more that Joshua Tree NP is known for. Trail is well marked. We were lucky to see plenty of water at the dam. Great for families, newbie hikers and people short on time.

This is a hike located just below 29 Palms on the east side of the park. Its short and easy with an natural arch at the end.

The Barker Dam Trail is a great introduction into the wonderful world of Joshua Tree. Seasonally there may be water at the dam and the ancient Cahuilla petroglyphs are always a treat. And if it's an exceptionally good day, there might be bighorn sheep cautiously crossing the trail!

Yes, the road to the parking lot is still washed out, but we really enjoyed this trail, beginning from the Cottonwood Campground and starting with the upper half of the Mastodon Loop trail. Our hike was 10 miles, 4.5 hours with a lunch break at the bottom of the oasis (you have to go down into the oasis if you can do it). The was some water in the oasis, maybe due to a bit of rain last week. The weather has been cool so we only saw a few lizards on our way back but also saw a fox and a jack rabbit closer to the campground area.

Well worth the stop and very scenic.

The best hike I've done in a long time. the views were absolutely incredible. The elevation gain isnt bad and the hike is just long enough for a nice full day of hiking.

We've done this hike many times during different seasons. Great short hike to the dam. We went in March, there was a small amount of water, LOTS of mosquitoes. We went early in the morning and we saw plenty of frogs as well.

My girlfriend and I did this hike last Tuesday (12/4) and thoroughly enjoyed being surrounded by some of the oldest and rarest trees in the world!

The only reason I gave this hike four stars instead of five is because of the road closure to the upper parking lot that added an additional mile to our hike on a paved road. I understand the need to close certain roads when they became dangerous or undriveable, but there were multiple national parks vehicles driving back and forth on the road, and the lot would have been easily accessible for even a front-wheel drive vehicle.

Having said that, this was a magnificent hike and it was quite impressive to be in the presence of these towering giants. My personal favorite was either Grizzly Giant or Fallen Monarch. At 209 feet tall, Grizzly Giant reaches for the sky with its gigantic branches like some magical tree out of Harry Potter. The Fallen Monarch almost looks like an octopus with its massive tentacles reaching out to touch you.

We didn't complete the entire loop (because of time constraints) and instead turned left at the road roughly 0.7 miles in. We then turned left again after encountering The Faithful Couple, making our round-trip on the trail about 2.5 miles (not including the mile on the road).

I would love to return in the summertime to complete the entire loop, but I felt as though we made the most of our time!

Like the devil's golf course, this was a truly unique landscape. I ended up walking the .8 miles out to the end of the path

3 days ago

the drive itself was boring and in my opinion (as the driver) not very scenic. the main attraction is the artist's palette. it's quick and easy though and def worth experiencing...I was hoping for more. maybe I missed something?

4 days ago

This was definitely moderate. The first half is all uphill and a tough cardiovascular workout. I'm 61 and I used hiking poles. I highly recommend them. It is only a mile and a half up so that is good. The top offers a fantastic view. Coming down is tougher on the joints for those of us over a certain age, but not bad if you're careful.
Younger folks will get through this easily.

Easy to moderate for regular hikers. Did this in the fall so it was cool, I would imagine it would be hot otherwise due to no shade. Good views at the top mid way through. At the end in a canyon is the oasis of trees. No water / wildlife when I visited.

scenic driving
4 days ago

This is a paved one-way road you drive. If you don’t have much time to hike then definitely take this drive it is worth it. It is a multitude of different scenery, colours, geology, formations etc.... It changes so much take it slow and enjoy the 360 view. There are a few turnouts, you should take them and see what the short hikes have to offer. No turning around (one-way road) so take advantage! You won’t be disappointed.

on Telescope Peak Trail

4 days ago

Hike it on October 18th 2018. Beautiful trail enjoyed it thoroughly!

Walked it with our three-year-old on foot and 1-year-old in a stroller. Had to stroller-carry at points, but it was manageable. Water at the dam was low and stagnant, but my wife got some great pictures of the rocks reflecting in the pool. Beautiful walk through the Joshua Trees at sunset.

Awesome views. Great way to take in Yosemite Valley.

This is not a hike more of an attraction. Great spot for an Instagram picture. Just try not to fall into a cactus while taking your selfie (saw 3 unhappy people picking thorns out of their legs after doing this!)

You hike to a campground - better trails in the park for sure

8 days ago

Scariest hike ever. I'm talking about the cable portion, it is steep as hell and even steeper than photos when you see it in person. But it is do-able you just have to focus on moving to the next wooden board. The wooden boards I believe are spaced out 10 feet from each other from the bottom of the dome to the top. It took us about an hour just to get to the top because there was traffic lots of people going up and down simultaneously. We had to take turns for those coming down and those going up. To get to the top without traffic should only take maybe 10-15 mins to give perspective on what traffic does. Also the traffic IMO makes it more scary because you have to hold onto the cables even longer.

I'd recommend using gloves with a latex coating to help with the cables as it gives your hands much more grip and you'll avoid blistering your hands like many other people.

I'd recommend doing it if you want to face your fears. Just take it one wooden board at a time until you reach the top and you'll be fine. Lots of people did it and have done it.

Would I do it again? Probably not lol just because it was scary as shit. BUT DO IT ONCE AT LEAST :D

A nice out-and-back hike with a little bit of climb. We do this hike once or twice a month. It's right off highway 62, so it's easy to get to the trailhead compared to the trails in JTNP proper. Seeing the tops of the oasis palms in the distance is always a treat after you round the bend. We were once greeted by a view of a family of bighorns feasting on California Barrel Cactus.

10 days ago

Short walk to the top. I like the views leading up the top more than at the top. It was a little cloudy the day we went, but still worth it.

If you’re looking for a quick easy hike, this is it. There’s an actual dam and the landscape is beautiful.

Not a hike but a great view

5 stars for a sunset view! After a long day of hiking this was a nice end of the day stroll

Super short and easy hike well worth the stop. We went at dusk and enjoyed beautiful lighting by sunset and an uncrowded trail. Nice informative placards and a cool unexpected petroglyph stop along the way as well. The dam itself is pretty cool and seeing water and lush trees in the middle of the desert was pretty awesome.

Clear signs on where the trail is going, but poor communication about the nature of the trail - it's a 1.7 mile loop that includes a 0.5 mile section on the road to a campground. Very confusing. If you turn back at road as we did, then it's just a there and back for a total of 1 mile from Skull Rock. Nice informational signs about vegetation along the way, and plenty of cool rock formations along the way, but also very close to road.

Crowded hike with expansive views. Really nicely constructed steps! Easy to navigate and a cool variety of terrain and sights.

Amazing views!

Really nice to see water in the middle of the desert, and so much wildlife around it! There are also a lot of rocks for climbing and on top of one of them I saw one of the most beautiful sunsets of my life.

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