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

Joshua Tree Map

I'm a desert native who was introducing my girlfriend to the park and environment of JT. We hiked Ryan Mountain for the view at the end. It is strenuous for those who aren't used to elevation and the sun. My girlfriend had to take frequent breaks because of the heat and rapid elevation gain. There are absolutely no breaks from the heat unless you have the wind blowing in your favor. I'm used to these kind of trails (grew up in the coachella valley) and even had to stop for the occasional water break. I wouldn't recommend the trail for those with a fear of heights. Some parts are well paved, but narrow. It is frequently visted during winter months. However the view on the way up is great, and if you're lucky, you can see some rock climbers in the distance.

Great hike! Definitely had me sweating at times but wasn't hard! Agree with another poster--the trail was better than the oasis but I enjoyed it all around!

2 days ago

Awesome hike! 5.0 miles and change. Somehow I lost the recording but nevertheless completed the loop with my dog.

Not recommended if your dog cant climb ladders or is afraid of going down. I have scratches to prove my point but worth it.

Follow the trail clockwise for the normal route. We did counter clockwise and ended in the sark narrow canyons with high ladders. Totally worth it. Like a grand finale!

A hidden gem for socal non-forest/non-preserve or NP hikes

4 days ago

The oasis is NOT anticlimactic. It’s absolutely beautiful seeing and (surprisingly) smelling a hidden grove of giant palms in the middle of the montane desert. Fed by an underground spring, the trees have an incredibly sweet, woody smell.

Terrific short (3.5 miles ft), moderate hike. Best early AM as trail traffic increases after 10/10:30AM. Trail is actually more interesting and rewarding than the oasis.

Nice hike for getting a feel for the environment of Joshua Tree - spiky plants, rolling desert hills and rocky features, maybe a few critters. The oasis itself is neat but not spectacular, fun to climb down to. The climb into the oasis is really the only tricky part terrain-wise, all the rest is slightly hilly trail but not too steep.
Did in Feb. 2018 and the weather was in the high 70's the whole morning. Took 3-4 hours, a feasible way to spend a morning or an afternoon.

Amazing!!! So worth it!!

Really great hike. Mostly dog friendly. Depending on what trail you take you will have to climb ladders. We were took Painted Canyon because it was tagged dog-friendly but the turn off of the main trail started with what looked like 15-20 ft ladder. We continues along Ladder Canyon (counter-clockwise). We climbed down the big ladders towards the end (beginning) of Ladder Canyon and it wasn’t THAT bad, I have a small pug and I climb ladders at work.

If the dog wasn’t with us it would be a GREAT day in Mecca Hills. Gorgeous scenery. Not too strenuous.

Great views. It was super sunny and we all got sunburnt on our hike. Easy to do with kids.

Just enough elevation climb and diversity all around was amazing. Kids could go off trail and free climb some boulders. Loved the oasis.

Great trail, definitely take the route up the hill with the rope climbing, well worth it and fun. Then descend using the ladders.
Narrow canyon walkways and rope climbs allow for Great pictures.

Located a little south of Hwy 62 and you can do this hike without paying to enter Joshua Tree National Park. There was plenty of parking when we were there in February. There is also a bathroom at the trail head. It is pretty steep for the first .75 miles of the hike and then you go down and reach the oasis about 1.5 miles from the parking lot and since this is an out and back trail RT is about 3 miles with about 600 ft of elevation gain. We did it later in the day and it was pretty busy. Takes about 1-2 hrs to complete. Some good views and the oasis area with the palms is pretty cool.

13 days ago

Awesome trail to go exploring! I had a blast hiking through the narrow slot canyon, climbing the many ladders, and experiencing the gorgeous mountain views above the canyon. There are several trails that break off of this one, so be mindful to follow the correct trail, usually marked by rocks arranged into arrows on the ground.

Best trail. In mecca

I really liked this trail. It's very scenic once you get off the Boy Scout Trail. Not a lot of ups and down, but at the end there is plenty of rocks to scale and places to explore. At the end of the trail, if you break left under the willows, there is a natural running stream deep down under the rocks. This area is where we also observed 2 adult and one child Big Horn Sheep.

This hike was difficult for me, we had already hiked around 11 miles for the day and started around 430 pm. We made the top by about 6 and the views were great especially at dusk. By the time we got to the bottom it was full dark. The wind was being at the top as well so dress appropriately.

We took the first half of this loop on our way to Lost Palms Oasis. I thought this section was the best views as it's a nice climb up and down.

16 days ago

This was a moderate hike for me, we took the mastodon rock loop to start so it ended up over 8 miles total. Was nice and scenic though the oasis at the end a little anticlimactic.

Very pretty...but the stairway all the way up 1.5 miles got old. I like variety. Stairway to heaven

19 days ago

Lots and lots of water is recommended and sun screen

This place is really something to be experienced. I read a lot of write-ups on this loop saying how poorly marked the trail is, but I think many of those were outdated. Once you find the parking area at the trail head (located at mile marker 24 along Park Blvd) you will find good signage on the trail...the only challenge is to actually stay on the trail. There are rocks and branches that are strategically placed to guide you. As long as you are paying attention these are easy to spot. Regardless I would highly suggest a compass and map for this trail (my GPS failed about 20 yards from the car) People have gotten lost here and it has ended tragically, so why take any chances

I added the Mastodon Peak Loop as Part of the hike to lost Palm Oasis. The Vista from the peak is spectacular.

20 days ago

Nice hike through a part of the desert with very diverse Fauna. There is always something to see. The Oasis is not spectacular but worth seeing. I fully recommend this trail.

20 days ago

Left the car at 10 am, made it back by noon. We took our time hiking up the steep incline—definitely harder than we expected, but the trail was safe. The views at the top were breathtaking!!

20 days ago

Great views, beautiful summit. Heavy traffic in February.

Lots of steps, but lovely views. Worth the effort!

Fun trail run

Trail has, wait for it - ladders! In order to climb up and down several very difficult sections there are ladders. The trail is marked by placement of stones in arrows leading you the right direction.

The crevasse section is awesome as you walk through narrow passageways with side walls reaching easily 100’ up! The soil is often very mushy and sandy like you’re at a beach - good overall workout for the lower body.

Worth the time to get there, just hold onto your kidneys on the 5 mile dirt access road to the trail head!

23 days ago

Amazing hike with lots to see in the middle of a dessert!!! The hike was more beautiful than the destination (the lost palm oasis). Bring lots of water and snacks

24 days ago

Windy and cold in Feb but a good hike with great views of Joshua Tree. Be prepare to climb stairs!

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