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

We are planning on going on MLK day and would like to know the condition of canyon Rd. Especially with the rain fall we received for the past few days. We planning on taking a 2WD. Thanks.

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

Short, a nice first stretch of the legs after a long drive to the park.

4 days ago

Honestly it was a really great hike I went on Sunday and there was a light traffic of people, however it was still extremely enjoyable. I’ll admit I actually got off the path a few times, so I had to use this apps map to help me get back on course. Going down to the actual palm trees was a challenge, but it was worth it. There are many beautiful scenarios along the way so I recommend doing this hike.

5 days ago

This hike was incredible. We had 4 wheel drive and had no problem getting down painted canyon road. All of the ladders we encountered were metal and pretty sturdy, except for the occasional broken rung. Definitely worth the climb for the amazing views.

Was on the trail yesterday and the road is in excellent condition. If you stay on the main road and don't go off onto the sandy off shoots on the road you will not need a 4 wheel drive. The trail is in excellent condition however none of the ladders are bolted down any longer so you may want to have fellow hikers hold the ladder steady as you ascend or descend. The ladder at mile 2 which is the last one before you emerge up from the lower canyon is in bad shape. One of the middle rungs has broken through and ladder is swaying sideways from metal fatigue. I suspect this will need to be replaced very soon other wise you will have to turn back as there is no way to circumnavigate this area. Once you emerge out of the canyon and descend into the lower wider canyon there are lots of flowers and great views of the massive canyon walls. On the last 2 down climb ladders the last ladder is in poor condition. The last 2 rungs are blown out and most of the other rungs look like they could go anytime. Proceed with caution on that one! other than that the trail is amazing and in good condition. Highly recommend!

Best part about this hike is climbing around on all of the different rock formations. We spent hours scrambling around and trying to get to the top of each pile of rocks. So much fun, and an experience very unique to Joshua Tree NP.

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

Short but really beautiful hike. The landscape changes a lot and a bit of rock climbing needed at certain points.

Beautiful and unique hike. We are a four person family with two college age kids and it was fun for all. Slightly challenging in some parts but worth it for the views. Makes you feel like you are an explorer!

Hike was very nice !!!

hey john, box canyon is still closed and you will definitely need 4WD for painted canyon road (some parts are soft sand)

Real easy and short trail away from the crowds. Shouldn’t need 4x4 but check conditions, pick good lines, and be aware of where you stop/go. Some sandy sections but not deep at all. Whole lot of washboards in the beginning. Drove a 1500 Silverado through with no scratches, some shrubs got real close tho. M
Trail might get over grown certain parts of the year so cautious. I would definitely come back and grill up some lunch here just to be away from the masses. There are backcountry camping areas and hiking trails on this trail as well.

Uhmm hmmmm. A good part of this loop was walking thru the parking lots of a campground? And right along the road. If you have really young kids it’s a good one.

13 days ago

A lovely hike but very steep small section to get into the oasis. We returned via the Mastadon loop, and there were lovely flowers and many hummingbirds. However the very end to rerun to Cottonwood Springs parking is confusing as the area was closed after flooding.

Easy and great scenery!

John, we will be there in two weeks with a rental car. Like you, hoping to hear of road conditions on Painted Canyon Road. Please update if you decide to go. Thanks!

Great walk, lots of variety, ups and downs. It;s a bit of a clamber down the canyon at the end, but not too bad. We took our 7 and 9 yo and did the whole thing in about 4 hours. Definitely worth the hike. Views of the salton see on the way

Beautiful hike.

Really nice flat trail - great for kids to run and climb rocks and still interesting enough to keep the grown ups happy! Beautiful and interesting rock formations all along the trail. Well worth the trip!!

This is the perfect hike in my opinion. 2 miles of beautiful views and interesting terrain (not all flat or boring by any means). Loved this!

Can anyone please provide road conditions??? I plan to visit the area Saturday, January 5th. Thanks much

Moderate climb up and down, made it in 3 hours moving fast! Lots of scrambling and climbing boulders, not for those who dislike a hard climb. Didn’t see anyone else on the trail, be sure to use a Map with a pin location to ensure you aren’t going too far.

Great views, pretty easy trail. Got there early and there was plenty of parking, but as we were leaving the parking lot was full with multiple people waiting for spots.

nature trips
18 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.

Nice adventurous hike without being too difficult. Loved the slot canyon and variety of rocks.

19 days ago

Simple, pleasant. Beautiful views east and west from the trailhead at sunset

20 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.

This is a very unique hike and one of the best. The view of the Salton Sea once you are up top is spectacular. The slot canyon, diversity of rock types and formations and views from the top made this hike a must do for us. We will do it again for sure.

We missed the stone arrow showing the way to do the loop clockwise so did it in reverse. The bolder scramble and entrance to the trail is relatively early on the trail. The arrow is very close to the left side - there is a small aluminum ladder to look for. The trail is very wide, so we didn’t see the arrow but going counterclockwise wasn’t bad at all. The main difference as far as I can tell is that you walk half the time at a slight incline in the sand. If you were to go clockwise, you would do most of the ladders and rocky ascent going up.

I would also like to thank the volunteers for their time and effort making sure the ladders are there so this hike is possible. All were in fine working condition. I didn’t see any wood ladders.

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