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

Really fun little loop, my daughters loved the lizards and rocks to climb!

This trail is pretty short, but don’t let that fool you! You can spend a lot of time exploring this area. I thought it was very peaceful, I did this hike around 7am in February. So not a lot of people were out, but by the time I finished the parking lot was full. I took my time exploring the rock features along the way. Plus, it’s probably the only place you’re going to see a body of water in the park. Lol.

on Lost Palms Oasis

2 days ago

Such a beautiful hike. Not to difficult! Finished in 3 hours and 25 minutes!

Amazing and beautiful! The drive in on the dirt road is bumpy but bearable in a sedan. The drive in the hills toward the trailhead is so pretty! The first few hundred feet on the trail is awesome, but looking up you'll miss some of the rock arrows on the ground. There is a giant arrow that points left to a pile of boulders. Without investigating, we assumed it was wrong because we didn't see a path, so we stayed to the right and took the trail counterclockwise. Going clockwise, you'd need to scramble some rocks and climb some ladders off the bat. In hindsight, this is probably the easier way to go because you go up the ladders instead of down, and it seems less likely you'll get lost. Alas, we went right, which I think ended up being the prettier route but we would have gotten lost multiple times if Google Maps hadn't been working on our phones. If you go this way, know that anytime you see a row of rocks clearly man made, it means don't cross that line or you'll go off trail. At the top of the loop, keep an eye for a long row of rocks across the wash. Here, look left and you'll see the trail goes up the hill. Coming back down the loop back towards the trailhead there are a couple of forks where you basically have to guess where to go if you don't have GPS. Our maps were useless because they didn't show these forks. Either way, this hike is AMAZING and is a must see for any able bodied person in the area!

3 days ago

This is a challenging, unmarked "trail" that is perhaps a little more than "moderate", read: not great for younger or inexperienced hikers. The majority of the route involves scrambling over large boulders including some substantial obstacles in the eastern gorge. Travel time for two adults and one ambitious 11 year old was 4 hours excluding the final climb to the peak. I've done this hike twice and the view from the peak is impressive and a little nerve-wrecking due to a substantial dropoff on the north face.

The landscape is incredible. The trail is a “raiders for the lost ark” expedition- if you don’t have gps and AllTrails you will have no idea where you are. This trail seemed much more than ‘moderate ‘ going up the boulder gorge at the beginning. I just wish it wouldn’t have bested me and I could have completed it. We abandoned the boulder gorge and went around the backside of the loop but ran out of daylight

It was a fun and relaxing hike. Thank God for the arrows haha

Definitely more “touristy” due to the short length and ease of the hike, but still fun to see. Would recommend doing this either earlier or later in the day to beat or follow the crowds as there is sometimes some congestion around Skull Rock. Climbing on the surrounding rocks is fun and a good way to get away from some of the people in the trail.

A short and easy hike through some interesting rock formations and vegetation. The informational signs in the area are pretty neat. There’s fun to be had scrambling around the rocks.

The trail isn’t really labeled until you get up close, but it’s in the White Tank campground.

Definitely more “touristy” due to the short length and ease of the hike, but still fun to see. Would recommend doing this either earlier or later in the day to beat or follow the crowds as there is sometimes some congestion around Arch Rock.

A fun little loop amongst the rocks and various vegetation of Joshua Tree. The trail is pretty short and easy, and has a lot of opportunities for exploration amongst the rocks. The history of the valley is pretty cool so take the time to read the informational signs.

Definitely more “touristy” due to the short length and ease of the hike, but still fun to see.

A fun little hike in Joshua Tree. Pretty short and easy. Like a lot of places in Joshua Tree, the rock formations are pretty fun to explore and climb. The dam itself and the history are pretty interesting.

Definitely more “touristy” due to the short length and ease of the hike, but still fun to see.

5 days ago

One of my favorite hikes in Joshua Tree. Lots of cool vegetation and rock formations, and the oasis is a great place to break for a lunch below the palms. The view between the mountains approaching the oasis is great, as are the views on almost the entire return hike, where the San Jacinto mountains and Salton Sea can be seen.

Either on the way there or the way back make sure to stop by Mastodon Peak for some amazing views. The path up to the very top is just a bunch of boulders that need to be scrambled over, but it isn’t very challenging and is very much worth it.

Amazing hike! The 5 mile dirt road to get here isn’t too bad. Was pretty easy in our Ford Focus. The hike itself is great, but can be difficult to follow at times due to the lack of signs. Keep an eye out for the rock arrows showing the path. We missed the Ladder Canyon portion on the way up, but took it down on the way back.

The great thing about this hike is the diverse scenery. We spent time in a deep and wide canyon, then came out on a ridge line overlooking the Coachella Valley and Salton Sea, then went through the narrow slot canyon with the ladders. It kept the hike fresh and exciting.

5 days ago

I did this trail on a cool winter day and it was delightful. I would not attempt it on a hot and sunny day, as it offers little shade (like all hikes in JT). The scenery and views are incredible. There are more trees and wildlife here than in other parts of the park.

5 days ago

short trail but hike around the arch for more views

nice views

We did this Yesterday. Be sure to check your map and plan. We were almost all the way back down and there was a group up on the top asking how to get down. They were way out on a “finger” high above us!

Nice easy trail. Spectacular view at the top.

Fun scramble beyond the lake

8 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

A very nice hiking loop. We enjoyed it very much.

10 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.

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.

Fun little loop with lots of rocks to scramble onto and over if you please! Would be a great place to take kids

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.

Easy fun loop trail. Fun sights to see and very accessible.

We enjoyed this easy loop trail with lots to see and fun photography options. Lots of places to scamper on the rocks and a good trail for those more interested in meandering.

14 days ago

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.

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