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Joshua Tree Wilderness was established in 1976 by The United States Congress and was later expanded by the California Desert Protection Act of 1994. Today the park is managed by the National Parks Service and covers a total of 594,502 acres of California desert The park extended north into the Pinto Mountains, northeast into the Coxcomb Mountains, southeast into the Eagle Mountains, and southwest into the Little San Bernardino Mountains. The Eastern areas of the park contain the drier Colorado Desert. Here you will see creosote bushes, ocotillo, and "jumping" cholla cactus. The Western half of the park contains the Mojave Desert, where you will see ample Joshua trees, one of the most iconic desert plants. Throughout the park you may also find palm tree laden oases, bighorn sheep, lizards, rattlesnakes, birds, coyotes, jackrabbits, burrowing owls, and more wildlife. You'll also see Southern California's iconic desert landscape and it's fascinating geology. Rock formations and granite monoliths are all around you, attracting rock climbers and hikers alike. Stargazing and camping opportunities abound. Joshua Tree National Park is 140 miles east of Los Angeles, 175 miles northeast of San Diego, and 215 miles southwest of Las Vegas. You can get there via Interstate 10 and Hwy 62 (Twentynine Palms Highway). The closest airport is in Palm Springs. There are three park entrance stations: 1) The west entrance is located five miles south of the junction of Highway 62 and Park Boulevard at Joshua Tree Village. 2) The north entrance is in Twentynine Palms, three miles south of the junction of Highway 62 and Utah Trail. 3) The south entrance at Cottonwood Spring, which lies 25 miles east of Indio, can be approached from the east or west, also via Interstate 10.

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful and great as an intro to Joshua Tree hike.

hiking
1 day ago

Great short but challenging hike with a spectacular view at the end!

Did the "figure of 8" track that included Jumbo and Skull rock as well. Parked at Split Rock. The trail is well marked throughout and in very good condition. It's a popular area of the Park, so a fair number of people around. Lots of bouldering throughout if you want. Very few "weak areas/dull areas" - the campground mostly. Little bit of sandy wash walking, but not a lot. Nothing steep or "ledgy". Very strong JT rock features. Also a little desert rolling hills landscape walking. Definitely one of the better JT walks. My definite cut off regarding desert hiking is around 90 degrees ambient temp, unless there's some noticeable wind.

Great nature hike

Pretty crowded and feels a little artificial for my liking with the man made wall. The loop was under maintenance and so was a short in and back hike. We did however scramble up the hills behind the dam which was a lot of fun and made for some great afternoon views.

We went anti-clockwise on the north trail and came back through the centre along the maze loop trail. Lovely hike with great views. We did not see any other people the whole time. Lots of opportunities to scramble onto nearby mountains to get even greater views to the north. If you're looking for lots of Joshua Trees this isn't the greatest hike. Well marked trail, we had no issues at all. Wildflowers were just about to bloom...which was disappointing for us but exciting for the next few weeks!

rock climbing
4 days ago

This was one fun trail with family. Multiple peaks overlooking Salton sea and 360 degrees breath taking views. Passing the mine and walking counterclockwise in the loop through the wash back to the parking lot.
I would say an hour and a half hike (walking time).

Did this hike about a month ago in mid-March and it was enjoyable. There isn't a ton of variety in the scenery on the way up the mountain, but the views at the top are great. If you're not spending your time climbing in Joshua Tree, this is a great hike to do, but I enjoyed the flat trail loops in the park that take you up close to the rock formations more than this hike.

off road driving
10 days ago

Fun trail for off roading. My Toyota 4Runner is 2wd and it made it with no problem.

hiking
10 days ago

Miles 1-2.5 are moderately strenuous, upgrade out and downgrade return. Thereafter the trail becomes more challenging with steep sections, wide and narrow washes, a steep switchback down to the Oasis from the sign, and nary any shade. Definitely doable in dry weather. Mind the previous comments about distance, heat, and bringing plenty of water. The scenery is awesome.

hiking
10 days ago

Agree with prior reviews that the trail is longer than posted, and that it is relatively flat (~150 ft elevation). Missed the path into Pine City and went on the spur along Pine Canyon and to the Twentynine Palms overlook. Did not go beyond the maintenance (or lack thereof) sign. On return, stepped over log and rocks to explore Pine City. Afterward returning to the carpark, took the short trail to the house ruin and Desert Queen mine overlook. A great afternoon complementing the morning's geology tour and getting away from the Spring Break crowd at Hidden Valley.

A great little loop trail. More easy/mod than hard/mod for the more seasoned hikers, but I enjoyed taking it at a more strident pace. The parking lot is small - it fits maybe 11-12 cars, so either go to the end to park and wait til someone leaves or park alongside the entrance road on a pull off. The bees were bountiful and boisterous- both in the trailheads bathroom ( pee behind a bush off the trail instead) and throughout the hike. Divine, but those who are allergic bring an epi pen. We enjoyed a very buzzy lunch together on the trail. The mine didn't look impressive, so I skipped it - there are several trail turnoffs by it, so pay attention to the signs at the junctions to ensure you're staying the right course.

hiking
12 days ago

Few things in my opinion - "wind in the desert can be a bonus", meaning it can make it a cooler hike, and helpful (gusts to 20 mph are just fine)l. This hike is 9 miles RT - about 2.5 miles of this hike are a bit boring admittedly, but the rest is quite scenic. The steep "sketchy trail" at Lost Palms area is a challenge - There are maybe 30 Fan Palms down there in the steep canyon. Finding and negotiating the small loop down in the steep canyon is vague, and requires moderate bouldering skills, and maybe a GPS. More than 20-30% of folks wont't be able to do the short loop at Lost Palms, though this should not deter one from going down there if you can make it. It is steep coming back up from Lost Palms as well. Make sure to take enough water (you will be sorry if you don't - respect the desert). Lastly, do hike Mastedon Peak near the trail head, it's one of the two main highlights of the hike, an should not be missed.

scenic driving
12 days ago

The reliably paved drive through the park, you have to use to get anywhere, or can take simply to take in sights from a car. Most major paths are marked, with the exception of Cholla Cactus as you drive towards 29 Palms.

On the advice of a park volunteer, we stopped here. Attached to the visitor's center, it is just a simple concrete path through the Oasis. Unlike most trails, this one lacks the informational posts about Flora and fauna. Instead you will find some sort of literary arts project on what looks to be informational posts, a bit of a head scratcher if you ask me. I'd skip this in the future.

A loop in and around the exposed granite of Joshua Tree. Minimal scrambling, somewhat crowded.

A lake Oasis in the middle of the desert. Crazy, no? Definitely do this.

Not the most exciting hike. You walk along a path through a groove of cholla cacti. They have informational pamphlets which were out during our trip, unfortunately. Be careful near the cacti.

hiking
12 days ago

Worth a visit for a ghost town atmosphere, but if you plan on traveling to Death Valley make your way to Rhyolite for something much more impressive.

12 days ago

We combined this Discovery Trail with the Split Rock Trail into a figure 8 trail. The Discovery Trail has very nice signage (4 kids by kids). We also added a quick detour to Skull Rock across the road. We enjoyed it.

hiking
14 days ago

Ranger at visitor center commented that this hike is at lower elevation than most other hikes inside the park. It therefore is hotter.

off road driving
15 days ago

Great trail for beginner to intermediate. Drove 2018 Raptor. Started on North entrance (Geology Tour Rd). First half is just dirt road, which has a lot of washboard sections. But then it gets interesting and the Raptor’s capabilities came into play. Nothing that the truck couldn’t handle with ease even if it caused me to sweat. Make sure to take a spotter as wheel placement is key and the trail gets narrow. There are plenty of little side tracks to test out your skills including a few sand hills that are pretty intense.

Did this trail from Black Rock Canyon campground to Ryans camp over this past weekend with scouts from BSA Troop 384. Great scenery, excellent weather.

hiking
16 days ago

Bring plenty of water. There is no shade along the way. About two miles each way, start early. I give this one a four just for the old artifacts. There are better mines in the park but this one is well worth checking out. Also recommend is the Pinto Wye Arrastra in this general area, although that one is more difficult to find.

backpacking
17 days ago

This hike is definitely for those with a higher fitness level and experience with rock scrambling. We just backpacked this as a prep hike for the Grand Canyon R2R2R. Beautiful hike with amazing views. Bring a min of 3 liters of water and lots of snacks.

hiking
17 days ago

Loved this hike! It was a short and steep hike with absolutely beautiful views all the way! I would say this is nature’s stair master

hiking
18 days ago

I imagine this hike is most pleasant outside of the summer months. We completed Ryan Mountain on April 5 when it was between 82 and 85 degrees, just about perfect weather.

The hike itself is pretty manageable. We saw people of nearly all ages and abilities making the trip. There's nothing particularly technical, just a solid climb up and a quick jaunt back down.

I will say, in terms of expectations, know that Ryan Mountain's peak isn't the one clearly seen from the trailhead. It'll look like a pretty normal ascent at the outset but the trail actually wraps around and snakes upward near the back of the mountain you see at the beginning. If you have this understanding, you should be able to pace yourself just fine and earn a wonderful view up top.

Very scenic hike on Joshua tree. Ample parking. Bathroom at trailhead. Wide well maintained trail. Very enjoyable hike.

Sunsets!

hiking
21 days ago

short and relaxing! awesome views and not crowded!

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