#11 of 61 national parks in United States of America

Best trails in Joshua Tree National Park

18,677 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Joshua Tree National Park, California? AllTrails has 118 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 68 moderate trails in Joshua Tree National Park ranging from 0.8 to 25.8 miles and from 1,476 to 5,813 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

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. Entering Joshua Tree National Park requires a pass ($20), which is to be paid at the park entrance. Accessibility: For accessible trails and facilities information for those with disabilities or using equipment such as strollers, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/accessibility.htm

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Map of trails in Joshua Tree National Park
Park information
Acreage:
789,745 acres
Contact
760-367-5500
Helpful links
Top trails (118)
#1 - Ryan Mountain Trail
Joshua Tree National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(2193)
Length: 3.0 mi • Est. 1 h 56 m
This out and back hike to the summit of Ryan Mountain is one of the most popular trails in the park. The trail offers incredible views across the landscape. It gets incredibly hot here in the summer, so between June and September it's best to do this one either in the early morning or evening. This is a great trail to view the sunset from.Show more
#2 - Barker Dam Nature Trail
Joshua Tree National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1363)
Length: 1.3 mi • Est. 32 m
#3 - Hidden Valley Nature Trail
Joshua Tree National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1200)
Length: 1.0 mi • Est. 29 m
Sample the best of Joshua Tree National Park on this short 1 mile nature trail loop in the heart of the park. If time or the fierce sun means you only have the chance for one short hike at Joshua Tree National Park, then Hidden Valley is a great choice. Encircled on all sides by the familiar golden rock outcroppings of the Joshua Tree park, Hidden Valley certainly lives up to is name. In addition to being a great sheltered location, this place is also rumored to have been well known to 19th century cattle rustlers who would hide their bovine hoards in here. The nature trail takes you on a circuitous route around some of the most prominent features of the park, including interpretive guides to the area's diversity, plant life and geology. Off the trail you will find some rock climbing sites.Show more
#4 - Lost Palms Oasis Trail
Joshua Tree National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(874)
Length: 7.2 mi • Est. 3 h 36 m
Lost Palms Oasis Trail is located on the southern side of Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. You will not find many Joshua Trees in the area due to the lower altitude, but you will find a spectacular palm tree grove within a desert oasis. This trail is also an incredible dark sky location. Getting down to the oasis requires a challenging off-route scramble. NPS suggests not hiking this trail between May and October due to the extreme heat. There are no bathrooms at the trailhead but the Cottonwood Visitor Center is just up the road.Show more
#5 - Arch Rock Nature Trail
Joshua Tree National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(898)
Length: 1.2 mi • Est. 33 m
Please park at Twin Tanks Backcountry Board/Arch Rock Nature Trail lot. Do not park at the White Tank Campground as this area is for campers only. Open all year, the Arch Rock Nature Trail features rock formations popular with the young crowd at Joshua Tree National Park.Show more
#6 - Fortynine Palms Oasis Trail
Joshua Tree National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1162)
Length: 3.1 mi • Est. 1 h 15 m
Explore rocky ridges, incredible views and a true desert oasis on this easily accessed hike. Just off of Twenty Nine Palms Highway, users will turn onto a small dirt road which leads to the trailhead. The trail climbs upward for a half mile offering awesome views of the valley. The trail then go up and down along several ridges, finally reaching a small, wet, oasis surrounded by palm trees. In the dry desert, it's incredible to see. Users will then turn around and go back the same way.Show more
#7 - Lost Horse Mine Loop Trail
Joshua Tree National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(783)
Length: 6.8 mi • Est. 2 h 45 m
#8 - Skull Rock Nature Trail
Joshua Tree National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(628)
Length: 1.7 mi • Est. 48 m
This loop contains .5 miles of walking along the paved campground road. Alternatively, visitors could just hike from Skull Rock, through the Jumbo Rocks area, and then turn around upon reaching the campground. This out-and-back route would be a mile roundtrip.Show more
#9 - Mastodon Peak Loop Trail
Joshua Tree National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(605)
Length: 2.6 mi • Est. 1 h 19 m
This is a relatively easy hike. Lots of desert plants and flowers to see along with beautiful views. On clear days you can see the Salton Sea. There is an old mine to explore (only from outside as entrance has been sealed).Show more
#10 - Split Rock Loop Trail
Joshua Tree National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(584)
Length: 1.9 mi • Est. 56 m
This loop featuring rock formations, wildlife, and desert landscapes can be done in either direction. Make sure to take the extra side trip to see Face Rock; and make sure to bring water since this is an exposed hike.Show more
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