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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.

Great little walk. Truly an amazing little spot on the more desolate Colorado desert side of Joshua Tree. I wouldn’t say go out of your way but if you come in the cottonwood gate it’s worth the stop.

Best hike we did in Joshua Tree. AllTrails says it’s an in and out but when you arrive there is a loop trail marked, take the Loop!!! The backside of the loop drops you into a valley that is far better then the famed Hidden Valley Trail. Start early and you will see tons of wild hares and rabbits. Parts are in the wash that can be a little confusing so just keep an eye out for the trail signs...if your unsure just push on slightly looking for the signs, if in doubt double back and try another wash, just stick with it. Super secluded, we saw no one on our 2.5 hour walk.

fairly easy hike to complete quiet and beautiful views

Really pretty hike! There are a couple steep parts but it’s really not that bad. Well worth the views and pretty wildflowers. Also true what someone else wrote about the bees, they sure like to hang around you so be careful.

hiking
6 days ago

Awesome place to explore! There is even a fossil of a giant slug in one of the caves ;)

Pretty much what everyone else said, need a high clearance vehicle. I went from North to South in a 4WD Tahoe with street tires and running boards (rental) and had to stack up rocks in several areas to avoid bottoming out. Wife wasn’t stoked, it got a little intense in a few areas. Go slow and use a spotter. Amazing views of the park!!

hiking
8 days ago

Did this on 5/09/18 was a Great hike ! A bit steep and rocky but Well Worth the effort

Great trail for little hikers that don’t mind some climbing. Rock staircases are fascinating, and at 1.3 miles it won’t turn the kids off. Great views, great flora and great fauna.

hiking
9 days ago

Did this 5/10 as a one day solo hike. Started at 3 am under the stars at Black Rock Campground, and ended at 6 pm at the 29Palms entrance booth. Had a friend meet me at Ryan Campground for extra water and food. The trail is well marked, but don’t rely on that; you really don’t want to get lost in the vastness of the park. Saw plenty of wildlife, and not a single other person on the trail. Longest hike I ever did, loved it, might make it an annual event.

Hiked this trail in Dec 2017 with the hubs and Feb 2018 with our (grown) daughter. Loved it both times. The trail changes so much it's interesting to hike. I can see why there are warnings to not hike in summer and in heat. There is pretty much no breeze and were it not "cold" (i.e. 45-60 degrees) when we hiked, it would be dangerous. Worth it, but only in the winter.

Great for a quick workout, but I tend to go when no one is up there somehow and I can’t help but have this Erie feeling..

Beautiful, easy hike. Just wish it was a bit more off the road. I always see chuckwallas and last time a 4 foot diamondback

I didn't do the whole thing so I can't say, but at least half way, and I just really liked the trees in the valley somehow. I know trees are all nice around in Joshua, but it was special for me.

Just do something else around, I'm not sure I understand why this is an option. Do skull rock if you want something small.

I did this trail by mistake (credit to bad prep I guess). It can be hard to follow at the begining, but I think it got better as the trail went on. Not amazing so maybe do another one in the area.

Nice one, worth doing with the other small one around like discovery and skull rock, but it does get repetitive. Still, it gives a good feeling for what is around

Cute small walk

hiking
15 days ago

Considering that this is one of the few mountain hike around, it is fairly nice. It gives a nice view around, and is done very quickly (50 min up, 40 min down)

That was well worth the small detour! After a full day of walking around and being fairly dirsty, the sight of the pond/lake is very special. Small walk worth doing

Maybe it's because that was one of the last hike of the day, but I found it a little dull.

hiking
15 days ago

I'd personnally include doing the whole loop towards split rock to get a good feel of the desert, see face rock (or something like that), but anyhow it's not great, just gives a good feeling of the area.

Worth doing along with the other loop around there. Not great but it's giving you a good feel of this area, and it's fairly short

Maybe I missed what was special about this, but I would personnally skip it. It's not very different then other small hike in the area. Of course if you are camping there, why not?

If you are driving by, it's worth stopping to look at these Cholla cactus. Really in general, I think Joshua Tree is a lot about admiring the beauty of desert vegetation, and this is very special.

hiking
15 days ago

Nice morning stroll if you are camping in cottonwood camping. Took about 3 hours, including going a bit deeper once I reached the palm trees. It's nice, and getting to oasis spring is special, it feels like you just arrived somewhere totally different with these big trees.

The cactus is cute. It's suitable to take pictures here before sunset.

hiking
15 days ago

It's a short trail but maybe the most interesting one.

hiking
15 days ago

The sight is similar to some other trais in this park. Many rocks with various shapes.

Honestly, I think the skull rock is the only interesting rock on this trail, but the only one worth five stars.

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