Trailhead Location: Barker Dam parking area, Best For: Families, hiking, trail running, birds, wildflowers, lake. There are two popular trails in Joshua Tree that lead to one. Similar to the hikes above, expect a rewarding view of the park once you reach the top. The trail leads to an old mine site along with the Eagle Cliff Boulder House. Best For: Hiking, rock climbing, wildflowers, birds, trail running. One day, I hope to see them all. You’ll find lots of Joshua trees in addition to pinyon pines and junipers. We did a lot of hikes/walks around Hidden Valley and Desert Queen Ranch, but we have to do more in the southern part of the park! Riley has been visiting national parks for as long as she can remember. The 1.7 mile (2.7km) Skull Rock Trail hike literally begins right under the nose of Skull Rock and winds its way through a magical Joshua Tree National Park landscape. Barker Dam. These make for some of the best hikes in Joshua Tree. Joshua Tree National Park is an amazing place to explore, and here are a few fantastic hikes that prove the point: Arch Rock Nature Trail, 0.3 mile: Walk from White Tank Campground to a natural arch, through a maze of other rock formations with abundant spots to scramble around and crannies to explore. I’d definitely want to do Barker Dam Nature Trail, and not only because you said it was easy. Honestly, this trail has it all. If you’re up for the challenge, there are more strenuous likes along ridgelines as well. Use caution, stay on the trail, and wear closed-toe shoes. Other than the Joshua trees (of course), the park is also famous for its rocks. Safety first! The 20 Best Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park That Will Blow Your Mind. Hike this short, relatively flat trail for a look at some marvelous rock formations. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. While it’s common with hikers, another option is horseback riding. A short loop with thousands of densely concentrated cholla cactus. What makes Joshua Tree National Park so special? Never miss a post! Plus, gain unrestricted access to our resource library full of hundreds of national park checklists. On the left is a map of the entire park while on the right is a detailed map of the Hidden Valley/Jumbo Rocks area. Hoping to see a landscape unlike anything else? However, there are many others! You may also encounter striking wildflowers along the way. It’s not easy! Explore Hidden Valley, discover Barker Dam, trek Wall Street Mill, climb Skull Rock, and so much more along these nature trails and short walks. Joshua Tree National Park is one of the rarest destinations in the United States. The beauty of Joshua Tree is that there is a myriad of amazing hiking trails, all of which can be experienced during a day trip. 12 votes so far . Note: There is no shade on this trail. Get our latest sent right to your inbox. Bark Dam was built by early cattle ranchers as a water tank for their livestock. Joshua Tree is located in a transition zone between two different deserts. The best Joshua Tree Hikes: Classic Joshua Tree landscape There are plenty of places to see the iconic Joshua Tree composition - Joshua Tree + boulders + desert. Which is a shame as one of best hikes in Joshua Tree is right there! Additionally, there may be wildlife along the trail. A hike to a summit. When you descend, you’ll find yourself in a fan palm oasis. These are the best hikes in Joshua Tree for casual hikers. If it’s too hot, don’t push yourself. Try Barker Dam, Wall Street Mill, Hi-View, or Warren Peak to start. Head for these trails to find something only available here, making them some of the best hikes in Joshua Tree. Unfortunately, they do not contain chocolate chips and you cannot eat them. 6. One of the most popular hikes in Joshua Tree, this short walk will lead to a very rewarding view. These include: When to Go: For the mildest temperatures, plan to visit between March and April or October and November. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Joshua Tree was once home to early settlers and cattle ranchers. Joshua Tree is an absolutely amazing park. Every hiker should always carry the ten essentials with them. They appear to be from another planet. KEYS VIEW. This sheer range of landscape types is another reason why the Joshua Tree hikes below are so rewarding. You'll find this self-guiding loop trail in the center of the park. This strenuous loop near the Warren Peak Trail has many uses. By clicking on or navigating the site, you agree to allow us to collect information using cookies. If you’re hoping to see as many of these rare Joshua trees are possible, many of the trails listed above will suit you. Trail runners frequent the trail as well. These experiences are best for hiking trails in Joshua Tree National Park: What are the best places for hiking trails in Joshua Tree National Park? Before visiting, please check with individual parks regarding changes to park operations. Trailhead Location: Cottonwood Spring parking area, Best For: Families, wildflowers, birds, hikers of all skill levels. One of the best short day hikes in Joshua Tree, the 0.25-mile loop through the Cholla Cactus Garden is a must-see for every Joshua Tree visitor. Barker Dam Hike. Check the official websites for each park you plan to visit for the most up to date information regarding the pandemic. There’s a lake near thanks to a dam constructed decades ago. About this Guide to the Best Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park. Distance: 7.2 miles. Do not hike on hot days. Hey there, and welcome to The Parks Expert! Best Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park. You do not have to complete the rock scramble to finish the loop. RATE THIS STORY: Submit Rating . Providing brief introductions to the flora and fauna, the pathway leads you to a rock-enclosed valley that was once rumored to have been used by cattle rustlers. Here are 20 of the best hikes in Joshua Tree organized by their attractions. In order to discover the 5 Best Hikes In Joshua Tree to complete, as well as a handy guide to hiking in Joshua Tree National Park, simply continue reading. It’s relatively short with little elevation gain as well. Located on the less-visited Pinto Basin Road, the cactus garden is the only hike described here that lies in the Colorado Desert, not far from the transition zone separating the Mojave Desert. Trailhead Location: Indian Cove or Boy Scout Trailhead. It is strongly recommended that you shuttle or carpool rather than hike the full trail twice in one day to return to your starting point. Joshua Tree is a welcome retreat from the busy cities of California. Note: There is no shade on this trail. This post was updated on April 3, 2020. There’s also a lot of cultural history to explore, including a few abandoned mines. This fantastic loop brings you through a lovely desert habitat in addition to its summit. Nestled deep within two distinct deserts in southern California, Joshua Tree National Park is within easy reach of Los Angeles, San Diego and even Las Vegas, making it a convenient spot for weekend adventures. Trailhead Location: Fortynine Palms parking area (on Highway 62), Best For: Families, hiking, trail running. Trailhead Location: Black Rock Campground, Best For: Families, trail running, horseback riding, birds, wildflowers. "This is a popular, fairly strenuous hike that is mostly steps, but it is lots of fun, has great views from the top, and is a good stair workout!" The stunning views and rewarding hikes attract thousands of visitors to Joshua Tree each year. Note: There is no shade on this trail. The loop to Barker Dam gives you some insight into that history. That photo is so gorgeous! Her newest passion is sharing her love of national parks with the world by planning trips, writing about her travels, and offering advice. Keys View is best known for being an amazing place to watch sunsets, but at any time of day this trail is worth checking out for terrific panoramas. Note: There is no shade on this trail. "Ryan Mountain Trail,located in Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California is a terrific half day hike to one of them any scenic trail hikes in Joshua Tree National Park!" Best Easy Day Hikes in Joshua Tree - This is a handy little guide to a selection of the best trails in the park. This is one of the longest trails in the park meant for day hikes. Liz Dengler | September 23, 2019. On the way down, you’ll also pass an old gold mine. Not only from the climb, but also the sweeping views of Joshua Tree National Park. Many of the best hikes in Joshua Tree are located there. Get a grand view over Joshua Tree from the top of a mountain. Last but not least, there are enormous rocks everywhere. Connect with other national park enthusiasts by joining, Detailed Joshua Tree National Park map. Get the inside scoop by an expert hiker at how to enjoy the best trails in Joshua Tree. Do not attempt any difficult hikes listed below if you’re experiencing extreme heat during your visit. The Best Hikes in Joshua Tree Lost Palms Oasis Trail. Trailhead Location: Lost Horse Mine trailhead off of Keys View Road. After reading your post, I realize that I’ve only scratched the surface. If there are so many awesome hikes, I can’t imagine how many hikes you could possibly do in Joshua Tree! You’ll walk through an extravagant forest on your way there, surrounded by junipers and pinyon pine trees. The Hidden Valley Trail is one of the easiest yet best hikes in Joshua Tree. Please check your email for further instructions. Download our free national parks checklists by signing up for e-mail updates. Despite some steep sections, this is a relatively easy trail. The hike back out of the canyon can be strenuous. 1 Best Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park; 2 Joshua Tree … Its otherworldly landscapes will leave visitors puzzled and mesmerized at the same time. Joshua Tree National Park has a fascinating history well beyond its famous plant life. more, #1 of 18 Outdoor Activities in Joshua Tree National Park, #3 of 18 Outdoor Activities in Joshua Tree National Park, #4 of 18 Outdoor Activities in Joshua Tree National Park, #9 of 18 Outdoor Activities in Joshua Tree National Park, #10 of 18 Outdoor Activities in Joshua Tree National Park, #11 of 18 Outdoor Activities in Joshua Tree National Park, #13 of 18 Outdoor Activities in Joshua Tree National Park, #14 of 18 Outdoor Activities in Joshua Tree National Park, #15 of 18 Outdoor Activities in Joshua Tree National Park, #16 of 18 Outdoor Activities in Joshua Tree National Park, #17 of 18 Outdoor Activities in Joshua Tree National Park, #18 of 18 Outdoor Activities in Joshua Tree National Park. These are the best places for budget-friendly hiking trails in Joshua Tree National Park: Popular Joshua Tree National Park Categories, Commonly searched for in Joshua Tree National Park, Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park, "Ryan Mountain Trail,located in Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California is a terrific half day hike to one of them any, "This is a popular, fairly strenuous hike that is mostly steps, but it is lots of fun, has great views from the top, and is a good stair, "-There is a restroom in the parking lot -This is a great hike if you only have a half-day or one day in the area because the, "We enjoyed our hike to Wall Street Mill, which can be found in the same parking lot as Barker Dam, "The oases - both the Cottonwood at the beginning of the, Joshua Tree National Park Vacation Rentals, Joshua Tree National Park Vacation Packages, Restaurants near Joshua Tree National Park, Joshua Tree National Park Pet Friendly Campgrounds, Hotels near Twentynine Palms Oasis (Oasis of Mara), Hotels near (PSP) Palm Springs Municipal Airport, All things to do in Joshua Tree National Park, Outdoor Activities in Joshua Tree National Park, Hiking Trails in Joshua Tree National Park, Nature & Parks in Joshua Tree National Park, Geologic Formations in Joshua Tree National Park, Sights & Landmarks in Joshua Tree National Park, Traveler Resources in Joshua Tree National Park, Classes & Workshops in Joshua Tree National Park, Concerts & Shows in Joshua Tree National Park, Casinos & Gambling in Joshua Tree National Park, Ryan Ranch Homestead Site: Tickets & Tours‎, Things to do near (PSP) Palm Springs Municipal Airport, Half-Day Guided Hike in Joshua Tree National Park, Full Day Hike in Joshua Tree National Park, Joshua Tree National Park - Private, Custom Adventure w/ Pro Photography, See more hiking trails in Joshua Tree National Park on Tripadvisor, See more hiking trails for couples in Joshua Tree National Park on Tripadvisor, See more budget-friendly hiking trails in Joshua Tree National Park on Tripadvisor. Honestly, there isn’t a bad hike in the park. Either way, you’ll find one of the most successful gold mines within the park. Trailhead Location: Northwest of Black Rock Campground, Best For: Families, trail running, hiking, wildflowers, birds, camping. Here, you’ll find the fan palm oasis. Trailhead Location: North of Cottonwood Visitor Center. Trailhead Location: Keys View Road near the intersection to the main park boulevard, Best For: Families, wheelchairs, strollers, hiking, trail running, walking. Cap Rock is a great option for those seeking a more accessible trail, as it is fully paved. I’m Riley, and I think it’s safe to say that I kind of love national parks. You’ll hike up and over a ridge on this trail, so you can expect 300 feet in elevation gain in both directions. You can also see Skull Rock from the road. What a detailed post on all the great things to do in JT. Remember, cactus plants are very prickly! Best Time to Hike in Joshua Tree National Park . Which experiences are best for hiking trails in Joshua Tree National Park? Map of Keys View, courtesy of the National Park Service. How do you even choose from this list of “best hikes”? You’ll find lots of short, flat hikes passing through the magical landscape, with plenty of attractions that will delight visitors of all ages. Joshua Tree will always have a special place in our hearts. . Keys Ranch can also be reached on this trail, but you must be on a guided tour with a park ranger. An old mill, Joshua trees, rock formations, and a lovely desert landscape. Joshua Tree National Park is one of Southern California’s iconic parks, known for its trails and hikes. This trail does lead to a mining site, but that’s not the highlight. With this guide, the reader is invited to experience on his or her own, or with friends, some of the alluring destinations that make Joshua Tree … Although the absolute best trail may be hard to name, it should be possible to find the best hike for you based on what you’re looking for. Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park. Download Free Checklists and Itineraries! Note: There is no shade on this trail. Just Northeast of Palm Springs, this park is surrounded by the Mojave Desert to the west and the Colorado Desert to the east. Joshua Tree National Park is a total gem in Southern California. Spring also brings amazing wildflowers. Trailhead Location: Parking area between Sheep Pass and Ryan Campground. Trailhead Location: Near the Barker Dam parking area, Best For: Families, hiking, trail running, wildflowers, birds. Within the rocky landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park, you'll find a variety of great hiking trails for you and your family. The best hikes in Joshua Tree National Park vary from mountaintop trails to desert oasis destinations. Do remember that Joshua Tree is a desert park, so you don’t want to do a lot of these hikes during the summertime. • Waterproof • Tear-Resistant • Topographic Map. Look out for bighorn sheep. It’s one of the best trails to see the most Joshua trees as well. Summers are extremely hot and could be a dangerous time to be outside in the sun, but provide some of the best evenings for stargazing. Its dreamy terrain expands over 800,000 acres providing 114 hiking trails, running tracks, viewing trails, and much more. If you’re up for the challenge, there are more strenuous likes along ridgelines as well. So many amazing hikes! And while you could easily drive through the park in a couple of hours, to really experience the beauty of this desert landscape, you have to get out of your car and hike. Do not hike this trail if it’s too hot outside. Drink plenty of water (at least one gallon per person per day), use sunscreen, and wear a hat. 40 Classic Day Hikes of Joshua Tree National Park. Note: There is no shade on this trail. How to Get to Channel Islands National Park: Channel Islands Tours, My Favorite One-Star Reviews of National Parks Guaranteed to Get You Laughing. Great for wildflowers along with an arch-shaped rock formation. With elevations ranging from 900 feet to more than 5,000 feet, the park includes both Mojave and Colorado desert plant communities. The trail takes you over the mostly flat sandy desert and rocky valley’s following the edge of the Wonderland of Rocks. Do not attempt in the heat. Joshua Tree is probably my favorite national park – I haven’t visited them all, but I’ve been to Joshua Tree in January and April and the landscape is just breathtaking! ••• Best Joshua Tree Hikes: Warren Peak ••• — Warren Peak Trail Stats — Distance: 6.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet Time: 3.0 hrs Warren Peak is located in the northwest corner of the park adjacent to the Black Rock Campground. I’m glad you had such a great time! There’s also a lot of cultural history to explore, including a few abandoned mines. This page may contain affiliate links. Best Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park. It was the first place we took our kids rock climbing and they loved it. However – there are definitely some great hikes in Joshua Tree National Park if you are wanting to get some exercise and explore! Updates about the NPS response, including safety information, are posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. For more recommendations, read about my favorite outdoor gear and the best daypacks for women. In the winter season, you’ll find fewer crowds and colder temperatures. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. The National Park Service is modifying its operations on a park-by-park basis. Wow. It’s location, just a mere one hour drive away from Palm Springs makes Joshua Tree an ideal day trip. On a one-day trip, don’t miss the best hikes in Joshua Tree National Park! To reach the top, there’s a small rock scramble. It will bring you to the top of Ryan Mountain for an amazing view. Estimated time: 3 hours 15 minutes. There is no water available in the park, so be sure to bring your own. Trailhead Location: Jumbo Rocks Campground. Our favorite was the 49 Palms Oasis hike. One day, Riley hopes to visit all 422 national parks. Joshua Tree: The Complete Guide: Joshua Tree National Park - This book provides an enormous amount of information on hiking in the park, along with plenty of inspiring photographs. Table of Contents. Climbers from around the world travel to the park to climb in this environment. These places are best for hiking trails in Joshua Tree National Park: Which places provide the best hiking trails in Joshua Tree National Park for couples? Do not hike when it is hot. The best hikes in Joshua Tree National Park vary from mountaintop trails to desert oasis destinations. The trail explores the area known as the Wonderland of Rocks. Joshua Tree National Park may appear to be a stark, unforgiving landscape, but it’s actually one of the best places in California for easy, family-friendly hikes. Trailhead Location: Arch Rock Nature Trail parking lot, Best For: Families, wheelchairs, strollers. This hike can be an out and back (which is described below) or a loop (which adds about 2.5 miles to the length) known as Lost Horse Loop. Trailhead Location: Pine City trailhead at the end of Desert Mine Road, Best For: Backpacking, camping, hiking, trail running. This is a list of what I believe to be the best trails in Joshua Tree. To help personalize content, analyze traffic patterns, and provide a safer experience, we use cookies. Honestly most of my time spent in Joshua Tree to date has been more of a chill trip, cruising around, taking photos and soaking in the scenery. While calling Keys View a hike may be a bit of a stretch, this short (0.2-mile) trail is worth putting on your list of trails to take while you are in Joshua Tree. It’s easily one of the best hikes in Joshua Tree. Last but not least, there are enormous rocks everywhere. Trailhead Location: Desert Queen Mine Road, Best For: Families, hiking, trail running, birds, wildflowers. We found a particularly good area after the dam where you could see several beautiful trees with a photogenic backdrop. The Barker Dam trail is one of the iconic paths meandering through the Joshua Tree National Park, and one of the best hikes in Joshua Tree if you like your hikes relatively easy. The mine itself is fenced in for your protection; please, don’t enter the site. This strenuous hike to the top of Warren Peak will leave you breathless. See some options below: Even if you’re not a rock climber, you can enjoy these formations too with some of the best hikes in Joshua Tree or even a quick scramble. One of the best things to look for in the desert is a welcoming oasis. This hike will lead you through a sandy wash before you descend down into a canyon. Map of the Best Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park, Keep in Mind Before You Hike in Joshua Tree, Best Hikes in Joshua Tree for Reaching the Summit, Best Hikes in Joshua Tree for Finding an Oasis, Best Hikes in Joshua Tree for Cultural History, Best Hikes in Joshua Tree Among the Rocks, View all posts by Riley (The Parks Expert), 13 Best National Parks for Wildlife Viewing, Things to Do in Yosemite Valley: The Heart of Yosemite National Park, Olympic National Park Itinerary: How to Spend Three Days in Olympic National Park, 15 of the Best Hikes in Acadia National Park: Exploring Mount Desert Island, Nutrition: food for both meals and snacks. It is particularly unique as it features not one but two different desert ecosystems, the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert. The Cap Rock Nature Trail is one of the best family-friendly Joshua Tree hikes. Thanks for subscribing! What are your favorite hikes in Joshua Tree National Park? 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