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destination
Hiking

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

A great place to go! Trails within the park include short and easy to strenuous:

  • Barker Dam Loop Trailhead. (1.1 mi / 1.8 km loop; 50 ft / 15 m elevation gain; NPS rating: short). Explore cultural history of early cattle ranchers and the water tank they built; watch for bighorn sheep. (AllTrails map).
  • Boy Scout Trail, north trailhead. – Boy Scout Trail, south trailhead. (8 mi / 12.9 km one way; 1190 ft / 360 m elevation gain; NPS rating: challenging). A scenic trail through the edge of the Wonderland of Rocks. (AllTrails map).
  • Cap Rock. – Also walk around Cap rock itself.
  • Cottonwood Spring Trail. (1.1 mi / 1.8 km loop; 25 ft / 8 m elevation gain; NPS rating: short). A short walk to fan palm oasis with cottonwood trees; great birding location with shade. (AllTrail map).
  • Fortynine Palms Oasis Trailhead, Canyon Rd, Twentynine Palms Highway (from CA 62 in Twentynine Palms, south on Canyon Rd, east on Fortynine Palms Canyon Rd to parking lot and trailhead. Day use only, gated at night. (3 mi / 4.8 km out and back; 300 ft / 90 m elevation; NPS rating: strenous, avoid when hot). A hike to an oasis surrounded by stands of fan palms and pools of water. (AllTrails map).
  • Hidden Valley Trailhead. (1 mi / 1.6 km loop; 100 ft / 21 m elevation gain; NPS rating: easy). Short hike to a rock-enclosed valley rumored to have been used by cattle rustlers. (AllTrails map).
  • Lost Horse Mine Trail. (4 mi / 6.4 km out and back; 550 ft / 170 m elevation; NPS rating: moderate). Lost Horse Mine is a popular destination for visitors looking for a moderate hike. Follows the haul road developed in the late 1800s by the miners. The summit elevation is 5,278 feet (1,609 m). – continue on longer Lost Horse Mine Loop. (6.5 mi / 10.5 km loop; 550 ft / 170 m elevation; NPS rating: challenging). extended route from out-and-back Lost Horse Loop (AllTrails map)
  • Lost Palms Oasis Trail. (7.5 mi / 12 km out and back; 500 ft / 150 m elevation gain; NPS rating: strenuous). Hike across sandy washes, then down into a canyon with numerous palm stands, with a possible side trip to Victory Palms and Munsen Canyon that involves scrambling. (AllTrail map)
  • Mastodon Peak Trail. (3 mi / 5 km loop; 375 ft / 115 m elevation; NPS rating: moderate). A trail goes past an old gold mine and offers excellent views of the Eagle Mountains and Salton Sea, with a summit elevation of 3,371 feet (1,027 m). Strenuous. (AllTrails map)
  • Oasis of Mara Trail, 74485 National Park Dr; Twentynine Palms. (0.5 mi / 0.8 km loop; minimal elevation change; NPS rating: short). Short, flat loop trail with interpretive signs to introduce visitors to the history and ecology of the site. (AllTrails map).
  • Ryan Mountain Trail. (3 mi / 5 km out and back; 1050 ft / 320 m elevation; NPS rating: challenging). Excellent views of Lost Horse, Queen, and Pleasant Valleys with a summit elevation of 5,461 feet (1,664 m). Strenuous. The trail is well-maintained and features stone steps for most of the way. (AllTrails map)