Joshua Tree

Hiking adventure awaits within the intricate and fragile Joshua Tree National Park. With a “low” (Colorado) desert (below 3,000 feet/910 meters) and a “high” (Mojave) desert – Mojave Desert, visitors are welcomed by an array of interesting geological features such as twisted rugged mountains, exposed granite monolith and much more that have been changing this land for thousands of years. At the same time, relics from past inhabitants – rock paintings from Native Americans, dams from cattlemen and gold mines – are still on display throughout the park today.

Click ‘+MORE INFO’ below to find out more about the 10 Best Hikes at Joshua Tree National Park

The top 10 Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park

#1 Boy Scouts Trail (13.2km, 162m, 2.5-3h): This gorgeous hike traverses from the range that separates the upper Pinto Basin with the lower Mojave. Stunning and secluded, over the course of the hike you will see the landscape transform. Requires a vehicle shuttle.

#2 Ryan Mountain (4.8km, 426m, 1.25-1.5h): This popular hike ascends Ryan Mountain, yielding fantastic panoramic views of the central park. Since this is a popular route with never ending sun exposure, get here early to enjoy the cooler morning air (and hopefully less crowds)!

#3 Warren Peak (8.7km, 312m, 1.5-2h): This stunning, (yet lesser known) hike traverses the planes in the quiet northwestern section of Joshua Tree National Park, then climbs to the rocky summit of Warren Peak. Be warned – stunning panoramic views await!

#4 Pine City (6.3km, 104m, 1.25-1.5h): Though not a city, and containing only a handful of pines, the Pine City Trail is still a thoroughly enjoyably hike. The path is also not often travelled, allowing for some beautiful solitude as you cross the flat plane.

#5 Lost Horse Loop Trail (10.6km, 279m, 1.5-2h): Passing by a historic Gold Mine then gaining a scenic ridge, the Lost Horse Loop Trail is truly a treat. Moderate elevation gain and stunning views make this hike a fantastic way to spend most of a day.

#6 Split Rock Trail (3.2km, 37m, 0.75-1h): Weaving in and out of towering cliffs, slick boulders, and one of the densest collections of rock formations in the park, the Split Rock Trail is a photographer’s dream., Throughout this relatively easy flat loop trail you can enjoy amazing atmosphere, suitable for the whole family.

#7 Indian Cove Nature Loop (1km, 22m, 0.25-0.5h): This short, flat nature loop takes hikers through the desert area of Indian Cove. With information signs illustrating local botany and great views of the rock towers in the area, this is a thoroughly enjoyable little hike.

#8 49 Palms Oasis (5.2km, 224m, 1.25-1.5h): Popular with locals, the 49 Palm Oasis hike climbs over a small pass then descends to emerge onto a quaint oasis. Count the palms – there should be 49 of them!

#9 High View Trail (2.1km, 120m, 0.5-0.75h): The scenic High View Trail loop climbs a small hill in the northwest corner of the park. With beautiful views and typically few people, this hike is a treat for anyone willing to find it!

#10 Hidden Valley Loop (1.5km, 35m, 0.5-0.75h): This very popular Hidden Valley Loop hike quickly transports hikers from the busy road into a spectacular small valley, entirely surrounded by the classic boulders of Joshua Tree. The loop is well travelled and mostly flat, so everyone can enjoy the beautiful scenery.

01. BOY SCOUTS TRAIL

01. BOY SCOUTS TRAIL

  • Difficulty
  • 13.2km
  • 162m
  • 2.5-3h

02. RYAN MOUNTAIN

02. RYAN MOUNTAIN

  • Difficulty
  • 4.8km
  • 426m
  • 1.25-1.5h

03. WARREN PEAK

03. WARREN PEAK

  • Difficulty
  • 8.7km
  • 312m
  • 1.5-2h

04. PINE CITY

04. PINE CITY

  • Difficulty
  • 6.3km
  • 104m
  • 1.25-1.5h

05. LOST HORSE LOOP TRAIL

05. LOST HORSE LOOP TRAIL

  • Difficulty
  • 10.6km
  • 279m
  • 1.5-2h

06. SPLIT ROCK TRAIL

06. SPLIT ROCK TRAIL

  • Difficulty
  • 3.2km
  • 37m
  • 0.75-1h

07. INDIAN COVE NATURE LOOP

07. INDIAN COVE NATURE LOOP

  • Difficulty
  • 1km
  • 22m
  • 0.25-0.5h

08. 49 PALM OASIS

08. 49 PALM OASIS

  • Difficulty
  • 5.2km
  • 224m
  • 1.25-1.5h

09. HIGH VIEW TRAIL

09. HIGH VIEW TRAIL

  • Difficulty
  • 2.1km
  • 120m
  • 0.5-0.75h

10. HIDDEN VALLEY LOOP

10. HIDDEN VALLEY LOOP

  • Difficulty
  • 1.5km
  • 35m
  • 0.5-0.75h

“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees

– Henry David Thoreau