Want to discover the beauty that lies in one of California’s best National Parks? Here are the best hikes in Joshua tree National Park you’ll enjoy!
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.
The wonders of Joshua Tree National Park are no wonders. Every year, thousands of people journey from all over the world to hike, climb the stunning rock formations, or camp under a blanket of stars.
Between its vast desert, striking rock formations, and unique plant life, Joshua Tree somehow manages to feel like both an alien planet or a movie set.
And the best way to experience its incredible beauty is with your trekking shoes.
If you’re wondering how to pick the right hiking path, here’s a list of the top 10 hikes in Joshua Tree which is one of the most loved California’s National Parks.
At the end of the day, your feet will be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling!
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Best Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park
From easy, moderate to challenging, here are the best trails for hiking in Joshua Tree National Park.
1. Mastodon Peak
Mastodon Peak is an easy 4-mile roundtrip hike that rewards you with great views over Joshua Tree National Park.
If you’re coming from the Palm Spring area, this is definitely a hiking trail you must put on your bucket list!
Plus, on the way back, there is also an old mine you can visit where you can still see a part of a mineshaft and some of the ancient instruments that used to be there.
2. Cholla Cactus Gardens
There are many different types of cactus in Joshua Tree, but the cholla cactus is by far the most common.
There’s a short trail you can take to get up close to some of the beautiful cholla. But be very careful because they have been known as “jumping cactus” for a reason!
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3. Ryan Mountain
Although it’s not the highest mountain in Joshua Tree, Ryan Mountain is the most prominent and is located right in the park’s center.
This short but steep Joshua tree trail really gets your heart beating fast. It goes up the entire way but is totally worth the effort with its amazing views of the rock formations and Joshua Tree scenery.
Plus, it offers some fantastic sunset views that you can enjoy as well as long as you remember to pack a flashlight for the way down!
4. Barker Dam
Barker Dam is one of the most popular Joshua tree hiking trails and is an easy-to-access hike.
There are only a few trails in the park that offer water, and Barker Dam is one of them. The trail takes you to a historic dam from the early 1900s.
If you have the chance to visit during springtime, when there’s a lot of water, you’ll enjoy stunning natural reflections.
If you only have a short amount of time to spend exploring Joshua Tree National Park, this is a great trail to visit. It will let you see some of the Joshua Tree’s best features, as well as all the crazy rock formations.
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5. Wall Street Mill
The wall Street Mill hike is 2 miles round trip, and while you’re on your way, you can snap some cool pics of rusted, abandoned old cars.
Though you can’t enter it due to its classification as a National Historical Monument, that doesn’t mean that you don’t get the chance to explore and view its beauty up close.
Plus, it’s a short hike in Joshua Tree National Park and one of the best hiking trails.
6. Keys Desert Queen Ranch
Keys Desert Queen Ranch dates back from the early 1900s and is only accessible through organized tours which usually take place on the weekend and sell out fast.
The guide will take you past a locked gate and then walk you around the property – they’ll tell you lots of historical anecdotes. Definitely worth a try!
7. Hidden Valley
Hidden Valley is one of the really popular hikes in Joshua Tree National Park, and it’s easy to see why.
Not only will Hidden Valley give you beautiful views of the valley below, but it’s also a short 1/1.5 mile walk from the parking lot.
It’s one of those places that takes us back to the cowboys days when smugglers would trade goods in the desert campgrounds.
Lose yourself in this immense beauty and just wander around and explore. You will love admiring all the rocks formations and watching the sunset.
8. Lost Horse Mine
Lost Horse Mine is one of the longest Joshua Tree hikes, but it’s also one of the most scenics.
The hike takes you to the best-preserved stamp mill in the park, and the 4 miles round trip rolls in gentle inclines. This isn’t a hike to do in summer, but it’s definitely a fantastic winter experience.
The views are great, but be careful not to get too close to it as the mine is completely enclosed in a gate.
If you’re up for it, you can take a walk and reach the hill just behind for breathtaking views of the entire park.
9. Keys View
Keys Viewpoint is a popular hiking spot that gives you the best view of the Coachella Valley and Palm Springs.
As the sun sets behind the mountains, the scenery is just amazing, but because of the beauty of this place, it can fill up really fast.
A short little path leads to a bench overlooking this beautiful area, and it’s an incredible 15 to 20 minutes break from the hike!
10. Geology tour Road
Geology Tour Road requires you to have a 4X4 car, but the 18 miles of sand and gravel is relatively easy for those who are not familiar with off-roading.
Along the way, you also get to experience the backcountry of Joshua Tree National Park with its incredible views, away from the crowd.
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