Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park

The hikes below are listed from north to south and west to east. The table can be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you plan a trip to Joshua Tree National Park. Each trail links to its own report complete with photos, maps, directions, and everything else needed to explore the park. You can also view hikes around Joshua Tree National Park on the Hike Finder Map.

Highlights of Joshua Tree National Park

  • This 3-mile hike offers summit views from the center of Joshua Tree National Park.
  • The 3-mile hike visits a palm tree oasis in the desert on the north side of Joshua Tree National Park.
  • This 1.5-mile loop visits a small foreign-looking reservoir within the Wonderland of Rocks in Joshua Tree National Park.
  • This 5.5-mile hike summits a peak with impressive views over the west side of Joshua Tree National Park.
  • This 1.55 to 2.15 hike visits a well-reserved gold mill, exploring the mining history of Joshua Tree National Park.
  • This 2.1-mile hike travels past the ruins of Wonderland Ranch up a use trail into the Wonderland of Rocks in Joshua Tree National Park.
  • This 7.2-mile hike visits an oasis nestled between mountains in the southeast corner of Joshua Tree National Park.
  • This 0.25-mile loop offers a stroll through an intense concentration of cholla cacti in Joshua Tree National Park.
  • This 0.3-mile loop visits a natural arch in the granite formations around White Tank Campground in Joshua Tree National Park.
  • This 1.2-mile hike leaves the crowds at Keys View for even grander views from a 5,550-foot summit with views over Joshua Tree National Park and the desert beyond.

Hiking Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree protects over 1,200 square miles northeast of Palm Springs. The park contains a meeting of the higher Mojave Desert to the west and the lower Colorado Desert to the east. The result is a diverse mixture of vegetation that includes the park’s namesake tree. When conservationists first tried to protect the land in the 1930s, they proposed the name Desert Plants National Park, which doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
The Joshua trees themselves are a strange and beautiful tree that enhance any desert landscape.

Summer temperatures in Joshua Tree can reach the triple digits. The best time to visit the park is early spring and late fall. A spring visit has the added potential for wildflower viewing. On Thanksgiving weekend and New Years weekend (the Memorial Day and Labor Day of the desert), expect the park to be crowded and the campgrounds to be full. Most other weekends, visitors should not have a problem driving in and setting up camp at one of the park’s 500 sites. Joshua Tree empties on weekdays to offer a great feeling of seclusion. Joshua Tree is the closest national park to Los Angeles. The roughly two and a half hour drive makes for an easy weekend getaway.

Trail
Description
Distance
Lat, Long
49 Palms Oasis560Fortynine Palms Oasis
The out and back hike visits a palm tree oasis in the desert on the north side of Joshua Tree.
3 miles
350 feet
34.105651, -116.10479
Indian Cove Joshua Tree570Indian Cove
The 101-site campground is home to a 0.6-mile interpretive trail and endless bouldering and rock climbing opportunities.
0.6 - 2 miles (or more)
25 feet
34.094833, -116.15747
Contact Mine Joshua Tree580Contact Mine
This out and back hike travels up a wash, a canyon, and an old road to a mountainside mine site.
3.9 miles
700 feet
34.069024, -116.055543
Warren Peak Joshua Tree590Warren Peak
This out and back hike summits a peak with impressive views over the west side of Joshua Tree.
5.5 miles
1,000 feet
34.055136, -116.407381
Desert Queen Mine Joshua Tree600Desert Queen Mine
This out and back hike follows a level desert trail to an overlook before crossing a canyon to visits the ruins of an old gold mine.
1.6 miles
150 feet
34.023516,
-116.077661
Lucky Boy Vista Joshua Tree610Lucky Boy Vista
This level out and back hike visits a modest overlook at the site of an old mine.
2.5 miles
125 feet
34.017818, -116.082237
Wall Street Mill Joshua Tree620Wall Street Mill
This level out and back hike visits a well-reserved gold mill, exploring the mining history of Joshua Tree National Park.
1.55 - 2.15
115 feet
34.036453, -116.133863
Wonderland Wash Joshua Tree630Wonderland Wash
This level out and back hike travels past the ruins of Wonderland Ranch up a use trail into the Wonderland of Rocks.
2.1 miles (or more)
75 feet
34.030444, -116.139357
Barker Dam Joshua Tree640Barker Dam
This level loop visits a small foreign-looking reservoir within the Wonderland of Rocks.
1.5 miles
100 feet
34.024896, -116.142061
Hidden Valley Joshua Tree650Hidden Valley
This loop circles the interior of a small valley surrounded by tall rocks that serves as an excellent bouldering arena.
1 mile (or more)
25 feet
34.012743, -116.168729
Ryan Mountain Joshua Tree660Ryan Mountain
This out and back hike offers summit views from the center of Joshua Tree National Park.
3 miles
1,075 feet
34.002572,
-116.135939
Ryan Ranch Joshua Tree670Ryan Ranch
This out and back hike from Ryan Campground or Park Boulevard visits the ruins of an old adobe homestead beneath Ryan Mountain.
0.8 - 1.2 miles (or more)
25 feet
33.988821,
-116.153846
Lost Horse Mine Joshua Tree680Lost Horse Mine
This out and back hike visits a well-preserved mine and mill.
4 miles
400 feet
33.950685,
-116.159805
Inspiration Peak Joshua Tree690Keys View to Inspiration Peak
This out and back hike leaves the crowds at Keys View for even grander views from a 5,550-foot summit.
1.2 miles
425 feet
33.931799, -116.192701
Crown Prince Lookout Joshua Tree700Crown Prince Lookout
This easy out and back hike crosses a desert plateau to a pair of overlook near the site of an World War II era observation post.
3.25 miles
50 feet
33.991885,
-116.067908
Arch Rock Joshua Tree710Arch Rock
This easy loop visits a natural arch in the granite formations around White Tank Campground.
0.3 miles
30 feet
33.985241, -116.016487
Cholla Cactus Garden Joshua Tree720Cholla Cactus Garden
This loop offers a stroll through an intense concentration of cholla cacti.
0.25 miles
0.1 miles
33.925302, -115.928777
Mastodon Peak Joshua Tree730Mastodon Peak
This loop visits a 3,400-foot summit with panoramic views of southeastern Joshua Tree.
2.6 miles
440 feet
33.735165, -115.799682
Joshua Tree Lost Palms Oasis740Lost Palms Oasis
This out and back hike visits an oasis nestled between mountains in the southeast corner of the park.
7.2 miles
400 feet
33.712768, -115.762737
Bajada Trail Joshua Tree750Bajada Trail
This level nature trail loop explores the plants living on a desert bajada.
0.3 miles
5 feet
33.681238, -115.801784

View California Desert Hikes in a larger Google Map
Or explore hikes around Joshua Tree National Park on the Hike Finder Map
hikespeak
Rock Spring Mojave National Park Rock Spring Loop Trail Rock House Hike
Water is something you don't see much of in Mojave National Preserve, certainly not just pooling on the ground as it does at Rock Spring. The constant source at Rock Spring helped inhabitants survive in the Mojave Desert for thousands of years and was even the site of a small U.S. Army post in the 1860s. Today you can reach the spring easily, along with a Rock House... Read more.
    LoadingAdd to trails I’ve hiked
    LoadingAdd to trails I want to hike
Tagged with: |
Distance: 1.33 miles – Elevation change: 100 feet
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 22, 2014
Kumeyaay Indian Village Site Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Native American morteros location to visit
Labeled simply as the "Village Site" on park maps, the Kumeyaay Village in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is an easy to visit location where Native Americans lived for thousands of years. Take a short stroll around a pile of boulders along Mine Wash Road and spot grinding holes amongst the rocks. A sign at the Kumeyaay Village reads:Native desert people have been... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 23, 2014
Tamarisk Grove Campground in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park camping
Tamarisk Grove campground is one of four developed campgrounds in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, with 27 sites, plenty of shade, amenities, and nearby hiking trails. Tamarisk Grove has interesting history too, originally serving as a San Diego County prison camp. Thanks to numerous park improvements, it won't feel like you are doing hard time to spend a little time at... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 24, 2014
Cactus Loop Trail Anza-Borrego Desert State Park self-guided cactus hike Tamarisk Grove Campground cacti nature trail cactus flowers hike
Broadly speaking, the desert is where you go to find cacti. Speaking specifically, Cactus Loop Trail is where you go in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to see lots of cacti. True you can spot these prickly plants throughout the park, but this self-guided nature trail explores a rocky ridge that is utterly blanketed with a variety of cacti. A state park provided trail... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 19, 2014
Yaqui Well Trail Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Nature Trail self-guided hike San Felipe Wash Yaqui Well springs Tamarisk Grove Campground hike
Yaqui Well Trail is one of the free self-guided nature trails in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Pair a trail guide (that you can pick up at the trailhead) with numbered markers along the way to learn about the history and botany of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park as you enjoy the surrounding scenery. The 1.6-mile round trip trail with 100 feet of elevation gain ends at... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: July 23, 2014