Hiking in Joshua Tree

Hiking amid the oddly shaped Joshua trees, past clusters of cacti, and through mazes of rock rewards with both wonders right in front of your eyes as well as gorgeous far-off vistas. But you need to be prepared for wandering in this desertscape.

As rewarding as hiking in Joshua Tree can be, getting lost or suffering from the heat are two very real scenarios you must prepare against. Good maps, plenty of water and shielding from the sun, and letting folks know where you're heading are elements of your hike not to be overlooked.

Hikes Featured in the Traveler

Cholla Cactus Garden Nature Trail

Cholla Garden Path
The nature trail winds through a maze of chollas.

Kurt Repanshek photo

* While there are many long-distance hikes you can take in Joshua Tree National Park, sometimes the heat can just be too much. But even if it's the middle of the day, a stroll down the Cholla Cactus Garden path is well-worth your time to learn about these curious cacti.

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Other Hikes in Joshua Tree

49 Palms Oasis

3 miles roundtrip

Several stands of fan palms and pools of water are found at the oasis. Moderately strenuous

Lost Horse Mine/Mountain

4 miles roundtrip

Site of ten-stamp mill. Summit = 5,278 feet (1,609m) Moderately strenuous

Lost Palms Oasis

7.2 miles roundtrip

Canyon with numerous palm stands Moderate A side trip to Victory Palms and Munsen Canyon involves scrambling.

Mastodon Peak

3 miles roundtrip

Excellent views of the Eagle Mountains and Salton Sea. Summit = 3,371 feet (1,027m) Strenuous

Ryan Mountain

3 miles roundtrip

Excellent views of Lost Horse, Queen, and Pleasant valleys Summit = 5,461 feet (1,664m). Strenuous