Joshua Tree, California

One of the top outdoor adventures in Joshua Tree, California is hiking along the Ryan Mountain Trail. This moderate difficulty trail is a must-visit, offering panoramic views of the surrounding desert and unique rock formations. It's a 3-mile round trip hike to the summit where you can enjoy scenic vistas of the park. Another best trail is the Barker Dam Nature Trail, a 1.1-mile loop that features a lake and is perfect for all skill levels. For rock climbing enthusiasts, Joshua Tree is a popular destination with over 8,000 climbing routes. Nearby, you can also explore the Cholla Cactus Garden, a dense concentration of cholla cacti. These are just a few examples of the best trails and outdoor activities in and near Joshua Tree.

Top Spots in and near Joshua Tree

  • Joshua Tree, California

    Joshua Tree West Side Trail

    4.0
    3.22 mi / 302 ft gain
    Joshua Tree West Side Trail is a loop trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Twentynine Palms, California.
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  • Yucca Valley, California

    Backpack the California Riding and Hiking Trail in Joshua Tree

    36.97 mi / 2792 ft gain
    The starting point for this hike is at the Black Rock campground, 5 miles from the town of Yucca Valley. You'll need to self register for a free backcountry permit before starting. The first section of the trail follows a wash then the trail narrows and, after only a mile or two, you'll begin cl...
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  • Yucca Valley, California

    Eureka Peak

    5.0
    0.47 mi / 82 ft gain
    Accessing Covington Flats in Joshua Tree National Park requires a high ground-clearance overland vehicle. Bring spare water and emergency tools incase of a breakdown. From Route 62 in Yucca Valley, CA take La Contenta Dr. South toward Joshua Tree. This is a backcountry entrance that does not hav...
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  • Riverside County, California

    Hike the Covington Crest Trail

    4.2 mi / 200 ft gain
    Accessing Covington Flats in Joshua Tree National Park requires a high ground-clearance overland vehicle. In the summer months a standard car might make it to the parking lot after the 7.5 mile off-road drive, but should always be prepared for soft sand. Bring spare water and emergency tools inca...
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  • Twentynine Palms, California

    Canyoneer Joshua Tree's Rattlesnake Slot Canyon

    The trailhead is located at the end of Indian Cove road. From Indian Cove Campground, take the road to the east about a mile to a picnic area where there is parking at the mouth of the canyon.From the picnic area hike up the Canyon in a south to south-east direction. After a few hundred yards a d...
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  • Twentynine Palms, California

    Boy Scout's Trail in Joshua Tree

    4.5
    16.12 mi / 1539 ft gain
    The Boy Scout trail connects the main part of the National Park to the outer rim campground, Indian Cove Campground. All backcountry overnight trips must be registered at a registration board (free, self-registration). Start this trip at the registration board located in either Indian Cove Campgr...
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  • Twentynine Palms, California

    Willow Hole Trail in Joshua Tree National Park

    6.8 mi / 341 ft gain
    The Willow Hole hike begins at Boy Scout trailhead and winds past and through the Wonderland of Rocks to a marshy stand of willows. The trail is flat, but with little shade so be sure to bring lots of water! As you leave the parking lot you'll enter an expansive stand of Joshua Trees that grows...
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  • Twentynine Palms, California

    Tour Keys Desert Queen Ranch in Joshua Tree National Park

    Joshua Tree National Park flawlessly combines otherworldly landscapes, incredible recreational opportunities, and a colorful, wild-west history. Before it was a national park, Joshua Tree was home to cattle rustlers, gunslingers, miners, and rugged homesteaders.   One of the most quirky characte...
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  • Pioneertown, California

    Visit Historic Pioneertown

    Here in California we have a lot of desert to sift through. When trying to figure out how to navigate the mass, you have to know the places worth fighting the brutal heat or chilling cold. Pioneertown will lure you in regardless. You will see why as you make your way up the 4-mile winding road of...
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  • Twentynine Palms, California

    Hike the Fortynine Palms Oasis Trail

    5.0
    3.08 mi / 653 ft gain
    Just off highway 62 lies an easy 1/2 day hike with incredible views of the Morongo Valley. Though technically part of the park, the out-of-the-way-ness of the hike means you don't need to pay the $20 National Park fee. Parking is ample, and there's a pit toilet at the trailhead (beware of bees an...
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  • Twentynine Palms, California

    Rock Climb Locomotion in Joshua Tree National Park

    5.0
    Locomotion is a great spot to set up for the day and enjoy the world class climbing that Joshua Tree has to offer. Camp at the nearby and coveted Hidden Valley Campground and you'll be within walking distance to Locomotion and a dozen other quality climbing spots. Joshua Tree really is a camping/...
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  • Twentynine Palms, California

    Watch the Sunset from Echo Rock

    5.0
    0.5 mi / 200 ft gain
    Park your car at the Echo Rock Parking Area.  The trail starts next to the outhouse and heads north.  As you walk through the sand, there is a large rock pile to your right, the top of that is your destination.  Continue walking until you've reached the far north end of the rock formation and the...
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  • Twentynine Palms, California

    Climb The Spire in Joshua Tree National Park

    0.75 mi
    Park at the Hidden Valley Nature Trailhead. Instead of going into Hidden Valley, follow the obvious climber's trails to the Southwest for about 3/4 mile keeping the rocks of Hidden Valley on your right. The trail wraps around the outside edge of Hidden Valley, turning Northwest. After about 20 mi...
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  • Riverside County, California

    Hidden Valley Nature Trail

    4.4
    1.03 mi / 164 ft gain
    Turn off of Park Blvd near Intersection Rock (there will be signs for the turn) and follow the paved road for about a minute. There is a large parking lot with many picnic tables. The trail begins with a slight uphill of around 100 ft and continues through a opening between two large rocks. Af...
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  • Twentynine Palms, California

    Camp at Hidden Valley in Joshua Tree

    4.8
    Joshua Tree National Park is known for its world class rock climbing, out of this world landscapes, and some of the darkest skies around. Having a base camp inside of the park is incredibly important as it's quite massive and I found that Hidden Valley Campground is strategically placed smack dab...
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  • Twentynine Palms, California

    Climb at Intersection Rock in Joshua Tree

    Intersection Rock is located in the Hidden Valley Campground with lots of parking!Overhang bypass route5.72 PitchesStandard Trad RackIntersection Rock has many classic routes- I found right ski track and overhang bypass to be 2 of my favorite routes in j tree.Start left of the flake in a crack, t...
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Camping and Lodging in Joshua Tree

Palm Springs / Joshua Tree KOA Holiday
Riverside County, California

Palm Springs / Joshua Tree KOA Holiday

Juniper Springs Group Camp
2N64Y

Juniper Springs Group Camp

Coon Creek Group Campground
Angelus Oaks, California

Coon Creek Group Campground

Guides, Insights and Stories from Joshua Tree

Photo Essay: One Day in Joshua Tree National Park

Photo Essay: One Day in Joshua Tree National Park

Kevin Tangney

5 Things to Know Before Adventuring in Joshua Tree National Park

5 Things to Know Before Adventuring in Joshua Tree National Park

Brynn Schmidt

Check out these Native American businesses in CA

Check out these Native American businesses in CA

The Outbound Collective

Two Native-owned and -operated organizations to support in CA

Two Native-owned and -operated organizations to support in CA

The Outbound Collective

24 Hours in Joshua Tree National Park

24 Hours in Joshua Tree National Park

Holly Mandarich

My First Trip Down to Joshua Tree National Park

My First Trip Down to Joshua Tree National Park

Benjamin Canevari