*Best Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park adapted from Joshua Tree: The Complete Guide
Joshua Tree is a desert hiker’s paradise. From easy walks to rugged multi-day backpacks, the variety of trails here is divine. Looking for exceptional views? The park boasts ten peaks greater than 5,000 feet.
Enchanted by lush destinations? Head to one Joshua Tree’s five gorgeous fan palm oases.
Feel like a relaxing stroll? Nine easy nature trails wander through the park’s famous scenery.
Hiking is the best way to experience the park. The views from your car are great, but only when you set out on foot will you truly appreciate the beauty of the desert. It’s hard to enjoy a singing songbird or a blooming cactus when they’re whizzing past you at 30 miles per hour.
Take the time to step out of your car, and you will be rewarded.
Joshua Tree Hiking Tips
Before you hit the trail, there are some important things that you need to know.
Hiking in the desert poses a unique set of challenges. Dehydration is by far the greatest concern. Joshua Tree’s hot daytime temperatures and dry climate can rob you of moisture fast, so you should always carry plenty of water. A good rule of thumb is to carry at least one gallon of water per person per day when hiking long distances.
Sunglasses and sunscreen are also essential, and always be aware of potential hazards such as abandoned mines, rattlesnakes, and flash floods.
Also be prepared for a wide range of conditions. Temperature changes of 40 degrees within 24 hours are not uncommon in the desert.
Joshua Tree has plenty of great day hikes on established trails, but if you’re looking for a more rugged adventure you can plan an overnight backpack in the backcountry. Roughly 585,000 of the park’s 794,000 acres are designated wilderness, making Joshua Tree one of California’s premier desert backpacking destinations.
Backpacking is a great way to explore remote sections of the park. And if you find yourself cursing the crowds and noise at established campgrounds, a quiet night in the backcountry could be right up your alley.
Best Hikes in Joshua Tree
One of the most dramatic hikes in the park, featuring stunning, 360-degree view of the Mojave Desert.