Top 10 Hiking Trails in Joshua Tree
For the local hiker or the visiting tourist
Joshua Tree National Park has plenty of activities for the average Californian to do. From Mountain Biking to Horseback Riding, it’s a dream come to life. But the best way to familiarise yourself with this fresh environment outside of Los Angeles is to check out these ten hike-able hotspots.
Forty Nine Palms Oasis
Taller in height by approximately 300 feet, this cool and breezy walk in the desert is a 3-mile round trip that will lead you to a bounty of barrel cacti dotting the landscape. Afterwards, the ridge takes a steep dive down the oasis, where colossal palms shade pools of water. Here, you’ll be able to rest near large boulders to enjoy the sounds of this ecosystem.
Popular with rock climbers, this half-mile nature trail is known for its large Mojave yuccas and shrubs. Expanding with campsites and sand-colored granite rocks, this cove can be a cozy rest stop for the night as you lie awake, in awe, under the stars.
High View Nature Trail
Nearly two miles long, High View Nature Trail gives you scenic views with well-maintained rock stairs and easy access to the Black Rock Campground. This trail offers ascension over Yucca Valley towards San Gorgiono, the tallest peak in SoCal. Look around you and you’ll see that with all the beaver tail cactus, chollas and juniper plants, beauty is only a step away.
Between the Mojave Desert and Coachella Valley lies Warren Peak, one of many natural giants in Joshua Tree. Neighbor to Mount San Jacinto, this peak is worth the panorama of its fellow cliffs, whether you’re headed uphill or downhill. Either way, 10,834-feet over Palm Springs, you can feel glad you accomplished this moderately challenging hike.
Desert Queen Mine
Abandoned machinery follows your journey towards John’s Camp and Park Boulevard. This route is for the experienced trailblazer as you climb to the top of the mine. And when you’re done outside, venture within the depths of this public maze—fourteen underground shafts long—dazzles you in the mystery of yesteryear.
Lucky Boy Vista
From the aptly-named trail, you possess an awesome view of the open and sprawling desert floor. There, you can see Joshua Trees, yucca, and cacti flourishing in the distance. Also, the remains of the Elton Mine are nearby for sightseeing before you travel downwards between the easy, small hills.
Barker Dam sits on a small reservoir while inviting hikers for a brisk 1.5-mile trek. The water is great in the Spring, so this would be super to visit in a break from legging it in the otherwise dry desert. This was built 100 years ago by eager ranchers, desperate to utilise the desert’s most crucial resource: water. Today, the reservoir left vivid Native American petroglyphs untouched for all its admirers to appreciate.
Wall Street Mill
During the Depression, a rancher bought Wall Street Mill, to process ore for the rise of the second gold rush. It caused an infamous ending of a gunfight that is now commemorated at the trail’s end, surrounding Wall Street Mill. Also, antiquated rusty cars and educational information awaits you there to tell you more about this era of American heritage.
Wonderland Wash welcomes you to tall brush plants and cacti. Be on the lookout for an especially unique whale-shaped rock as well as the large Astro Dome Boulder that’ll tempt you to pull out your camera for a quick selfie. And don’t forget about observing the old Wonderland Ranch ruins along the way.
On this bajada, you’ll circle around Ironwood trees and Sonoran Desert plants, with enough warmth and moisture to provide shelter for multiple plants and animals—including yourself. Likewise, you’ll love this cool getaway in Joshua Tree as you watch the Sun kiss the earth at the day’s end.