Joshua Tree National Park is an amazing park located just two and a half hours from Los Angeles. There are so many adventures to be had in this park and this guide is just scratching the surface. Here are the top places to explore in this 750,000 acres park.
Ryan Mountain is not the tallest mountain in this park but with the beautiful 360° view from the summit, it is the most prominent. The hike is short, but it is very steep and it goes up all the way, so don’t take it lightly. The summit gives you an incredible view of the entire park; you will see the various rock formations as well as the trees dotting the park’s landscape. It is also a great place for sunset but ensure you bring a flashlight with you for the way down.
Barker Dam is a short and easy to access trail. It is one of the few trails that have water in the park. The trail leads to a historic dam dating back to the mid 1900s. If you go in the spring, it is usually filled with water and it is always awesome to see the rocks and the reflections upon it. If you only have a short time to spend in the park, Barker Dam is a great place to visit as it lets you see some of the best features of the park.
Hidden Valley is another popular hike in the park but for good reason. It is a beautiful place to explore, and it is just about one and a half miles. Walking from the parking lot takes you into the large valley surrounded mostly by rocks. It is a place that will remind you of a smuggler’s campground in the cowboy days. It is awesome to look at the different rocks, walk through the valley, or even watch the sunset or hang out.
Lost Horse Mine
Lost Horse Mine is a longer hike, but it takes you to one of the park’s best-preserved stamp mill. It is about four miles round-trip and you will find a gradual incline most of the time; we don’t recommend going on this hike in the summer but it is a great winter hike with a fantastic payoff. You can also walk to the hill just behind the mine to have a great view of the park.