Joshua Tree National Park Hikes

Region in California, United States
Joshua Tree National Park Trail Map

hikes in Joshua Tree National Park

Adventure awaits you on the best hikes in the beautiful Joshua Tree National Park (JTNP). The top hikes in Joshua Tree allow you to explore the “low” (Colorado) desert and the “high” (Mojave) desert. Along the way, hikers get to see interesting geological features such as twisted rugged mountains, exposed granite monolith and much more that have been changing this land for thousands of years.

Hiking in Joshua Tree is more than just geological features though. Relics from past inhabitants – rock paintings from Native Americans, dams from cattlemen and gold mines – are still on display throughout the park today.

If you're planning a trip to Joshua Tree, check out our list of the best hikes in Joshua Tree National Park below.

THE TOP 10 HIKES IN JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

#1. Boy Scouts Trail (8.2mi, 531ft, 2.5-3h): This gorgeous hike is the best hike in Joshua Tree. Traversing from the range that separates the upper Pinto Basin with the lower Mojave, this hike is stunning and secluded. Over the course of the hike you will see the landscape transform. This hike requires a vehicle shuttle.

#2. Ryan Mountain (3.0mi, 1398ft, 1.25-1.5h): This classic Joshua Tree hike ascends Ryan Mountain, yielding fantastic panoramic views of the central park. Since this is a popular route with never ending sun exposure, get here early to enjoy the cooler morning air (and hopefully less crowds)!

#3. Warren Peak (5.4mi, 1024ft, 1.5-2h): This stunning, (yet lesser known) hike traverses the plains in the quiet northwestern section of Joshua Tree National Park, then climbs to the rocky summit of Warren Peak. Be warned – stunning panoramic views await!

#4. Pine City (3.9mi, 341ft, 1.25-1.5h): Though not a city, and containing only a handful of pines, the Pine City Trail is a thoroughly enjoyably hike in JTNP. The path is also not too busy, allowing for some beautiful solitude as you cross the flat plane.

#5. Lost Horse Loop Trail (6.6mi, 915ft1, 1.5-2h): This is a great hike for Joshua Tree history lovers. The hike starts by going by a historic Gold Mine then gaining a scenic ridge, the Lost Horse Loop Trail is truly a treat. Moderate elevation gain and stunning views make this hike a fantastic way to spend most of a day.

#6. Split Rock Trail (2.0mi, 121ft, 0.75-1h): Weaving in and out of towering cliffs, slick boulders, and one of the densest collections of rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park, the Split Rock Trail is a photographer’s dream., Throughout this relatively easy flat loop trail you can enjoy amazing atmosphere, suitable for the whole family.

#7. Indian Cove Nature Loop (0.6mi, 72ft, 0.25-0.5h): This short, flat nature loop takes hikers through the desert area of Indian Cove. With information signs illustrating local botany and great views of the rock towers in the area, this is a thoroughly enjoyable little hike. This is one of the best hikes in Joshua Tree to take your kids on.

#8. 49 Palms Oasis (3.2mi, 735ft, 1.25-1.5h): Popular with locals, the 49 Palm Oasis hike is another great hike in Joshua Tree. This hike climbs over a small pass then descends to emerge onto a quaint oasis. Count the palms – there should be 49 of them!

#9. High View Trail (1.3mi, 394ft, 0.5-0.75h): The scenic High View Trail loop climbs a small hill in the northwest corner of JTNP. With beautiful views and typically few people, this hike is a treat for anyone willing to find it!

#10. Hidden Valley Loop (0.9mi, 115ft, 0.5-0.75h): This very popular Hidden Valley Loop hike quickly transports hikers from the busy road into a spectacular small valley, entirely surrounded by the classic boulders of Joshua Tree. The loop is well travelled and mostly flat, so everyone can enjoy the beautiful scenery.

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The best hikes in Joshua Tree National Park

01. Boy Scouts Trail
Difficulty

8.2mi 531ft 2.5-3h

This gorgeous hike traverses from the range that separates the upper Pinto Basin with the lower Mojave. Stunning and secluded,… Read More

User Rating

9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

02. Ryan Mountain
Difficulty

3.0mi 1,398ft 1.25-1.5h

This popular hike ascends Ryan Mountain, yielding fantastic panoramic views of the central park. Since this is a popular route… Read More

User Rating

8.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

03. Warren Peak
Difficulty

5.4mi 1,024ft 1.5-2h

This stunning, (yet lesser known) hike traverses the planes in the quiet northwestern section of Joshua Tree National Park, then… Read More

User Rating

8.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

04. Pine City
Difficulty

3.9mi 341ft 1.25-1.5h

Though not a city, and containing only a handful of pines, the Pine City Trail is still a thoroughly enjoyably… Read More

User Rating

7.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

05. Lost Horse Loop Trail
Difficulty

6.6mi 915ft 1.5-2h

Passing by a historic Gold Mine then gaining a scenic ridge, the Lost Horse Loop Trail is truly a treat.… Read More

User Rating

8.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

06. Split Rock Trail
Difficulty

2.0mi 121ft 0.75-1h

Weaving in and out of towering cliffs, slick boulders, and one of the densest collections of rock formations in the… Read More

User Rating

8Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

07. Indian Cove Nature Loop
Difficulty

0.6mi 72ft 0.25 - 0.5h

This short, flat nature loop takes hikers through the desert area of Indian Cove. With information signs illustrating local botany… Read More

User Rating

9.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

08. 49 Palm Oasis
Difficulty

3.2mi 735ft 1.25-1.5h

Popular with locals, the 49 Palm Oasis hike climbs over a small pass then descends to emerge onto a quaint… Read More

User Rating

8Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

09. High View Trail
Difficulty

1.3mi 394ft 0.5-0.75h

The scenic High View Trail loop climbs a small hill in the northwest corner of the park. With beautiful views… Read More

User Rating

9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

10. Hidden Valley Loop
Difficulty

0.9mi 115ft 0.5-0.75h

This very popular Hidden Valley Loop hike quickly transports hikers from the busy road into a spectacular small valley, entirely… Read More

User Rating

10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

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