Thinking about visiting Joshua Tree National Park and do not know what to expect? Are you used to visiting different types of ecosystems filled with trees, lakes, and mountains? Does the hot weather and the vast expanses of land deter you from visiting?
Well, I am glad you are here! As a proud member of and Ambassador for the Inland Empire, CA chapter of Girls Who Hike, I highly recommend this national park for all your hiking needs. Joshua Tree has become an increasingly popular spot for anyone who loves the outdoors! So, if you are interested in visiting, I hope that learning a little bit more about this beautiful place will further encourage you to attend!
According to National Park Service, Joshua Tree is the joining of the Colorado and Mojave Desert into this beautiful ecosystem that is home to so many different wildlife and wonderful places to see. The weather may be hot, but it also has a dynamic climate that can range from thunderstorms and flooding, to even the possible hail and dusting of snow. In addition, there are so many places to visit, and activities to partake in. Anything from camping, backpacking, and rock climbing, to hiking and family-friendly activities.
There are a myriad of different trails of varying levels of difficulty, that can be family-friendly and also challenging for the advanced hiker. Here are a couple of the most popular hiking trails
Barker Dam – 1.1 mile Loop
Girls Who Hike IE members, Stephanie Marie and Anne Bonded.
Cholla Cactus Garden – 0.25 miles Loop
Girls Who Hike IE member, Wendy Zumbado, and second photo by member Beth Desantis
Hidden Valley Nature Trail – 1 miles Loop
Keys View – 0.25 miles
Skull Rock – 1.7 mile Loop
Ryan Mountain – 3 miles out and back
Girls Who Hike IE member, Umika Porter, and Girls Who Hike IE Ambassador, Naomy Ramirez
Boy Scout Trail – 8 miles one way
First picture by GWHIE member, Bruna Amaral of member Cissa Wonders.
Second photo of GWHLA Ambassador Kayla Moxley
Other Place to Visit:
GWHIE Members, Jessica McDonough and Jessica Fleming, respectively.
GWHIE Members, Jennifer Ferrante and Martha Castillo, respectively.
The campsites that are available for reservation on nps.gov are called Black Rock, Cottonwood, Indian Cove, and Jumbo Rocks.
Photos by GWHIE members, Gina Brew and Deanna Shryver, respectively.
There are also available campsites that are first-come and first-serve that include Belle, Hidden Valley, Ryan, and White Tank Campground.
There is opportunity to camp in the backcountry, but that requires significant research and planning.
It seems that as of late, there has been an increase in tourist activity in the park which can make travel a bit of a hassle with so much traffic. The park roads only have two lanes. However, there is now an alternative: The park has implemented a shuttle that will take visitors through the park! Not only will this facilitate the stress of driving through the park, but it is absolutely free AND they waive the park entrance free for any visitors that use the shuttle.
Come prepared! Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and if you will be hiking, please refer to the 10 Essentials and prepare for the extreme weather that can occur.
As always, please adhere to the Leave No Trace Guidelines, and drive carefully. This is a very delicate ecosystem, so it is important to keep your eye open for animals on the road, and pack out any and all trash that is produced.
Don’t Want to Go Alone?
Take a look of the Inland Empire Chapter of Girls Who Hike and all the wonderful ladies that attended! If you are looking for someone to go with, there is a great community of women that are in your shoes! Come join us on Facebook and attend any Official Meet-Ups or any pop-up hikes where random women from all over the area come and meet together to hike ❤