As Joshua Tree National Park attracts nearly 3 million visitors each year, each visitor is looking for their own adventure. From amazing geological features to 800,000 acres of open wilderness space, outdoor adventure is never hard to find. Here is a quick roadmap featuring some of the main adventures in Joshua Tree National Park that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Backpacking & Hiking
With more than 9,000 trails traced through the preserved wilderness, Joshua Tree National Park is a backpacker’s dream. Trails, both long and short, along with the rocky terrain make for a great hike for hikers of every skill level. Day hikes vary from short and leisurely to strenuous and demanding. If your preference is backpacking, Joshua Tree National Park is the perfect destination to explore. It has a network of long trails interconnected throughout the park, which is perfect for an extended backpacking trip. At the end of the day, backpackers will find an abundance of places to set up camp for the night. As Joshua Tree National Park is such a popular destination for all kinds of adventures, it’s advised to make a campsite reservation. Safety first, backpacking requires registering at any one of the thirteen backcountry registration boards within the park.
Joshua Tree National Park is famous for traditional crack, slab, and steep-face rock climbing. It is the ideal place for rock climbers to practice their skills in nature. There are more than 400 climbing formations and 9,000 climbing routes, so there are plenty of options for climbers of every skill level to have the most fun. Helpful tip: A climbing guide will come in handy for new visitors and can be purchased from the park visitor centers. For an all-inclusive rock climbing adventure, Cliffhanger Guides coordinates an entire day dedicated to rock climbing which Many adventure includes climbing gear, gourmet lunch, private instruction and a host of tall tales told by the locals. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss. Book early to plan your experience. For a list of more guides, click here.
Bikers and cyclists will have a field day winding through the vast lands of the national park. Bike riding in the park is restricted to roads open to vehicles, however, there are many backcountry roads that offer miles of designated routes for riders on two wheels. For extended biking trips, the Ryan Campground has three designated biking campsites for anyone who is interested to add more adventure to their Joshua Tree visit. For a list of the park’s backcountry roads, click here.
There is a long history of horseback riding in Joshua Tree National Park as it was a popular way to access and experience the desert area. Many adventurers take to the park on horseback as there are more than 250 miles of equestrian trails tracing through the park’s open lands, canyon bottoms and dry washes. The trails are distinct and can be seen from afar, so riders can trout between trails. Many riders take to Black Rock Canyon and areas near the West entrances, as they are popular areas for those on horseback.
Joshua Tree National Park offers 9 different campgrounds, with around 500 developed campsites to accommodate individual travelers, families, and large groups. Many of the campgrounds are first-come, first-served, but reservations are available for Black Rock, Cottonwood, Indian Cove and Jumbo Rocks campgrounds from September through May. Each campground offers different amenities, such as water, potable water, and dump stations. RV hookups are not available in any campground within the park; however, RVs and trailers of a maximum of 25 feet are permitted at Hidden Valley and White Tank campgrounds. To book your reservation for campgrounds, explore amenities, and camping regulations, click here.
With these available activities and more, Joshua Tree National Park has become a world-famous destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. This national park is the perfect place to find your next outdoor adventure!