Joshua Tree National Park

A Weekend at Joshua Tree National Park

After being cooped up with the stay at home orders, a trip anywhere is a literal breath of fresh air! This past weekend I was so fortunate to make a trip out to Joshua Tree National Park after they announced their reopening. Ben and I were so excited so we ended up going there twice!

Preparation: Admission & Weather

When we went, upon the reopening of the park, there was still the standard admission fee of $30 per vehicle. It lasts 7 days + most of the funds go directly back into the park! Even going once you’ll get your moneys worth, it’s beautiful. It’s worthy to note that after hours when the entranced is not manned you will not pay a fee. We had our annual national park pass which got us in. If you’re looking to visit multiple parks in a year this is a must have!

Weather is dependent on the time of year. Summer will likely be HOT & DRY so be sure to bring lots of water, sun block and other materials to prepare for your time. Summers 100 degree plus days with slightly cooler nights. Winters in Joshua Tree, as you expect, are cooler (60’s) with considerably colder nights. A great time to visit the park would definitely be fall and spring times! Check out the park site in order to best prepare for conditions during your visit.

Our Hikes at Joshua Tree

I can’t describe how excited we were for this! The first day, we decided to hike the Ryan Mountain trail, a there and back trail that has an elevation gain of 1,069 feet.

Joshua Tree National Park Entrance Sign
Ryan Mountain Trailhead Sign

This is a pretty challenging hike, but the views are so worth it when you get to the top!

Posing on a Hiking Trail at Joshua Tree National Park
Two Hikers Reach the Ryan Mountain Summit

Made it to the top!

Views from the Ryan Mountain Summit
Hiking Down the Ryan Mountain Trail
Man Blocking the Sun in Joshua Tree

If there’s one thing I recommend about going to Joshua Tree National Park, it’s to try to go in the evening when the sun is starting to set. It gets cooler in the evening, and there is plenty of parking so you can do hikes that are a little less crowded. Plus, the views are amazing when you get to see the sun setting behind all the Joshua trees. 😍

If you stay a little after the sunset, a cherry on top is Joshua Tree’s stargazing opportunity. I highly recommend staying later just to check out the beautiful cosmic display.

Young Couple in Joshua Tree National Park

Day two! On this day my parents joined us, so we decided to go on two easier trails. We first hiked the Barker Dam trail, a loop trail that is 1.3 miles, and then the Hidden Valley trail that is 1.1 miles. Both are loop trails and offer some amazing views of unique rock formations and desert plants.

Bouldering at Joshua Tree National Park
Barker Dam Trail Dam with Full Reservoir
Hiking the Barker Dam Trail
Start of the Ryan Mountain Trail in Joshua Tree
Hidden Valley Trail in Joshua Tree National Park
Two Joshua Trees in the National Park
Dead Tree on the walk through Hidden Valley
Hidden Valley Trail at Joshua Tree National Park

I hope you enjoyed traveling with me through this post! I’m all for recommendations on where to hike next so comment below!

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