One of the best ways to experience Joshua Tree National Park is with a hike along one of the park’s many hiking trails. For those seeking a steep hiking adventure with panoramic vistas of the Coachella Valley, there are ten mountain peaks that rise more than 5,000 feet in elevation. Or challenge yourself to conquer all five of the park’s lush fan oases in one day.
Some of the best hikes in Joshua Tree National Park include the dozen shorter nature trails, which can be completed in a few hours and often treat hikers to views of the park’s 750 diverse species of plant life, as well as an occasional desert tortoise emerging from its burrow.
One of the most popular hikes is the 2.2-mile Old Mill Hike that is populated with the remains of one of the many mines abandoned by gold seekers in the late 1880s. This Joshua Tree National Park hiking trail features the skeletons of a windmill, rusted out cars and equipment once used to crush gold ore.
Another popular hiking destination provides some of the park’s most amazing vistas--Keys View, perched on the crest of Little San Bernardino. Pick a clear morning or early evening hike to visit Keys View for an awe-inspiring sunrise or sunset with sweeping panoramic views of the valley below that additionally takes in two of Southern California’s biggest summits: Mount San Jacinto and Mount Gorgonio. Look carefully and you can pick out the lush palms of the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve directly below you. On the clearest days, peer through binoculars to spot Mountain Signal in Mexico, more than 90 miles away. From Keys View Road, be sure to stop at the Lost Horse Mine trailhead and take the moderate hike to Lost Horse Mine for more of Joshua Tree’s early history.
Visit the Joshua Tree National Park Service page to get more information about the different trails, and check for alerts and conditions before hiking.