We’ll gather in Palm Springs early morning of Day 1, shuttle directly to Joshua Tree and hike to Fortynine Palms Oasis as a great introduction to the park. We’ll have a gentle climb to an overlook with a commanding view of Twentynine Palms and the surrounding area, and then on to the oasis with its towering palms (3 miles).
We’re off to the Wonderland area on Day 2, with its amazing array of rock formations. We’ll initially hike through a Joshua Tree forest on the Boy Scout Trail with its magnificent views of the San Bernardino Mountains. We’ll turn toward Willow Hole along a wash that twists through imposing pillars of white granite until we encounter a massive boulder that marks our picnic site and turnaround point (8 miles).
Day 3 we’re off to the Cottonwood region at the park’s southern end. We’ll hike from the Visitors Center to Cottonwood Spring and then continue toward the fascinating fan palms and pools at Lost Palms Oasis (with a side trip to the summit of Mastodon Peak) in the context of a 10-mile hike that many consider to be the park’s premier day hike (1300 ft climbing).
Day 4 is in Canyon area, situated on the northwestern slopes of the Little San Bernardino Mountains. Much of the terrain in this region sits above 4,000 feet in elevation and supports a range of vegetation not found elsewhere in the park. We’ll hike the Panorama Loop, with its optional scramble to the top of Warren Peak and its unobstructed views of the Little San Bernardino Mountains, Coachella Valley and Mt. San Jacinto (8 miles, total of 1600 ft climbing).
We’ll focus on the Mojave section of the park the morning of Day 5 on the Joshua Tree Hiking Tour. We’ll start on the Lost Horse Mine Loop for a moderate loop featuring one of the most successful gold mines in the park. (6 miles). Next we’re headed for the summit of Ryan Peak at 5,457-feet. The good (or bad) news, depending on your personal preference, is that we begin at 4,480’ (3 miles). Later that afternoon, we’ll walk the moderate, but dramatic trail to Barker Dam (1.8 miles), and then return for our final evening in Twentynine Palms (all 3 trails total 1900 ft climbing)
We’ll head toward Palm Springs on Day 6, into the foothills surrounding the town, where Tahquitz Creek and the various tributaries of Palm Canyon Wash have carved narrow canyons containing year-round water that sustains many groves of California Fan Palms. Known collectively as Indian Canyons, we’ll meander in these gorges into the early afternoon, stop for lunch at the Trading Post and then return to Palm Springs where our Joshua Tree Tour concludes.