Stunning views on the 3 mile ryan mountain Trail, Joshua tree, CA
The Ryan Mountain hike might be my favorite trail in Joshua Tree. I’d been to Joshua Tree several times to explore and take pictures, but never took the time to hike. Usually, it’s too hot for hiking, but we went in late October, and it was both comfortable and beautiful. In addition, the hike takes you to a peak in the center of the park, and there are gorgeous views in every direction.
The hike is about 1.5 miles each way and covers 1,050 feet of elevation in open sun. The trail is well marked and takes about 1.5 hours, out and back. The trail begins just off Park Avenue in the center of the park. There’s a parking lot and a toilet at the trailhead. It’s hard to miss the set of stairs leading to the peak.
Various rocks line the moderate ascent. Given the open sun, it’s best to hike in spring or fall. I imagine this would be uncomfortable in the summer’s blazing sun.
Once you make it to the top, there are amazing views in every direction. It’s a unique perspective on the park.
At the top, the elevation is 5,457 feet, marked by a small sign.
Even the return descent offers stunning views.
That day, at the bottom, we saw a man walking a rope between two large rocks formations. It was impressive and intimidating, and something I’ll probably never do. But hey, if you can, why not?