by Coachella Valley | September 17, 2019 1:14 am
Cover Photo – Sunrise on Ryan Mountain in Joshua Tree. by Armando Martinez
This is a must do if you make your way out to Joshua Tree National Park. Sure it is more difficult then most of the other hikes in the park, but the views are so rewarding that you would be crazy to miss it. I recommend taking as long as you need to hike up, as you will realize how worth it it is as soon as you make it to the summit.
Ryan Mountain offers a fairly straight forward out and back hike to a round summit at the center of Joshua Tree National Park. The 3-mile round trip trail climbs 1,075 feet up a dirt trail with numerous stone steps. The sun-exposed trail crowns a 5,457-foot mountain with impressive panoramic views of the jumbled rock formations and Joshua tree forests that surround the peak. The summit of Ryan Mountain is the best place to get a top-down view of the heart of the park.
The trail is well-worn and easy to follow, but is definitely still plenty rugged. Uneven ground and on-trail boulders will keep your feet and eyes busy on the way up, but be sure to take time to enjoy some of the views around you. Almost immediately, vast panoramas of the Wonderland of Rocks open up to the northwest.
To get to the trailhead: Take Park Boulevard 2.1 miles east of the intersection with Keys View Road to a turn off for Ryan Mountain on the south side of the road. There is a large parking area and a bathroom at the start of the trail.
Trailhead address: Park Boulevard (Loop Road), Joshua Tree National Park, CA 92277
Trailhead coordinates: 34.002572, -116.135939 (34° 00′ 09.25″N 116° 08′ 09.38″W)
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