Our annual National Parks Pass was still good through May, so we took advantage of it with a very full day in Joshua Tree. There wasn’t really anything on my radar that we “had to see” while there, so we asked the rangers for hiking recommendations, and just generally spent the day exploring. We actually packed quite a bit in, in retrospect. At the time we kind of felt like lazies since we were tired and took a nap in the car mid-day. 🙂
It was recommended that we try the Maze Loop Trail, which offered a bit more solitude than some of the other more popular trails. I think my favorite sight was the pink cactus and the weird rock shapes!
Distance: 8.02 miles
Time: 2 hours 41 minutes
The weather didn’t know what it was doing today, it was overcast, kind of cool, and rained a bit. And then the sun came out. We lunched al frecso at the car and wandered around – the Cholla Cactus Garden (which was surprisingly pretty), Skulls Rock (very crowded with people everywhere), and the “Hall of Horrors” rock formations (which is apparently popular with rock climbers, but we just had fun fitting into the slots).
Now the sun was out, so we looked for a shorter hike we could do to top off the end of our day. The Lost Horse Loop Trail sounded like just the thing, a 4 mile out-n-back. … Unless you go the wrong way and end up doing a 7 mile loop. Oops! But it was super worth it, with some really awesome and varied views. First, a gentle walk among the Joshua Trees, then we came around the backside of this rolling hillside, with great valley views, and ended with an old mine.
Distance: 6.93 miles
Time: 2 hours 14 minutes