Dates: 2/7 - 12, 2016
(6 days, 5 nights; Sun - Fri)
Assembly Point: Twentynine Palms, CA
(airline service to Palm Springs; Timberline van shuttles between Palm Springs and Joshua Tree prior to and following tour)
Meeting time: hotel 9 am Drop - off time: 3pm
Tour Cost: $2,395
Additional Single Occupancy Lodging Cost $404
Joshua Tree is a relatively new addition to our national park network. A national monument since 1936, Joshua Tree was elevated to national park protection in 1994, and for good reason. Desert, oases, mountains, slot canyons, mazes of rocks, and, of course, an abundance of the cherished Joshua trees combine to create a region of incredible diversity and, for our benefit, a hikers’ paradise.
You'll witness first hand the quirky nature of the area—so close to Palm Springs, yet a world away—and the town of Twentynine Palms, an incongruous blend of weird and sophistication. Twentynine Palms, will be our home for all five nights.
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 initially 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 11-mile hike that many consider to be the park’s premier day hike.
Day 4, we’ll visit the Black Rock 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 (9 miles).
We’ll focus on the Mojave section of the park the morning of Day 5 on the Joshua Tree Hiking Tour. We’re headed for the summit of Ryan Peak, fifth tallest in the park 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 (2.5 miles), and then return for our final evening in Twentynine Palms.
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.
|Day 1||Shuttle to Joshua Tree and hike to Fortynine Palms Oasis||3 miles|
|Day 2||Hike Boy Schout Trail - Wonderland of Rocks||8 miles|
|Day 3||Hike from Visitor Center to Cottonwood Spring - Lost Palms Oasis- Mastodon Peak||11 miles|
|Day 4||Panorama Loop- Warren Peak||9 miles|
|Day 5||Summit of Ryan Peak (5th tallest in the park at 5,457')||5.5 miles|
|Day 6||Indian Canyons||4 miles|
Total hiking mileage: 40.5
Routes, mileage and accommodations are subject to change due to safety, road/trail conditions, weather and availability.