Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree CA

• 4-star hike
• 3.0 mile out-and-back
• Medium difficulty | Gain 1,070ft (Peak 5,456ft)
• Twentynine Palms, CA | Joshua Tree National Park
• Driving Directions: Trailhead

Heading back down, with popular climbing spot Hall of Horrors below.

Joshua Tree's Best Hikes
Joshua Tree's Best Trails
The hikes around Joshua Tree National Park reviewed and categorized.

Carved out of the side of one of the most prominent mountains in the Joshua Tree National Park, the Ryan Mountain trail snakes up the Western flank at a consistent angle of ascent.

The efforts of the climb are quickly rewarded as you are afforded increasingly dramatic views to the North West, including Intersection rock and Keys Desert. About half the way around the mountain you’ll happen upon a saddle, and you’ll now have an entirely new set of expansive and spectacular views to the East. Continue at an even pace to reach the mostly flat-topped summit and enjoy the views all around you.

Ryan Mountain Trail

Ryan Mountain Trail 4★
3.0 mi, Out-and-back, Gain 1070ft
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

Conditions along this trail are mainly rocky with some short sandy stretches. We’ll admit to being disappointed with the over-use of stone steps for the trail’s construction. Sure, popular trails need good erosion control, but many of the steps seemed to be unnecessary and punishing - particularly on the way down. This fact alone almost made us reduce the trail to three stars, but maybe we just have old knees.

The trailhead is immediately accessible from Park Boulevard and is on the larger side. Still, during peak times this is likely to be full to bursting. Remember to check out the nearby adobe ruins of Ryan Ranch - relics of an estate built by the operator of nearby Lost Horse Mine in the late 1800s.

Photo opportunity by the trailhead. | The rounded Ryan Mountain summit.

Ryan Mountain brings fresh, elevated perspectives to Joshua Tree.

• External Links: Official, Public Map at AllTrails
• Facebook Group: Comment on this article

Trailspotting the Southwest
See our growing collection of hiking recommendations from the Southwest US states.

Yosemite National Park Best Hikes
Yosemite's Best Trails
Epic scenery and adventures await. Trailspotting's Best Trails of Yosemite is a great place to start.

Trailspotting gear suggestions
Trailspotting Gear Suggestions
Learn about our trail essentials, hiking equipment, tips, bicycles and photography gear.
Bluesky Icon   Facebook Icon    Flipboard Icon   Instagram Icon   Mastadon Icon   RSS Feed Icon   Threads Icon
Subscribe for new trail reviews weekly

Trailspotting is non-commercial, ad-free and for the public good.
Content provided without warranty of accuracy. Copyright © 2005-2024 Stuart Green all rights reserved. Reproduction requires explicit consent.
About Trailspotting.