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Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree CA

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

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

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
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