Ryan Mountain, Ryan Mountain Trailhead Parking Area, Joshua Tree National Park, California

Ryan Mountain - 3.0 miles

Ryan Mountain Trailhead Parking Area

Expansive views on the Ryan Mountain Trail

Expansive views on the Ryan Mountain Trail

Round-Trip Length: 3.0 miles
Start-End Elevation: 4,390' - 5,461' (5,461' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +1,071' net elevation gain
Skill Level: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Ryan Mountain - 3.0 Miles Round-Trip

The short but challenging trail up Ryan Mountain leads hikers to some of Joshua Tree National Park's best panoramic views. Centrally located and perched high above the landscape, visitors will see landmarks such as Mt San Jacinto (10,804'), Mt San Gorgonio (11,499'), the Wonderland of Rocks, Pinto Basin and Lost Horse, Queen and Pleasant Valleys.

The hike is perhaps best lit in the morning, as much of the trail follows a west-facing slope, and views to the west showcase more varied terrain.

The trail follows a moderately streep grade that varies little until reaching the summit, with only a few rocky and rugged sections. The first .9 miles provide increasingly good views to the west.

Along this stretch try to identify Saddle Rocks - this is one of the Park's most popular climbing destinations, and holds some of its longest technical routes.

Climbing through .9 miles (5,110'), the trail gradually bends around Ryan Mountain's east face with boundless views across Pleasant Valley to the distant Hexie Mountains on the southwest horizon. Queen Mountain (5,677') and Lost Horse Mountain (5,313') suddenly loom much larger with the change of direction and rapid elevation gain.

The final .6 miles are steady and moderately steep until reaching the rock-pile summit. The mountain itself is sparsely vegetated with few obstructions to the wonderful vistas all around. Narrow saddles extending from either side of the summit can be carefully traversed to reach alternative viewpoints.

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Worth Noting

  • Although the trail itself does not necessarily typify most others in the park, Ryan Mountain comes highly recommended for its extraordinary views. One who has spent some time in Joshua Tree will truly appreciate the extraordinary views had from the summit.

  • Alternatively, you can begin the hike from the Sheep Pass Campground and join the main Ryan Mountain Trail near its .2 mile mark.

Directions to Trailhead

The Ryan Mountain Trailhead is located on Park Boulevard, just over 1.5 miles beyond the Keys View Road split.

Contact Information

Joshua Tree National Park
74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597

Visitor Information

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


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