Ryan Mountain Trail Hike
|In This Guide|
|Distance||3 miles (4.8 km)|
|Hike Time||1:30-2 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||1,060 feet (323m)|
|Highest Elevation||5,457 feet (1663m)|
|Fees & Permits||Park Entry Fee|
|Park Website (?)||Joshua Tree National Park|
|Stay In Touch||Newsletter - Instagram - YouTube - Facebook|
The Ryan Mountain Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Joshua Tree for a good reason. Ryan Mountain, at 5,457 feet, right in the middle of Joshua Tree, offers panoramic views as far as the eye can see. On a clear day you’ll be able to see the massive peaks of San Jacinto and San Gorgonio, the highest point in Southern California. The actual trail is straightforward but tough, climbing 1,050 feet to the summit of Ryan Mountain. It’s a must-do hike in Joshua Tree, so give it a try!
How to Get to the Ryan Mountain Trail
The Ryan Mountain Trail is located right in the middle of Joshua Tree Park on Park Blvd. Use this trailhead address:
Ryan Mountain Trail, Park Blvd, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
Ryan Mountain is the most popular hike in the park. Get here at dawn for the best experience.
Gear for the Hike
The Ryan Mountain Trail is pretty straightforward but it is tough. There is no shade and in the summer there have been emergency evacuations due to the heat. Bring at least 1L of water; when it’s hot bring at least 2L. The trail is rocky and light hiking boots will be the best option for your feet. You can also do this hike in fitness clothes. I’ve seen folks do it in casual clothing but it won’t feel great.
The La Sportiva Spire boots feel like comfortable sneakers but offer the protection of hiking boots. They’re great on everything from short hikes to longer hikes of 10+ miles. You don’t want to skimp on your feet.
Reviews & Lowest Prices: Women – Men
I test a lot of gear, and for short to medium day hikes, travel, and everyday use, the Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women) are consistently the best. They’re lightweight, hold a hydration bladder to make drinking water easy, have lots of pockets to organize gear, and most importantly, are incredibly comfortable. Check out the reviews; they are impressive.
Reviews & Colors Here: Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women)
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Mini fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing. Read my review and see the lowest prices and reviews at REI (or Amazon).
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated March 2020.See All of My Best Gear Picks Here
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.
Ryan Mountain Trail Maps
Ryan Mountain Trail Hike Map Downloads
Download the Hike GPX File
View a Printable PDF Hike Map
Ryan Mountain Trail Hike Directions
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Ryan Mountain is named after J.D. Ryan, who started a mill to crush stone here for miners in 1895. The steam mill required wood from the neighboring landscape to run, and the deforestation from the mill is still evident today in the park, over 100 years later.
Watch This Video In 360/VR
Why are 360 videos great for hiking?
Turn by Turn Directions
Native Rock Shelter
When you get back to the parking lot, don’t forget to visit the Native American rock shelter a minute away from the lot.
Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.