A planned camping trip to Joshua Tree in March got scrapped due to near freezing temperatures plus windgusts that would have had us holding onto our tent poles and freezing our tails off. We had a reservation for Ryan Campground and a tour at Keys Ranch which would have been fantastic, but it would have to wait for another day.

During that trip, we planned to hike Ryan Mountain, the second tallest peak in Joshua Tree at an elevation of 5,458 feet. The hike is 3 miles roundtrip and roughly 1,000 feet of gain.

With pandemic numbers in San Diego county going down and our adventure itch needing a scratch, we took a daytrip to Joshua Tree to hike Ryan Mountain, climb some rocks, soak in some desert views and enjoy a few hours without cell phone service.

Ryan Mountain is a popular hike with a great overview from the Hiking Guy who profiles tons of hikes throughout California. We were on the road by 6:45am and fueled by breakfast burritos. We hit the trailhead around 10am with the temperature in the upper 70s and peaking around 83 degrees by the time we left the trail around 12:30p. As is the case with most hikes in Joshua Tree, we were fully exposed to the sun on the entire hike.

Mary was the leader of the pack setting the pace with the girls in the middle while I was the caboose. We made it to the summit in just over an hour and celebrated with snacks and views of snowy Mount San Jacinto and San Gorgonio Mountain before heading back down and seeing some lizards sunning themselves. The girls continue to amaze and impress us with their endurance.

The daytrip was capped off with some rock scrambling at Quail Springs and watching a family do some rock climbing, which the girls seemed to like. Maybe an adventure for another time!

Starting the hike!
Ryan Mountain Summit with Mt San Jacinto in the back left
Desert Spiny Lizard I think….about a foot long
perfect daytrip

3 thoughts

  1. Love your pictures and narratives describing your journey! You all look wonderful! Life is such a fun adventure when you do it and share those times as a family. Got your note Sean and the lovely thank you from Leona and Quincy, such a pretty Card. Let us know when or if you travel our way. God bless. Love, Aunt Geri and Uncle Tony.


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