Ryan Mountain Trail
ElevationAscent: 1,029' 314 m
Descent: -1,028' -313 m
High: 5,452' 1,662 m
Low: 4,423' 1,348 m
GradeAvg Grade: 13% (8°)
Max Grade: 35% (19°)
Current trail conditions
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“A trail up Ryan Mountain where sweeping view of Joshua Tree NP await.”— David Hitchcock
Family Friendly It's an uphill hike, but kids enjoy the views and the challenge. At any point, you can turn around and return to your car.
The Ryan Mountain Trailhead immediately beings climbing from the parking lot as the trail splits two large boulder piles that are prime for exploring. The trail is composed of gravel, sand and stairs as the trail begins its way up the mountain. You can see the trail as it makes its way up the right side of the mountain. At roughly .2 miles, the trail intersects with the Sheep Pass Connector Trail that comes in from the left from Sheep Pass Campground. The Ryan Mountain Trail goes off to the right as it begins climbing more steeply up the mountain. The grade of the trail stays well above 15% for almost a mile before the trail levels out, so be ready to climb as the trail gains 1000 feet of elevation in roughly 1.5 miles.
As the trail climbs up the mountain, sweeping views of the park spread out before you on the right side of the trail. Joshua trees, boulder piles, and the mountains in the distant become more impressive as the trail makes its way up the mountain. Around .9 miles, the trail crosses a saddle in the mountain, which provides a brief respite from the climb. It's a great place to stop and take in the view before the trail continues to climb up the other side of the mountain.
The route from here has fewer steps even through it continues to climb to the summit of Ryan Mountain. Enjoy views of Yucca cacti, red barrel cacti, and in the springtime other flowering plants. Stunning panoramic views spread out before you. Finally leveling off for the last tenth of a mile, the trail reaches the summit of Ryan Mountain. A sign indicating the elevation (5457 feet) is found at the summit, as well as a large pile of rocks that people have contributed to over the years.
Take the opportunity to enjoy some of the best views in the park and rest before beginning your journey back to the parking lot via the path that you traveled.
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Land Manager: NPS - Joshua Tree National Park