there’s nothing my family loves more then getting out and exploring our magical Mojave backyard. with a year and a half of hiking with baby under our belt, we’ve learned a couple of tips and tricks, as well as all of the best Joshua Tree spots to explore with littles.
if you plan to visit Joshua Tree with your kiddos, there’s a few things to keep in mind…once you get into the National Park, you probably won’t get cell reception, so I would highly recommend downloading trail maps beforehand if you are going on a longer hike (they will also provide you with a paper map of the park at the entrance gate). also, just in case, you may want to save the location of our nearest hospital too.
there’s no food or water available inside the park so bring lots and lots of water and snacks. you can stock up at Joshua Tree Health Foods on your way through town. also, bring a sweater, as the desert cools considerably when the sun goes down. i always bring along achange of clothes for Prairie, spare diapers and wipes for her & tp for me and a ziplock bag or two to carry out soiled stuff. I also carry along an extra blanket for her , sunscreen, and a headlamp, just in case.
Anyways, enough with the boring logistical stuff, let’s get on to the fun stuff, the hiking!!!…
I know, I know, really any hike could baby/ little kid friendly if you’re hardcore enough. But for me and my moderately outdoorsy, sort of adventurous, but sort of cautious clan, we look for a couple of key things in a hike:
-length: it’s gotta be long enough to feel like we’ve accomplished something, but not so long that we can’t get back to the car fairly quickly if something goes wrong. usually somewhere between 1-3 miles is our sweet spot.
-difficulty level & danger: now that the baby is learning to walk, we like to let her get some energy out on the trail. and honestly, even before she was walking I didn’t feel safe doing too much scrambling with her in the carrier.
there’s countless beautiful places to explore here in the Mojave, but we have rounded up our top five on our friend’s the joshua tree house’s blog
all photos are by the immensely talented Rich Combs