Back Packing in the greater Joshua Tree Area offers many options. The terrain includes low and high desert to nearly 5,000 feet as well as mountainous alpine terrain that goes above the tree line to over 11,000 in elevation.
Joshua Tree National Park is a backpacker's dream. It embraces 794,000 acres of which 585,000 acres have been designated wilderness. By observing the guidelines your venture into the backcountry should be safe and enjoyable. If you have questions, ask a ranger. It is your responsibility to know and abide by park regulations any back Packing planning should consider seasonal considerations.
- Winter is a volatile season for back packing in the JTNP. It can be absolutely mild and perfect.
It can also In peak winter months above 2500 feet bring cold days and nights.
Wind can also impact the back packing experience. Always check weather in advance and plan accordingly.
Bring many clothing options.
- Spring and fall are considered by many to be the best seasons for back packing in the JTNP.
Spring can bring a wonderful desert bloom and even stored up water in some places.
Both the spring and fall weather window is at most eight weeks.
For fall September 15th through November 15th and spring April and May Wind ca also be a consideration.
- Summer offers the most solitude and absolutely no crowds in the park. Summer back packing also adds some additional planning considerations. Water is a major one. Another key factor in summer back packing is shade. You will need more shade than just what you can find. Also snakes are a consideration in the hot months. They are not a problem but learning their habits will give a comfort zone on the subject and deliver a higher degree of safety.
You will need to register if you plan to stay overnight at a backcountry registration board. You will need to locate your camp one-mile from the road and 500 feet from any trail. Bring adequate water for drinking, cooking and hygiene. Don't get lost while hiking, make sure you know your limitations and get yourself a topographic map and compass and some essentials such as rain protection, a flashlight, a mirror and whistle, a first-aid kit, pencil and paper, a pocket knife, and extra food. Remember: That old desert sun can damage eyes as well as skin. Wear a hat and sunglasses and use sun-blocking lotion liberally. Bike riding.
For Mountain Back packing see San Jacinto State park and San Bernardino National Forest.