Joshua Tree – Ryan Mountain

No time to waste today, weekend crowds would surely be crazy so it’s time to get on the trails ASAP.  First stop is Ryan Mountain, a small peak popular for it’s 360° panoramic views.

The trail is about 1.5 miles each way but climbs about 1000 feet in that span.  Most of the trail is rock steps.

View back towards the parking lot.  Cars start to disappear quickly and look like ants.

About 1/3 way up there are a group of rocks that have bright orange lichen covering them (Xanthoria elegans from my amateur search-fu).  Scientists are cataloging all of these species and still finding previously unknown variations.

One final look back before the trail bends around the mountain.  Can barely make out roads.  Cars are microscopic.

Back on the climb.  The path still has rock steps but also lots of gravel.  Hard to photograph the ascent – you will be too busy getting your ass kicked, it’s a workout!

Made it to the top in good time.  Elevation 5,457 feet.  Sunny, blue skies, temps around 70°F.

Stepping back from the sign there is a small pile of rocks that I stood on to get this angle.

Remember those panoramic views I mentioned?  Yeah they are pretty awesome here.

Zoomed in views of the surrounding mountain peaks.  Feels like they are impossibly far away but still massive.

Another zoomed in mountain peak.  This one’s got more snow cover.  Crazy how large they are – by comparison the peak I’m standing on feels like a small boulder.

One last view across the desert watching the crossing ridges fade into the hazy atmosphere.

Hiking Data

Prepare for a workout.  Serious.  Going up is hard.  Going down may be harder especially on your knees.  I don’t like trekking poles but this one made me start thinking about using them from now on.  Definitely worth the trip if you are physically able!

Lat = 33.9861183 , Long = -116.1347275 -- Show at Google Maps

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