In the past when my little family would go to Joshua Tree Park my husband would say, “I want to hike one of these mountains.” Actually, he would say that anytime we saw a mountain, which in Southern California is anytime you drive anywhere… or look outside… So, for his 25 birthday I found a babysitter and we hiked Ryan Mountain.
What an incredible climb! I like to run a few miles when the wind isn’t blowing the baby away or when it’s not 100 degrees outside but hiking endurance cannot be achieved by running a few miles here or there.
Hiking Ryan Mountain was like working out on a Stairmaster for an hour straight. I definitely wouldn’t recommend bringing a baby, toddler or a stroller. There are some tight turns and pretty steep “stairs”; not to mention it is a heavily trafficked trail and if you encountered other hikers there would be no room for a stroller.
The views are worth the hike! They include great panoramic views of the Pinto Basin, Lost Horse Valley, Queen Valley, and Pleasant Valley. Throughout the hike I honestly wanted to turn around (yah, I was that out of shape)but then I would see an elderly couple coming down and think “If they can do this, I can do this”. I had to stop every now and then for some water (bring lots of water it is dry)but once at the top, the sense of accomplishment I felt was contagious and enough of an energy boost to get me back down the mountain to my air-conditioned truck.
Every time I go to Joshua Tree I am reminded of how beautiful and unique it is. I guarantee that this is not my last trip here and maybe not my last trip up Ryan Mountain.