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Desert Dream Trip

Located in the high desert of southeast California, Joshua Tree National Park is stunning in winter. The cooler weather creates crisp scenery, and brilliant light casts across a landscape both whimsical and mystical. Here are our top recommendations on exploring this dreamy desertscape in two days.

Week 01.23.2020
Regions Northern & Southern CA

The Ryan King

Hike Ryan Mountain in Joshua Tree National Park

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At 5,456 feet, the summit of Ryan Mountain has the best view in the park. Its brilliant panoramic expanse, spanning desert to mountains, and—bonus—late afternoons can feature a sky tinged with lavender thanks to the low-sitting sun.
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Trio of Trails

Hike a classic circuit of short trails in Joshua Tree National Park

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Get into Joshua Tree National Park Park early and hit the classic circuit of short trails before the crowds arrive. We also have some food and overnight recos.
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Split Decision

Hike Split Rock Trail at Joshua Tree National Park

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Joshua Tree is famous for its namesake trees but it's also got some big-ass boulders! We're talking size-of-a-building boulders. See them on an off-the-beaten-path hike along the Split Rock Trail.
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Trending Stories Northern CA

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    Shell of a Good Hike!

    Head to the East Bay’s Shell Ridge Open Space near Walnut Creek to find 1,400 acres of rolling hills. This 7-mile ridge rambling loop showcases all that the foothills of Mount Diablo have to offer.

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    Santa Cruz Epic Views

    Redwoods, wildflowers, and ocean vistas offer the best of the Bay Area at Upper La Honda Creek Preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Take a 3.75-mile loop through the preserve's highlights.

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    Find Your Flow

    Far back in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Uvas Canyon County Park is a compact, tree-filled delight with hiking trails and several waterfalls bunched into a loop along Swanson Creek and amid lush forest.

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    Ready When You Are: Reno Tahoe

    With outdoors being essential for health and wellness, and new protocols in place, Reno Tahoe welcomes visitors! It's wide open with snowshoe trails, fire pits by the river, skating, and hot springs.

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Trending Stories SoCal

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    Santa Year Round

    Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale is an 836-acre county park with a namesake dam. Explore highlights on a 4-mile loop featuring a lake, a beach, and beautiful mountain vistas.

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    Good as Golden

    Golden Canyon in Death Valley has a variety of hiking trails. We like this classic 5.5-mile loop exploring a labyrinth of marbled gold colored hills, badlands, narrow canyons, and tremendous vistas.

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    Canyons Calling

    Canyon hikes come in all shapes and sizes in Death Valley, and we’ve got two gems. One requires more rigorous scrambling and navigation, and leads to a dryfall; the other takes you up to a brilliant vista.

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    Dune Swoon

    Of all the places to catch a sunset in Death Valley, we still think there’s none better than the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, inspiring many things, including log rolls, cartwheels, and sundown selfies.

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