Backpacking in Joshua Tree's wonderland of rocksPicnic lunch in Joshua TreeSunset in Joshua Tree National ParkBackpacking tents in Joshua TreeDesert canyon backpacking in Joshua TreeBackpack and tent in Joshua Tree backcountrySouthern California backpackBackpacking tent in the Joshua Tree sunsetHiker backpacks next to Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree Backpacking Trip

Las Vegas, NV
5.0 (15 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Point to Point Thru-hike
  • Wonderful Winter Trip
  • Desert Wildlife
  • Amazing Desert Landscapes
  • Dramatic Rock Formations
  • Fascinating History
  • Beautiful Views


Experience Joshua Tree like few do. Our 4-day Joshua Tree National Park Backpacking trip traverses the most stunning parts of the park. Starting in the famous Wonderland Of Rocks, we’ll hike through these surreal rock formations, and travel overland to the western edge of the park. On our final day, we’ll summit 5501-foot Eureka Peak to enjoy 360-degree views surrounding San Bernardino Mountains and the Coachella Valley before descending to our waiting vehicle.

Throughout the journey, we’ll enjoy delicious, guide-prepared meals and rest easy in secluded backcountry camping spots. Join us for the ultimate Joshua Tree backpacking adventure.

Read more …
From USD
$1665 Per Person
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-10 Guests
Trip Length: 4 Days
Distance: 26.5MI / 43KM


Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

We will be hiking at lower elevations (2,800-5,500 ft) and the daily mileage and elevation change is moderate on this trip. We will carry 6-8 liters of water at times, resulting in fluctuating pack weights that are heavier after filling up (45+ pounds) and gradually decrease as we use/drink the water, then filling up again. There are also a few challenging sections that involve scrambling over small boulders and rocky terrain.

Hiking Distances:

4-9 mi

Backpack Weight:

45+ lbs


Moderately Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

1600 ft

Heights Exposure:


Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information. Backpack Weight ratings are estimates that account for Wildland-provided gear, guest clothing, personal items and a share of group food. By packing light it’s often possible to stay on the lower end of the weight range. Pack weights also decrease during the trip.


  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 45+ lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on moderately rugged terrain
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.


1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Joshua Tree hike a solitude 4. You can expect to see zero to a couple of other groups per day in the backcountry.

If a trip does not reach the minimum number of guests, you may choose to transfer to another trip date or another trip, be refunded your payments in full, or you may have the choice to pay a supplemental fee to run the trip with fewer guests. We make the final determination for these trips 4-6 weeks before the departure date, and notify guests of changes and options immediately.


Utah is the only state we are based in that charges sales tax to outfitters and guides. The sales tax is based on the St. George, UT municipality rates, which are adjusted occasionally but are in the 6-7% range. For all of our hiking and backpacking tours that originate from our St. George, Utah base (Utah, Joshua Tree and Death Valley trips), the sales tax will be applied automatically to your payments. Feel free to call us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) with any questions!

Private Trips

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2.5
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.75
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person

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Day 1

  • Shuttle to Joshua Tree: 4 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 4.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1500 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 280 feet

Our four-day trek into the backcountry of Joshua Tree National Park begins with a desolate drive deep into North America’s driest desert: the Mojave. Following your pick up at the Tuscany Inn and Suites in Las Vegas, we’ll head south through a series of arid basins and abrupt ranges, bisecting Mojave National Preserve and getting our first elegant glimpses of Joshua tree groves as we proceed to our trailhead. After fueling up with a delectable lunch and readying our packs, we’ll embark on our hike. We will start with 6-8 liters of water each, which covers the first 1.5 days of the trip (all natural water sources in Joshua Tree are reserved for wildlife), and we will rely on water caches for the final 2.5 days.

Ascending through sprawling fields of creosote, Mojave yucca and other high desert shrubs, we’ll disappear into a canyon of towering boulders, winding our way into the infamous Wonderland of Rocks. Twisting and turning among the cretaceous plutons, at last we’ll end our day of ascent by setting up camp amidst the boulders and Joshua trees. We’ll soak in the desert sky and listen for the howls of coyotes as we fill our bellies and settle in for a good night of rest.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 8.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1100 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 1500 feet

Today’s hike will delve us further into the heart of the park. After hot drinks and breakfast, we’ll break camp and set off along a series of crests and furrows yielding stunning views into the surrounding countryside. Descending from the maze of monzogranite formations, we’ll pause to refill our water supply and then disappear again into the remote wilds of the park.

Skirting our way along rolling foothills and slanted bajadas, we’ll descend gradually into a vast sea of Joshua trees. Just before the end of our day’s miles, we’ll stop to investigate a handful of evocative historical remnants dating back to the 1800’s. At last, we’ll sneak our way down a wash and into grassy quail territory to rest our weary legs for the evening, nestled in against the rocky outskirts of what will be tomorrow’s adventure.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1600 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 150 feet

While shorter in miles, today’s terrain will put the challenge level on par with the previous day. We’ll fill up with a delicious breakfast before endeavoring up our charming backcountry canyon, littered with sandy washes, marbled slickrock chutes, riparian thickets and boulders galore. Emerging from the canyon, we’ll make our way to the next water cache and replenish our lifegiving stores in the midst of this xeric land.

We’ll then follow a series of trails and gradual washes, witnessing a welcome transition into a lush high elevation flat, where we’ll find ourselves surrounded by craggy knolls spotted with some of the largest Joshua trees in the park. This grassy expanse will host us for our third and final night as we eat well and rest up for our exciting day tomorrow.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 7.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1400 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 2500 feet
  • Shuttle to Las Vegas: 4 hours

Our final day brings with it a substantial amount of descent, but not before a heart-pounding summit of Eureka Peak. Right at the brink of the San Andreas Fault, we’ll follow a series of twists and turns before climbing to soak in panoramic views of Coachella Valley and the surrounding San Bernardino Mountains.

Descending steeply into the labyrinth of ravines that make up the Little San Bernardino Mountains, we’ll snake our way between canyon walls, over open slopes, and through pinyon-juniper woodlands, dropping at last down sandy gullies into Black Rock Canyon Campground. After a celebratory lunch at the trailhead, we’ll make the return drive to Las Vegas for a a well-deserved shower and bed.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

Trip Dates & Booking


Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book


This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast


This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation


This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, backcountry sleeping pad and multi-day backpack
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own.
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • Trained hiking guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. See Guide Bios.
  • Comprehensive, roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Las Vegas and back
  • All necessary entrance fees and permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)
  • Mandatory 5% national park fee that passes through directly to Joshua Tree National Park

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

This trip originates in Las Vegas, Nevada. Your guide will be in contact approximately 10 days before the trip start date to coordinate the pre-trip orientation, which will be at 5:00 PM at Tuscany Suites and Casino in Las Vegas. Your guide will then pick you up at the Tuscany the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Death Valley Tours your guide will meet you at your hotel in Las Vegas at an agreed upon time.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Travel to Las Vegas

Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport is one of the most easily accessed destinations in the country. Many major cities in the United States and internationally offer direct flights into Las Vegas. A company named Airline Shuttle (1-888-554-1156) can help you with economic transport to most hotels. Taxi cabs run about $40 to downtown, and the city is also Uber- and Lyft-friendly.

Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).

Safety Precautions

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Essential Eligibility Criteria (“EEC”) have been specifically identified to help you understand the skills and abilities necessary to participate on each Wildland trip, and they apply uniformly to all potential trip participants, irrespective of the presence or absence of any disability.

Once you identify a trip in which you may be interested, please carefully review the EEC and itinerary details. If after reviewing the EEC that apply to your desired trip, you determine you need an accommodation in order to meet the EEC, please contact us prior to registering to discuss your requested accommodation.

The EEC exist for your own safety and the safety and enjoyment of all participants. If you are unable to meet the EEC for the trip, with or without an accommodation, you are not eligible for that trip. If you register and arrive for a trip for which you do not meet the EEC, you will be disqualified from participation on the trip and will be dismissed or evacuated from the trip without a refund.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Weather in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree National Park is a desert environment, and an exceptional winter destination. See below for average summer temperatures in Joshua Tree:
Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)




Backcountry Sleeping


Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and synthetic-fill sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

Backcountry Cuisine


Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

Amazing Campsites


Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (15 reviews)
Kaylie G

Most memorable and wonderful time

4 months ago

This backpacking trip is absolutely the best way to see the backcountry of Joshua tree national Park. It was a wonderful adventure, and we really got to see some special and unique vistas because we were often off trail .It was so memorable to sleep underneath the stars in the Desert. We were all exhausted at the end of each day having hiked a very challenging route while carrying the heavy backpack. Bob Clark is an excellent guide with so much experience and he took care of us from start to finish with Delicious meals, education about the local fauna and Flora as well as keeping us on track and on schedule. He is a very kind soul, and you can clearly see. He loves his job and takes care of his guests.

Tracy T

I recommend this company to any outdoor loving soul wanting to travel.

4 months ago

This was my third trip with Wildland and I'm registered for a fourth! I love the guides, the routes, the food, and the company's ethos. I've had wonderful conversation and comradery with the teams I've been on. I recommend this company to any outdoor loving soul wanting to travel.

Craig H

Absolutely Fantastic Time

4 months ago

Our Joshua Tree backpacking tour was fantastic. From incredibly rugged terrain and scenery, lots of laughs on the trail, to the delicious meals to end the day, this trip did not disappoint!

See All Guest Reviews!

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