Three Epic Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park: From Panoramic Views to Desert Solitude

If you’re looking for a fool-proof but epic hike in Joshua Tree National Park, we have three of them for you. That’s not to say the other trails in the park are not stunning; they are. But having a go-to list in your back pocket helps when time is short, and you want to get in a great hike.

Check out our entire episode on Joshua Tree National Park here

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Delicate Arch Trail

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park

Delicate Arch is the rock formation for which Arches National Park is best known. It is a beautiful sight to behold in person and possibly the most striking example of a natural, sandstone arch in the park. That’s why there is usually a horde of people hiking to this natural wonder and taking its picture. Despite the crowds, this is a must-see destination and worth the extra effort it takes to experience it.

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Southern Utah: 20 Incredible Places Beyond the Mighty Five


If the cluster of iconic sandstone buttes in Monument Valley look familiar to you, it’s because they were used as the backdrop for early Western movies and Forrest Gump, as well as the inspiration for the Road Runner cartoons. Straddling the Utah/Arizona border, the views of the valley symbolize the Wild West. These beautiful rock formations, some rising as much as 1,000 feet above the desert floor, are mostly within the boundary of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. The park, which is on Navajo land, requires an entrance fee of $20 per car.

Once in the park, after checking out the expansive gift shop selling Native American goods, you have a few options: Hike the 4-mile Wildcat Trail around West Mitten Butte; it’s the only trail you can hike without a Navajo guide. Or drive the 17-mile scenic dirt road into the park to get a closer view of the monuments. The scenic road is rough, so be patient and take your time.

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Grand Canyon’s Phantom Ranch

If you’re hoping to be a guest at one of the most unique properties in the national parks, Grand Canyon’s Phantom Ranch, you have three possible modes of transportation to get there: on a boat as part of a river rafting trip, on the back of a mule, or by the power of your own two feet. And considering this lodging is 5,000 feet and a ten-mile trek below the south rim, it’s no easy journey. But once you arrive at this rustic oasis at the bottom of the largest canyon in the world, any aches and pains accumulated along the journey will seem well worth it.

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Glacier’s Hidden Gem: The Belton Chalet

If Glacier National Park is the Crown of the Continent, its three grand hotels are its most precious jewels. Visitors from around the world book reservations far in advance to stay in these famous park lodges: Many Glacier, Glacier Park, and Lake McDonald. However, a smaller, lesser-known lodge, the Belton Chalet, was the first to welcome guests when the park opened in 1910. We think it’s a hidden gem.

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