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Jill Sanford | 11.26.2017

When the rest of the country is socked in, snowing, or raining from sun up to sundown, it’s the perfect time of year to hike in the desert southwest, particularly places like Joshua Tree National Park.

Known for it’s scorching summer heat, it’s usually preferable to visit this national park in the winter, when average highs are usually measured around 60 degrees (although it can reach sub freezing temperatures at night). This area is also extremely popular when the wildflowers bloom in the spring, so visit over the coldest months to avoid the crowds.

The open, desert landscape is a welcome respite for city or forest dwellers. Hikes here feature large, lumpy boulders, quirky and distinctive Joshua trees, bluebird skies, and dramatic mountain ranges that obscure an otherwise flat horizon line.

Are you looking for a great day pack? Check out our review of the 5 best women's day packs of 2018.

The park features a range of lengths and difficulties with it’s day hikes. Whether it’s an interpretive trail or a long trek into the desert, bring plenty of layers and water. The weather is very fickle in the desert, and you can’t always rely on current conditions to stay nice when setting out.

Joshua Tree National Park is an amazing place to explore, and here are a few fantastic hikes that prove the point:

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