Ryan’s Ranch- Joshua Tree National Park

Directions: Entering from Hwy 62, take Park Boulevard 14.4 miles. Ryan’s Ranch Trailhead will be on your right. Park there and follow the 1/2 mile trail to the Ruins. It’s $15 for a 7 day pass and a 7 day pass is the shortest time you can buy. FYI- it’s worth EVERY penny!


Distance: 1 mile roundtrip     

Ease: Relatively easy but hike is in loose sand so it can be a bit challenging if you are one who tires easily.

Bring/Wear: A ton of WATER (1 brought 100 liters in my CAMELBACK), SUNSCREEN, A HAT, comfortable clothes that will keep you cool in the heat (or warm in the WINTER), hiking boots are best and ALWAYS pack your emergency gear even if it’s a short hike.


What you’ll find at Ryan’s Ranch:  Hike up the short path and stay to your left. You’ll come upon the RUINS of an 1890’s Adobe Ranch House and some wooden and metal structures that were built a few years later.

The Ryan Family came to Joshua Tree to Manage and then finally buy the Lost Horse Mine.  Leanta Ryan was the last Ryan Family member to live on the Homestead. She was able to live there even though the Park had already acquired the surrounding land. In 1966 she passed away. 

Unfortunately, the ruins have been subjected to terrible streaks of vandalism. Graffiti and arson  took a toll on the Ranch and a great piece of history was lost forever. Restoration attempts have been made on what’s left of Ryan Ranch and hopefully the Park’s efforts will keep this little bit of history thriving for a while longer.


Your Hosts: Rocky and Robbie

I was excited to come across this trail. I had read about the RUINS and I REALLY wanted to see them so after stopping at the trailhead bathroom (as you do) and filling up my BRAND NEW CAMELBACK  100 liter hydration replacement unit (aka Water Bladder thingy) after visiting the facilities…we headed down the trail.

I read online that some people came across gravestones and I wanted to find those in the worst way. After trudging along for about 10 minutes, we followed the road to the left and we could see the RUINS in the distance. There’s not that many left to see but as I always say- I LOVE a destination hike and this was short and fun to explore. Rob and I spent about an hour just messing around- hiking up and down the rocks and hills behind the adobe and tried in earnest to find the graveyard. We hiked on back and decided to head for Hike #2.

The weather was spectacular- a chilly wind blew through the park making the warm day very pleasent. The sky was blue with a sprinkle of clouds and you could practically see the miners stubbling over the rocks and boulders, heading towards the riches of the mountains…totally worth the 2 1/2 hour drive from Los Angeles!


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