2012-2023 Traveler’s Choice on Trip Advisor – Over 1,200 5 Star Client Reviews!

Add Your Heading Text Here

4-Day Joshua Tree Backpacking

4-Day Joshua Tree Backpacking

Trip Highlights:

Desert Sunsets

Tasty Meals

Wilderness Navigation

Rocky Canyons

Expert Guides

Wildflowers, Desert and Mountain Scenery

While mountain ranges all over the American West succumb to cold winds and deep snow in the fall through spring, Joshua Tree’s desert climate remains relatively temperate, making the area a backpacking paradise for these typically colder months. This park straddles the border of the Colorado and Mojave Deserts. As a result, an amazing array of plants and animals find their home in this seemingly barren landscape. For thousands of years, wind and water from the powerful but brief desert storms have carved away at the earth here, resulting in bizarre rock pile formations strewn across the desert floor. Just a short drive from Los Angeles, Joshua Tree has a real wilderness character and a variety of challenging adventures for every skill level.

Mileage & Difficulty

18-25 Miles


4 Days



Per Person

Departure Info

Black Rock Canyon Trailhead

Book Now

2023 Departure Dates by Month

    December Departure Dates  

  • Thu, Dec 14th – Sun, Dec 17th
    Sorry, Sold Out

2024 Departure Dates by Month

    January Departure Dates  

  • Thu, Jan 11th – Sun, Jan 14th

    March Departure Dates  

  • Wed, Mar 20th – Sat, Mar 23rd
    Hurry, only 4 spots remain

      4-Day Joshua Tree National Park Backpacking Trip

      This is a sample itinerary only. Joshua Tree offers many terrific itineraries and specific itineraries will be dependent on permits received with final changes made in the weeks preeceding departure date. Typical daily milage ranges from 5-8 miles.

      Day 1: Meet your guide at 2pm in Black Rock Campground. After a quick orientation to your trip, you’ll do a gear sort where you will decide what items to bring, and what can be left behind. Enjoy a hearty fresh meal prepared by your guide and settle in for your last night in the frontcountry before starting your adventure.

      Day 2: Embark on your first hiking day in the vast Mojave desert. Your hike will begin surrounded by open desert with views in all directions as you will make your way towards a distant rock outcropping. Enjoy lunch on a high overlook before descending through rocky canyons towards your camp for the night. The desert sunset will illuminate the rocks near your camp and off in the distance to make you feel as if you are on a different planet.

      Day 3: Another full day of hiking brings you past more interesting geologic phenomena and many wildflower clusters hiding amongst the cacti and rocks. Take another lunch break with meals provided by your guide and trail games to pass the time. After making your final camp, wait out of the tent for a magical star show in this designated international dark sky park.

      Day 4: Savor the cool morning air as you pack up your final camp and hike towards your finishing point. A filling lunch and cold beverages awaits your arrival at the trailhead. We aim to be wrapping up lunch and have our guests on their way by around 2-4pm to allow for travel time.

      Note: All trips are subject to Lasting Adventures obtaining the necessary wilderness permits. Although our success rate is very good, should we not obtain the exact trail-head, a trip of equal quality will be obtained. Should weather, fire, and/or delayed seasonal openings affect the chosen itinerary, a different itinerary will be offered. Lasting Adventures is recognized for its commitment to safety and risk management.

      *All trips are pending permit availability which we typically gain 5-6 months in advance. Please refrain from making travel arrangements until we have confirmed dates.


      In addition to full payment; final acceptance of any participant is subject to receipt and review of all the Required Forms. These forms are also attached to your confirmation email once you register online.

      We will require an additional medical release for any guests on multi-day trips or any guest who is currently under the care of a physician for any ongoing disease, illness, or any other condition/factor that may be a concern on the trip.


      Although we are able to accommodate many specific dietary constraints and choices, we prepare foods in a facility with peanuts, gluten, soy, and other major allergens, and are not certified as an ‘allergen-free’ facility. We take steps to limit the risk of cross-contamination, but we cannot guarantee that foods we prepare will be fully free of major allergens.

      We have experience accomodating a variety of dietary choices and concerns, including, but not limited to:

      • Vegan and Vegetarian
      • Peanut and/or Tree Nut Allergy
      • Lactose Intolerant
      • Celiac’s or Gluten Free
      • Kosher

      If we have questions or concerns about the information on your medical form, we will call you the day before your trip to ensure we are packing foods you are able to eat without issue.


      Lasting Adventures runs “traditional backpacking” trips. This is done without the use of porters, stock, or other outside assistance. You will be expected to carry all of your own personal gear and a share of the group gear and food in a backpack for the duration of this trip. The weight can be expected to be 30-50 lbs and no more than the recommended ⅓ of your body weight.

      As needed, it is recommended that participants discuss their ability to conduct a backpacking trip with their doctor, including (but not limited to) the ability to carry heavy loads over long distances and strenuous and uneven terrain. Levels of difficulty listed on our website are relative and in no way an objective declaration of difficulty, and a regular physical exercise program is recommended prior to going on your adventure.


      All trips are subject to itinerary changes for a wide variety of reasons including, but not limited to permitting, weather, forest fires, park or public land closures, and/or road closures. In most all situations we will offer an alternative itinerary of equal value and quality or a credit through the end of the following season. Payments are non-refundable for itinerary changes. If a trip is canceled due to circumstances beyond our control prior to its start date a trip credit equal to the full amount paid will be issued.


      Due to the nature of backpacking, our guides work long hours. In order to provide the best possible experience to our guests and our guides, we limit the number of hours that our guides work to 15 hours per day. Guides will not be required to be available from 9 pm to 6 am, unless a different time period is agreed upon by the group prior to this standard break period. This varies on our summer camps, where our outdoor educators are available as needed at all times.

      During time off, our guides will be available for emergencies, but should be allowed to rest and should not be considered available for other purposes outside of working hours. Please refrain from requesting non-time-sensitive assistance from guides during this period. Our guides are also entitled to take off 10 minutes every four hours, as well as 30-minute meal breaks every 5 hours, between 6 am and 9 pm.  We appreciate your cooperation with these scheduling requirements.


      Lasting Adventures understands that firearm laws and policies vary in every area we operate in. Regardless of local laws and policies, Lasting Adventures does not allow firearms on any of our trips. Participants who bring firearms will not be allowed to participate while in possession of their firearm.

      Additional Trip Details:

      Pack extra water bottles for the drive in. There is no potable water in the park past the entrance gates.


      For your protection and ours, we strongly recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance, which can provide you with coverage for trip cancellation/interruption (including COVID-19), travel delay, medical expenses, emergency assistance, airfare, and baggage loss/delay to protect your financial investment. We do recommend those with “cancel for any reason” clauses included and see here for a review of some of the Best Cancel For Any Reason Travel Insurance Options presented by Forbes or Squaremouth

      Travel Insurance is the easiest and best way to protect both yourself and our smaller non-profit organization against last-minute cancellations. We will happily provide timely and accurate documentation for any insurance claim related to our trips upon request. Please note that when canceling a trip, your first course of action should be to contact the company responsible for insuring your trip.


      Full payment is preferred for all Backpacking Trips. During check-out, you may opt to pay a 50% deposit at the time of booking and the remaining 50% 30 days from departure. If choosing this option, you can either complete payment on your own with the self-service link in the confirmation email, or you will be billed automatically at or shortly after the 30-day interval for the remaining amount. Any new multi-day booking made at/within 45 days in advance will be required to pay in full. Feel free to contact us directly to set up any other payment plan. When registering online, expect to pay a booking fee of 3.0% (which is capped at $30) and a processing fee of 2.7% (no cap). These fees can be avoided when paying by check. For detailed information, see Payment Options.


      Lasting Adventures reserves the right to cancel trips. If a trip is canceled due to circumstances beyond our control, a trip credit equal to the full amount paid will be issued. Lasting Adventures is not responsible for additional expenses incurred while preparing for the trip.

      The following cancellation policy is only for trips booked directly through our official website, lastingadventures.com. If you have booked via a third-party website, such as The Clymb, TripAdvisor/Viator, or bookyogaretreats.com, the below policy does not apply, and you are held to the third-party’s cancellation policy.

      Multi-Day Adventures/Summer Camps Cancellation Policy

      • More than 90 days prior to the start date, we will grant you a full refund.
      • Between 90 and 61 days prior to the start date, we will grant you a full refund minus a $50/person processing fee.
      • Between 60 and 46 days prior to the start date, we will retain 25 percent of the total trip cost. You may also take a non-refundable credit of the full value paid.
      • Between 45 and 31 days prior to the start date, we will retain 50 percent of the total trip cost. You may also take a non-refundable credit of the full value paid.
      • Less than 31 days prior to the start date, or once the trip has begun, there will be no refund or credit.

      48-Hour Risk-Free Cancellation Policy

      Cancellations of any trip can be made without penalty within 48 hours of the initial booking. After 48 hours, our standard terms and conditions apply. To cancel, please email us at staff@lastingadventures.org or leave a voicemail at 800-513-8651. This policy does not apply if the booked trip occurs within 96 hours of the initial booking.

      Fire/Smoke Cancellation Policy

      Fire/smoke cancellations are considered circumstances beyond our control. If your chosen travel insurance does not cover fire/smoke cancellations, a credit equal to the full amount paid will be issued. In this case, you will be required to submit proof of the purchase of said travel insurance. If we cancel during your adventure with us, we will refund a credit equal to the number of days not used. In both cases, these credits will be lifetime/transferable.

      Other Considerations

      Departing From a Trip: Once a participant has joined a trip and the trip has begun, no opportunities for refunds or credits will be possible, regardless of the reason for departure. Costs associated with assisting a participant with evacuating from the wilderness will be passed on to the participant. Travel Insurance (below) is strongly recommended.

      Minimum Participants: Our Guide Service multi-day trips have a two-person minimum. (Yoga trips have a three-person minimum.) Should we fall short on these minimums, we will contact you 30 days in advance of your scheduled start date with options that may include switching to another trip/date and/or a single-participant surcharge.

      Infectious Disease Policy (including COVID): Any participant, on any program/trip, with any sign/symptom of a potential illness will not be able to participate, and no refund/credits will be given. Many forms of Travel Insurance cover these circumstances. We ask that you screen yourself and/or your child prior to participation and contact us to cancel should any sign of illness be present.

      Half Dome & Other Summits: Reaching the top of a summit, such as Half Dome, is a risky activity which can be made far worse by inclement weather. While we aim to get everyone to the top, summiting is not guaranteed. Lightning and rain can be deadly on exposed summits, and our experienced guides may have to call off a summit bid if weather conditions are unfavorable.


      Once you book a trip with Lasting Adventures, the value you paid is valid towards switching to another trip in the current or the coming year, pending available spaces on the new trip. Changes to your booking and conversion to a credit must occur more than 30 days prior to your original start date. Changes within 30 days are subject to fees. Once changed to a lifetime credit, credits are non-refundable and are a dollar-for-dollar value.


      See our Coupon Use Terms and Conditions

      #1 Rated Guide Service in the West

      Guide Service Guest, 2021
      Guide Service Guest, 2021
      Read More
      "My son and I (both tax accountants) recently enjoyed a three-day private guided backpacking trip with Last Adventures. The trip met all our expectations; we had a great time! The guide’s love of her work and knowledge of Yosemite National Park made the trip a success. She planned all the details, provided excellent gear, and made sure everything worked out as planned"
      Guide Service Guest, 2021
      Guide Service Guest, 2021
      Read More
      "Lasting Adventures made my trip to Yosemite a dream vacation! It was stress-free because every detail was covered from food and transportation to clear meeting instructions and itinerary. Our guide took a hike that would have been fun and made it magical by explaining the history and ecology of the area we were hiking. He matched our pace and often let us lead. I can't say enough good things about Zachary and Lasting Adventures!”
       Yoga Retreat Guest, 2021
      Yoga Retreat Guest, 2021
      Read More
      “I did the Yosemite yoga 3 day backcountry camping. It was amazing! I would definitely do it again. The food was great! The scenery was superb camping in high country aside a mountain lake, and the guides and yoga instructor were fantastic!!!”
       Guide Service Guest, 2021
      Guide Service Guest, 2021
      Read More
      "We were a group of 7 family members (ages 22-65 years old), and for all of us it was our first hiking/backpacking/camping experience. We all had such an amazing yet challenging experience! Our guides’ spirit, cooking, and knowledge were great!”
       Guide Service Guest, 2021
      Guide Service Guest, 2021
      Read More
      “We backpacked with a group of 7 other people from 'Backpacker's Camp' to Mae Lake, up to Mt Hoffman, Cloud's Rest, and finally completed the trip with an amazing last day, summiting Half Dome at sunrise! It. Was. Incredible!! Our guides immediately made us feel comfortable and excited. Their passion for the wilderness, people, and their career as a guide is contagious. If you have the chance to go on a Lasting Adventures trip - please do it!”

      Similar Trips

      Sunset Over High Desert Boulders
      Joshua Tree 4-Day Classic Camping
      5-Day Joshua Tree Youth Adventure

      Trips by Destination

      Trips by Type