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About the Joshua Tree Ranch

Houston Runnning in the Arena at the Joshua Tree Ranch

Houston Running

The Joshua Tree Ranch is a 40 acre private ranch that is located just outside the main entrance to Joshua Tree National Park.  As you head into the park from the town of Joshua Tree, we are 3 miles up the road and adjacent to Quail Springs Farm. 

Within "the ranch", there is a commercial horse farm that is a typical horse property - pastures, stables, training areas, random farm animals roaming, that sort of thing, but surrounded by lots of wild and open space.  The ranch has its own system of trails and roads and access to some of the nicest horseback riding in California and some of the best western riding found anywhere.  We are very proud of it.  We welcome visitors, but please to not just drop in without an appointment. 


Ranch Activities

Guided Horseback Riding is available on weekend, holidays, and most weekdays with an appointment.  Starting at $65 per person.  The Ranch has offered trailing riding to member of the general public since 2001.  Truly a world class trail riding experience on public lands.   Send inquires to call (760) 910-0378 or see the Trail Riding sections of this website.
Boarding & Leasing.   The Joshua Tree Ranch is a working ranch where horses are breed, raised, and trained for their labor.  If you would like to place your horse under our care and custody, please send inquires to Boarding@JoshuaTreeRanch.Com; see the Boarding sections of this website.
Breeding, Training, Horse Sales, Lease to Own.   One of the primary agricultural activities of the Joshua Tree Ranch is the business of breeding, raising, training horses, or what is generally thought of as animal husbandry.  The Ranch is home to a number of breeders and trainers, some more well know than others!  Also see the Breeding, Training, and Horse sections of this website.

Select Photos  See our Photo Gallery



Travel Distances

Joshua Tree is an ideal "weekend getaway" from big city life, but it is also a reasonable day trip for those with tight schedules.  Road traveling distances are as follows:


         Palm Springs      40 miles - 40 minute
         Los Angeles     140 miles 
         San Diego        160 miles
         Las Vegas        195 miles (back way to vegas)

Check out our navigation aides:


Assumption of Risk & Conditions on Use of the Ranch

Visitors and users of the ranch need to be aware that horses, horseback riding or merely visiting a working equestrian ranch can be dangerous.   Prior to entering the ranch, using ranch facilities, trails or horses, or merely visiting the ranch, you will be asked to understand and acknowledge this fact.  Furthermore, you will be asked to agree, on behalf of yourself  and/or for your children whom may be participating, to indemnify and hold harmless the stable operator and ranch owner, as well as their agents, employees and/or representatives from any and all claims, demands, actions or liability for such personal injuries or property damage, whether suffered by you or your children, or any other person or persons, or to their property.  Therefore, you and you for your children whom are participating, are assuming the personal and financial risk associated with this activity.  If you are unable to assume such risk and sign the appropriate documentation, you will not be able to visit or use the Ranch or participate in any of the activities that may be sponsored here.    Also see <safety>



Joshua Tree Ranch


Mile 2.9 up Park Blvd.
( 8651 Quail Springs Rd )
Joshua Tree, CA 92252



Gateway to Joshua Tree National Park       

Horse Back Riding.  Information Courtesy of the National Park Service

Horseback riding is a popular way to experience Joshua Tree National Park for those who bring their own horses. However, because of the special requirements for horses in this environment, care should be taken in planning your trip. The lack of available drinking water is both a challenge and a limitation.

Designated Trails
The Backcountry and Wilderness Management Plan provides for 253 miles of equestrian trails and trail corridors that traverse open lands, canyon bottoms, and dry washes. Many riding trails are already open, clearly marked, and ready to be enjoyed. Other trails are in various states of development. Trail maps for the west entrance area and for the Black Rock Canyon area are available at the park.

Camping and Backcountry Use
Ryan and Black Rock campgrounds have designated areas for horses and stock animals. A $10 per night fee is charged at Black Rock. Reservations for Black Rock Horsecamp may be made by calling 1-800-365-2267. A $5.00 per night fee is charged at Ryan, water is not available. Call 760-367-5541, MonFri, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., to make reservations for camping at Ryan. Reservations are not required for day use. A permit is required to camp with stock in the backcountry. You can arrange for a permit by calling 760-367-5541. Grazing is not permitted in the park. While in the backcountry, stock animals are restricted to pellet feed. Manure must be removed from campgrounds and trailheads.

Travel Restrictions
Stock use is limited to horses and mules and is restricted to designated equestrian trails and corridors, open dirt roads, and shoulders of paved roads. Riders should travel single file to reduce damage to soil and vegetation. Stock animals are not permitted within mile of any natural or manmade water source. Horses and other stock are not permitted on nature trails, in the Wonderland of Rocks, in campgrounds, in picnic areas, or at visitor centers.


Abbreviated History of the Joshua Tree National Park by Wally Barker

Abbreviated History of Joshua Tree and Joshua Tree National Park by Wally Barker

Joshua Tree is a small California community that is the gateway to Joshua Tree National Park.  The town, with a population less than 10,000 people, is located is 35 mile north and west of Palm Springs but lies within a three-hour drive of more than 18 million people.  The town name, Joshua Tree, obtained global recognition in 1987 with the release of U2's - "The Joshua Tree" Album.   However, the area has been a regional hub for adventurers dating back to the days of the gold miner in the mid to late 1800s, who combed the region for mineral deposits. 

Mining and Ranching:  1865 to 1936

In 1865, the first mining claim in the region was filed within an area which would later become the Joshua Tree National Park.  That claim was in Rattle Snake Canyon which is the Indian Cove Area of the Park.   Thereafter, significantly more productive claims were files and developed.  There are over 3,000 mining shafts and digs within the current park boundaries.  The region's big mines - the Desert Queen, the Lost Horse and the Eldorado, are inside the current park boundaries but are no longer mined.    At the same time that mining activity was booming in the 1890s, the park with its lush grass and vegetation attracted cattlemen in search of winter ranges. At one time, as many as 400 head of cattle grazed in "the park's" valleys at the higher elevations.   The McHanney brothers, Bill and Jim, moved to the region in 1879.  It is said that the "McHaney Gang" were in the cattle rustling business and that the spot where they hid the stolen cattle inside the park - the area now know as Real Hidden Valley.   The last holder of a grazing permit was County Sheriff, Jim Stocker, who was still running cattle in 1945 when all grazing was terminated.

Conservation:  1936 - Present

The federal government has had an important role in the region's development (or lack thereof), since most of the land was "government land."   The mining era gave way to a prolonged period of conservation.  On August 10, 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt issued a proclamation establishing 825,340 acres of the California desert as the Joshua Tree National Monument.  The Monument was administered by the National Park Service but did not have the full protection afforded our nation's national parks.  In 1976,  Congress designated about half the area inside the monument as wilderness, protecting them from any future development.   Finally, on October 31, 1994, Joshua Tree National Park was established  by President William Clinton as part of the California Desert Protection Act which signed created the largest protected wilderness area ever for the lower 48 states. His signing added 234,000 acres to the already existing national monument boundaries and elevated it to national park status.


Camping.  Information Courtesy of the National Park Service

There is a 30-day camping limit each year. However, only 14 nights total may occur from October through May.

Campsites are limited to six people, three tents, and two cars. Group sites accommodate 10 to 60 people.

Obtain reservations for sites at Black Rock, Indian Cove, and all group sites by calling 1-800-365-2267 or online. Other campgrounds are first-come, first-served and fill quickly on weekends and during spring break. Camp only in designated campsites.

There are no hookups for recreational vehicles

Water is available at Oasis Visitor Center, Indian Cove Ranger Station, West Entrance, and Black Rock and Cottonwood campgrounds. Showers are not available.

All vegetation in the park is protected. If you want to make a campfire, bring your own firewood.

Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Generator use is limited to six hours a day: 7 to 9 a.m., noon to 2 p.m., and 5 to 7 p.m.