Guided Trail Riding   |  Boarding   |  Visitor Info   |  Home
JT Ranch header


Palm Springs' Finest Western Horseback Riding

& Joshua Tree's Finest Horse Stable (and only!)

At the Gateway to Joshua Tree National Park

Guided Horseback Riding and Adventures

About the JT Ranch

Houston Runnning in the Arena at the Joshua Tree Ranch

Houston Running

The Joshua Tree Ranch, a.k.a. JT Ranch, is a 40 horse / 40 acre horse stable located 30 miles from Palm Springs, just 2 miles outside the west entrance to Joshua Tree National Park in the small tourist town of Joshua Tree.  We offer some of the nicest horseback riding in California.  The National Park and the other public lands surrounding the park is an amazing and beautiful hi-desert setting which offers horse and riding enthusiasts numerous opportunities to experience this unique desert environment.  From "Downtown" Joshua Tree, take Park Blvd toward the Park's west entrance.  We are 2.9 miles up the road on the left, only 1.75 miles from the west park entrance.  If you are first time visitor or want to schedule a trail ride, please give us a call in advance - (760) 366-5357, as for Charla or send us an e-mail

Our Head Wrangler – Charla King

Chala with one of the trail horse after riding up in Joshua Tree NAtional Park

The Stable at Joshua Tree Ranch is operated by Charla King and her husband Zan.  Charla has been around horses most of her life and running trail rides for over a decade.  She and the Ranch are committed to providing high-quality safe, outdoor adventures that you will not quickly forget.  All our programs emphasize safety above all else.  All guides are highly qualified and well trained.


Guided Trail Riding Programs

Horseback riding on the public lands near the ranch

Our guided trail riding programs are for beginners and intermediate riders

˙         One Hour and Two Hour Guided Trail Rides, priced at $35 per hour per person.  (Private rides are $45 per hour and 3 hours+ rides are available)

˙         Rides leave the ranch at various time throughout the week and on weekends.

˙         Space is limited so  Call 760) 366-5357 or contact  to determine availability and to make a reservation.  Private Rides are available.  


Horses - For Sales

Interested in owning a horse, give us a call.   The Joshua Tree Ranch is a working ranch that is also in the business of raising, training, and selling horses.   We pride ourselves at offering quality horses at affordable prices.  At any given time we have about 5 horse that are in various stages of training and preparation for sale - e-mail to find out what horses are available or being worked on. 

Horses Leasing

Interested in horse ownership but not fully ready to commit, give us a call.   You may be eligible to lease one of our fine trail horses.  Also, in our opinion, if you are intermediate rider, the is truly is no better way to become an competent horseman.  Give us a 3 month minimum commitment, and the adventures and mysteries that lye inside Joshua Tree National Park and elsewhere awaits you.   Leasing starts as low as starting as low as $250 per month, which includes board.  Think of it, for a small monthly commitment, you can see if being a horse person is right for you.  We care for the horse, you just come out to ride.  If you want to learn how to ride or dramatically improve your skills, this is one of the least expensive way to do it.  Subject to availability.  Speak to Charla at (760) 366-5357 or e-mail her to find out what horses are available.


If you are a local and are looking to be centrally located to wonderful trails, you should seriously consider boarding your horses at the Joshua Tree Ranch.  Even if you live in Palm Springs, the quality of the trail riding here is ten time better.  Give us a call.  We offer reasonable prices for quality service.  Speak to Charla at 760) 366-5357 or e-mail her to find out details. 

Group & Conventions - Trail Riding & All Day Adventure

The good news is that the quality of the trail riding in and around the Ranch is quantum levels above anything that can be found in the Palm Springs Area.  The bad news is that our operation is relatively small in comparison and can only handle 40 riders in any given day, and then not all at the same time.  Nonetheless, if you are a group of 20 to 40, our staff can help you plan an all day adventure that will not easily be forgotten.  Please call for group rates and details.  If you are a Palm Springs travel industry professional or concierge, we offer many interesting benefits (non-monetary but significant) to you for referring us clients. 


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)

Assumption of Risk & Conditions on Use of the Ranch

Users of the ranch and trail riding participants need to be aware that Horseback Riding and Horses in general can be dangerous.   Prior to using the our facilities and our horses, 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, you will not be able to use the Ranch or participate in Trail Riding.


Official Joshua Tree Ranch WEB Site:


Joshua Tree Ranch


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

(760) 366-5357

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, MonľFri, 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.

Back to Top                Master Index

Tell Them "You saw 'Their Web Page' on the Web at"
Please direct web site issues to .
Web site designed and maintained by NJC Web Creations
Site Disclaimer ęCopyright 2005. All rights reserved.