To celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service (NPS) in the United States, the NPS launched the Find Your Park campaign in 2016. Designed to encourage people to get outside and enjoy the protected natural spaces spread across the 50 states, Joshua Tree National Park went one step further to create their own Centennial Hiking Challenge.

I’m a sucker for a good physical challenge!

a hiker stands in front of a "find your park" banner with a 5-mile and 10-mile sticker earned by hiking miles in Joshua Tree National Park

Despite being in Joshua Tree for just one week and having a wicked chest cold, I completed 26.45 miles. Unfortunately my hiking partner missed out on a few of the hikes because he was too sick.

We knocked off a few Nature Trails (usually less than 1 mile) and branched out to some areas of the park we haven’t been to before. I really enjoyed Contact Mine, Inspiration View, 49 Palms Oasis (3 miles), Lucky Boy Vista (2.5 miles), Willow Hole (7 miles), and Pine City (3 miles).

I’m already planning to get back to JTNP as soon as possible… I need that 100 mile badge!

A stand of willows at the end of Willow Hole hike, Joshua Tree National Park

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