Joshua Tree's panoramic views

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Joshua Tree's panoramic views

Joshua Tree's panoramic views
Q: I'm looking for the best vistas available from the lower elevations looking in any direction toward a mountain range. Suggestions of specific spots would be helpful.
Jeff Dysart
Baltimore, MD

A: To get the best views for your perspiration buck, we suggest you head over to the Keys View Trail in the central part of Joshua Tree. There are spectacular overlooks all the way up the trail, so you don't have to hike the full two miles to the summit of 5,400-foot Inspiration Peak if you don't want to. To find the trailhead, take the Keys View Road inside the park and follow it to the well-marked parking area. From there, it's a short, moderately strenuous hike along Keys View to the first vista, where you'll be rewarded with jaw-dropping views of Mount San Jacinto and Mount Gogonia, Southern California's highest peak. Keep climbing for a sweeping panorama of nearly three-quarters of Joshua Tree and the high Mojave Desert. From the top of Inspiration Peak on a clear day, you can see south into Mexico--about 95 miles away. For more ideas about easy walks to impressive views, contact the Oasis Information Center at 619-367-7511.

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