How to choose the right class for you . . .

The fitness levels of each class are as varied as the topics we offer. Most of our courses require some hiking during field trips in the park which may be hot, dry, windy and sometimes cold. In rating the difficulty of each class we consider elevation gain and loss, distance, time of year, pace, and terrain.

Please review and select a class that matches your fitness level. We want to ensure that your skills and abilities match those of your fellow participants. Note that the ratings are guidelines. For a person who is very active a class rated ‘strenuous’ might not pose a challenge or a ‘moderate’ rated hike could be very difficult for someone not used to walking outside in the desert environment at moderate elevation.

Hike Levels

Leisurely to moderate pace up to 3 miles per day through relatively flat terrain with frequent stops.

Moderate steady pace up to 6 miles per day with some elevation gain and loss through some rocky or uneven terrain.

Longer rigorous hikes at a moderate to brisk pace up to 12 miles per day with significant elevation gain and loss up to 3,000 ft through rough steep terrain, with possible rock scrambling.

Course includes rock scrambling throughout a significant portion of route, good balance, full range of motion, and three points of contact while scrambling are necssary.

The Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park – 74485 National Park Dr., Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
Phone: (760) 367-5535     Fax: (760) 367-5583