Joshua Tree National Park Fitpacking Trip

Last Updated 2/6/2009

Joshua Tree National Park is a desert landscape in Southern California who's signature plant is the rare and beautiful Joshua Tree. The park boasts unique geological formations such as granite monoliths and rugged canyons, plus a variety of wildlife including bighorn sheep, jackrabbits, and coyotes. March is a great time to escape from your frigid climate, explore the Mojave desert, and lose weight (or more accurately, improve body composition).


Our route will begin at Indian Cove, cross the Park Road (where we'll pick up cached water) and head over the Panorama Trail and California Riding & Hiking Trail to the frontcountry Blackrock Campground (showers available!). We'll pick up more water, summit Eureka Peak and then head down Smith Water Canyon, eventually ending our hike at Quail Springs Picnic area.

Equipment List

Here is a list of equipment we suggest you bring. Please feel free to discuss any items of question with us before the trip.


Weather is always an important concern when backpacking. Historical March weather averages in the mid-60s during the day, which is perfect for backpacking, but we might also experience blazing heat or frost at night. Expect 40s at night and a warm respite from your end-of-winter blues.


We don't believe in austere eating regimens. Because backpacking is rigorous and demanding (as well as rewarding), you must feed your body in order for it perform. Your body will dictate that you eat nutritious food often, almost continually. Please check out the sample menus for this trip.

These lists are not necessarily comprehensive and may be altered or augmented. Furthermore, if you want to bring personal food, say a big old chocolate cake, go for it. After carrying it 40+ miles, your body will most likely not desire those empty calories, nor want to carry the weight around.


The Joshua Tree Fitpacking Trip will be from Feb 28 - Mar 8, 2009. See the proposed itinerary. Much of the trail will be rugged, exposed to the sun, and poorly marked. Expect this to be a true adventure!

Trip Leaders

Steve Silberberg, who lives in Hull, MA has many years of backpacking experience over a variety of terrains and guides most Fitpacking trips. He is a SOLO certified Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Trainer, and Certified Food Handler.

Craig Richards, who lives in Plymouth, MA is a veteran backpacker who guided the very first Fitpacking trip. He has thru-hiked the Wonderland Trail and has backpacked the Long Trail, Adirondacks, Redwood National Park, Grand Tetons and many more. Several trips that Craig planned and hiked form the basis of Fitpacking offerings.

Joshua Tree Scene


$1075 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share hotel rooms with another trip participant. You may also wish to share a tent, which will cut down on total weight carried -- an important consideration -- but it will also mean less privacy.

You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Palm Springs. Furthermore, any restaurant meals eaten off the trail will be your responsibility. Finally, you will be responsible for any personal calls you make or receive on our satellite phone or from motel/hotel rooms.