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Hiking Barker Dam Trail

Posted in Family, and Outdoor Adventures

Getting reading to set off to see Barker Dam

It’s hard to believe that we haven’t been out hiking since June 2015. We love the great outdoors and exploring, but my ankle injury put everything on hold for months and months and months. I’m still working on getting back to 100%, but I’m now at the point where I felt that I could start doing some short hikes. The first day of spring seemed like the perfect time to give it a try.

Hiking the Barker Dam Trail

We headed over to Joshua Tree National Park to take the easy Barker Dam Trail hike. The parking area was packed, but the hike itself was nice. The good thing about hiking around Joshua Tree National Park is that there can be a lot of people without the area feeling super crowded. (The prime climbing areas can be a different story.)

Looking at Barker Dam

Other than the allergy issue, we had an enjoyable time being back out in nature. We took our time and explored different areas. We weren’t in a hurry which meant we could take side trails and just explore. My ankle, while still lacking normal flexibility, felt pretty good.

Checking out one of the climbing areas

Of course, D wanted to check out the different climbing/bouldering areas, and he dreamed of when he’d, once again, be able to climb. He really misses it. He still has quite a few months before he’ll be able to even begin to do the basics, but he’s confident that his shoulder will get strong enough to start climbing again. I’m probably more hesitant than he is about the whole thing because I don’t want to see him hurt again. He still has the other shoulder that’s injured in addition to the shoulder surgery recovery.

Barker Dam

The water at the dam was quite a bit lower than it was last time we were there. The desert is just starting to bloom. We need a really good rain to get things going strong.

Looking at the petroglyphs


Munchkin’s favorite part was the petroglyph cave.

Looking at the petroglyphs


She enjoyed looking at the various petroglyphs as well as looking at the different rock formations in the cave.

Exploring the petroglyph caveOf course, it’s always fun when you can go straight through the boulder and come out the other side. 😉

Barker Dam

The weather was perfect thanks to a nice breeze. It was an enjoyable day. I’m looking forward to gradually increasing the length and difficultly of our hikes as I have missed going out.

Trail Facts:

  • The hike on the Barker Dam Trail is roughly a 1.5 mile loop. (The length varies depending on whether you stay strictly on the trail or do a little side exploring. The side journey to the petroglyphs adds a little length.)
  • The elevation change is around 50 feet.
  • The trail is fairly flat, but some areas require some scrambling over rocks/boulders.
  • The hike is considered an easy hike.
  • The trail is open year around, but hikers need to be aware of the weather conditions for their own safety. In warmer weather, make sure you have plenty of water and protection from the sun.
  • Pets are not allowed on the trail.
  • Things to note: This trail meets up with several other trails. During the summer months, there will be very little water. The winter months are the best time to see water. This trail is not stroller friendly.

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