A new travel guidebook describes the must-see sights and the trails to view them at Joshua Tree National Park.

New guidebook details top Joshua Tree hikesBest Sights to See at Joshua Tree National Park, by hiking guidebook author Rob Bignell, covers trails in the increasingly popular desert park as well the surrounding area. It was released Feb. 26.

“Joshua Tree National Park is chockful of great trails and hidden wonders,” Bignell said. “You can clamber over fantastical 180-million-year-old boulders. You can head through desert oases or dense Joshua tree groves. You can walk amid the remains of historic ranches and mines.”

Preserved since the 1930s, Joshua Tree is a unique environment where the Mojave and Coloradan deserts meet. Nearby is Southern California’s highest peak and an extinct volcanic crater. All of it can be reached by hiking trails.

The book provides a plethora of information about each featured sight, including:

  • Driving directions to the trail
  • Where to park and find the trailhead
  • Course the trail takes
  • Scenic points to look for on the trail
  • Wildlife and flora you might spot
  • Interesting tidbits about regional geology and history
  • Best times to hike the trail
New guidebook details top Joshua Tree hikes

Kieran and Rob Bignell

“Many of these trails are perfect for families with children,” Bignell said. The trails run from a tenth of a mile to eight miles in length, with most only one to three miles long. His son 13-year-old Kieran hiked many of the trails with him.

Best Sights to See at Joshua Tree National Park is the latest in several bestselling hiking guidebooks Bignell has authored. Last year, his Day Hiking Trails of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley topped Amazon.com’s bestsellers list for California Travel ebooks. In 2018, his Best Sights to See at Great Smoky Mountains National Parks spent more than three months at No. 1 on Amazon.com’s bestsellers list for Tennessee Travel ebooks. Several other books about national parks, Wisconsin and Minnesota have hit No. 1 on Amazon.com lists during the past eight years.

The book is part of the “Best Sights to See” series, which details the 10 top sights at national parks and the day trails readers can take to reach them. National parks featured in the series include Great Smoky Mountains, Rocky Mountain, Indian Dunes, and Voyageurs, as well as a guide covering all 61 of the nation’s national parks.

Bignell lived and worked (as Opinion page editor of The Desert Sun) in Palm Springs during the 2000s. More than three years of research went into the book. Most of the articles were originally written for and appeared in Uken Report, which strives to be the most authentic, respected online news and marketing platform in the Coachella Valley. Bignell’s columns on hiking continue to be published in Uken Report and in Palm Springs Life.

An avid backpacker and long-time editor, Bignell is uniquely qualified to write about hiking, especially for families. Bignell has served in the Army National Guard and taught middle school students in New Mexico and Wisconsin. A former newspaper and magazine editor in California (San Diego, Santa Clarita, and Crescent City), his journalism work has won several awards, from editorial writing to sports reporting. In 2001, The Prescott Journal, which he served as managing editor of, was named Wisconsin’s Weekly Newspaper of the Year.

This is Bignell’s 27th hiking guidebook. He now lives with his son in western Wisconsin.

The book can be purchased online by clicking here.


Image Sources

  • photo-1: Rob Bignell
  • Joshua Tree: Rob Bignell
  • Joshua Tree National Park: Rob Bignell