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I'm planning to go to Joshua Tree National Park with my wife and 2.5 year-old daughter.

I would really like to go to this Hidden Valley Nature Trail. It has great reviews all over the place, it's just 1 mile long, and they say it's good for kids-- but I'm not sure if they had a 2 year old toddler in mind when saying that.

  • Is it accessible at all with a standard stroller?
  • What about with a jogging/hiking stroller?
  • Is the trail sane enough for a 2 year old to be walking with supervision?
  • If really necessary, will I be killing myself to be carrying a 30 pound baby through the rough parts?
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I've never been there myself, but this map seems to indicate that there is approximately 100 feet of elevation loss/gain over the course of the mile.

Also note that on the official list of Joshua Tree nature trails, three trails (Bajada, Cap Rock, and Oasis of Mara) are marked as "accessible", which probably means that someone with a walker or wheelchair could navigate them. Hidden Valley is not "accessible", which would make me expect that a stroller would have trouble.

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Well I took my chances and went to Joshua Tree with my toddler, including the Hidden Valley Nature Trail.

Conclusions: We managed to do it and it was totally worth it. This trail was certainly the highlight of my trip and I highly recommend it. We made this the first big stop of our itinerary so my daughter would still be full of energy. She's pretty active so she managed to walk half the way. Once she ran out of gas, me and my wife took turns carrying her. The trail is definitely not stroller accessible.

Helpful advice to anyone else finding themselves in a similar situation: If you have a young child that is not up for a mile-long hike, another decent trail is the Cap Rock trail. It's shorter and not as spectacular, but it is stroller/wheelchair accessible and has some decent scenery.

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