Hidden Valley Nature Trail, Joshua Tree National Park

4.8
#1 of 17 in Things to do in Joshua Tree National Park
In the late 50s and early 60s, Steve and Gayle Henson's dude ranch was favored by weekend visitors who wanted to enjoy the natural surroundings.

The ranch menu often included salad with a dressing created by Steve from a dry mix of herbs and spices, mayonnaise and buttermilk. The dressing was so popular it soon became the only dressing served.

When a visitor asked for a batch to take back to Hawaii for a large party he was throwing, Henson knew he was on to something big. A few days later, the guest called wanting more. Everyone had gone wild over it.

Encouraged by the success, Henson started marketing the powdered mixture. Within months, twelve people were helping him mix the dressing at Hidden Valley.

By 1970, the dressing had reached over 30 countries.

The Henson family sold the salad dressing business in 1972. But, inside each bottle of Hidden Valley® Ranch dressing is the legacy of a rancher with a palate for great food. The Hidden Valley® Ranch dressing tradition continues today by bringing families closer together over memorable meals.
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Hidden Valley Nature Trail Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
454 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This is one of the recommended stop-off places for large tour groups so it can be busy. But it is well worth the short turn-off from the main road and a walk into the valley with its interesting histo...  more »
  • We didn't want to spend all day at the park so this was a perfect 1 mile hike that allowed us to get a feel for what this unusual national park has to offer. We climbed to the top of one of the rock f...  more »
  • This hike is about one mile through some gorgeous rocky area. Most of it is pretty level. There were many stone steps (pretty steep in some places) at the end of the hike. If you have problems with cl...  more »
Google
  • Great experience to walk in this beautiful valley. Not visible from the road, it is hidden between several mountains. Great vegetation, of typical Joshua Trees. Easy hikes ok approx. 1.2 miles, with no inclination. It is doable in 30 minutes with kids. Bring enough water as it is exposed to the sun.
  • Lovely short hike... Hidden from views... With good educational signs
  • This is a beautiful and secluded valley in the heart of Joshua tree. A must see on your visit.
  • I really can't recommend this area enough. The size and shape of the boulders were surreal and this place is huge. It's easy to stay along the path or go off and explore. They need more parking and picnic areas given the amount of people who visit, but one should eventually be able to find a space.
  • Very cool trail. Not too strenuous but many exciting sites and great views. During the wildflower season particularly awesome. Parking can be difficult. Go there early.

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Where to stay in Joshua Tree National Park

If you want to spend the night in Joshua Tree National Park, grab a tent and head for one of the numerous campgrounds scattered throughout the park. Some campgrounds feature a reservation system while others operate on a first-come, first-served basis. A couple also provide potable water, but most do not. To sleep on a mattress and pillow with a roof over your head, stay in one of the towns surrounding the park. The towns of Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms offer a number of inns and motels in a tranquil desert setting. West of the park, the options expand into the resort area of Palm Springs. Here you'll find everything from high-end spas and resorts to chain hotels, small inns, and bed and breakfasts. The park is situated about two hours from Los Angeles (if there's no traffic), making a day trip from the city another possibility.
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8 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in California BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA April, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, teens, kids, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM CANADA January, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 32 days in United States BY A USER FROM SPAIN July, teens, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in Joshua Tree National Park & Los Angeles BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in United States BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS March, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: March, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 28 days in California, Grand Canyon National Park & Las Vegas BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Joshua Tree National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 28 days in West Coast BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA February, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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