It’s a beautiful park for a scenic drive, particularly on a bike... as long as you’re careful to avoid popping a tire on the incredibly sharp spines that grow on chollas and Joshua trees. The campgrounds here are nice but fill up quickly, possibly because the stargazing in the park is a big draw. The park and town of Joshua Tree both have a gritty, hippie vibe thanks to the tight community of hikers and rock climbers who all share a mutual love for Joshua Tree.
“800,000 breathtaking acres of desert”
Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California. Come explore for yourself.
If you only have a day, hit up the visitors center before you head out and they’ll help you make the most out of your day. However, if you get the chance to stay for a few days, prepare to be amazed by the night sky; you’ll hardly be able to believe the stars.
The yucca trees (which are from the lily family) are amazing to see, and though some have unfortunately been vandalized, they look alien next to the craggy rock formations. Make sure to keep an eye our for tarantulas and scorpions while there!
Absolutely magical! Be aware that it costs $20 to enter the park PLUS $15-$20 to camp. However, the payment for camping is for the week. I stayed in the Hidden Valley campground which was secluded, shaded and had spectacular views and rocks to climb!
Astrophotography here is truly stunning! Highly recommending getting away from the popular spots and just taking one of the dirt roads off into the middle of nowhere for a truly authentic experience!
Joshua Tree was a really fun day trip. We drove out from Palm Springs around noon and got to park at about 2. We pretty much drove straight through the park stopping at a couple of the scenic overlooks and at one of the cactus gardens. The views of the mountains are absolutely breathtaking and some of the plant life makes you feel like you have been transported back into prehistoric times. Seriously some of the foliage is some of the oddest and coolest anywhere.
We were able to pass through the whole park in about 3 hours, and even with traffic on I-10 we got back to LA by 8. I would highly recommend visiting Joshua Tree on your road trip.
Awesome place for astrophotography since it's so far from light pollution. Great trails as well and camping!
Absolutely stunning. The drive through the park was amazing, almost like being on another planet. With everyone in our party being from the east coast- we were mesmerized. Unreal scenery and the Joshua trees do not disappoint. Beware of the cactus. My 14 year old fell into one, and getting the barbs out was terrible! 🤦🏼♀️ Make sure you fill up on gas before entering the park.
Absolutely amazing! We stopped here for an afternoon and camped during a 10-day road trip through the West, and this was definitely one of the highlights.
I'd recommend staying at Jumbo Rocks campground - the name says it all. There's tons of large rocks that create small alcoves for each campsite, so it feels pretty private. Plus, you can go climb around on all the rocks for a few different views. We explored a few trails during the afternoon and each sight was cooler than the last - you'll definitely feel like you're in another world. The yucca trees against the rocks and the sparse desert landscape are unreal.
But the best part is easily the night sky - I have never seen anything so spectacular. You feel as if you could reach out an touch the milky way as it appears so close and bright. And as a woman at the local grocery store told us, make sure to keep an out for those UFOs!
It's a great national park, and I can't wait to come back a spend some more time there!
A good stopping point on the way to thw Grand Canyon. Visited the Oasis visitor center, there were interesting displays and the park rangers were very nice. It was super hot so we opted for pool time at the hotel and night star gazing .... it was amazing.
Geologically, the park is a natural wonderland of boulders, stone hills and features such as Horror Rock. It’s basically a rock climber’s paradise. There are like thousands of named climbing routes throughout the park. I drove through here in August 2014 and it was incredible. Virtually every part of the park is picture-worthy. Bring water! It can be terribly hot in the summer.
Meh it was pretty and the sunset lighting up the cacti was beautiful, but the Joshua trees were better (although smaller) in Death Valley.
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Joshua Tree National Park
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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Good for bird watching, climbing, and 8 more activities. Has a Scenic vibe.
Credit Cards Accepted
- National park
- Sites Count
Campground, Parking, Dining