Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

  US National Parks

VISIT Joshua Tree National Park:

Joshua Tree National Park is known for its spiky Joshua Trees that grow out in unpredictable and unusual angles. Huge boulder piles also litter the alien landscape, that sits between the boundaries of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts.

Surprisingly, Joshua Tree isn’t all sand and boulders. During winter and spring, the historic Barker Dam fills a reservoir, that used to be used to feed cattle and farms in the area before the park was created. The easy Barker Dam Nature Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the park.

Joshua Tree’s surreal appeal draws casual day trippers from San Diego and LA, hikers, and hard-core rock climbers from all around.

Places to Stay While Visiting Joshua Tree

There are no lodging options within Joshua Tree NP other than a few campgrounds. Most visitors stay along Route 62, either in Joshua Tree, CA or Twentynine Palms, CA, then commute in. Both of these towns are a perfect proximity to the park, and you’ll likely travel between the two multiple times, no matter which city you end up staying in.

Twentynine Palms, CA is the best place to stay if you are visiting Joshua tree for more than one day. Nearby Palm Springs is also a good option, albeit a little farther away.

  • Twentynine Palms, CA (4 miles away)
  • Joshua Tree, CA (5 miles)
  • Yucca Valley, CA (11 miles)
  • Indio, CA (26 miles)
  • Palm Springs, CA (37 miles)

Park Details

Joshua Tree National Park was established on August 10, 1936, and has a total area of 790,636 acres (1,235 square miles, or 3,201 square kilometers).

Address 74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA, 92277
Hours365 days a year, 24 hours a day
Entrance Fee$30 per vehicle, valid for 7 days
Learn MoreOfficial Website

When to Visit: Weather vs. Peak Visitation

Joshua Tree National Park is the 28th most visited park in the country.

We crunched 30 years of historical weather and/or park service data to find the best months to visit Joshua Tree National Park. We looked for the optimal temperatures, the least amount of snow and rain, and stayed away from peak visitation months if we could help it. All this data then helped us paint a picture as to what the absolute best time to visit Joshua Tree National Park is.

Our data shows the best months to visit Joshua Tree National Park are October, November, March & April.

Park Visits229,995285,687375,049383,735285,611181,050125,568123,163163,241213,088334,802363,411
Avg Temp64677581899810310296857263
Max Temp7478869399108111109104968373
Avg Temp384144475461707165544438
Min Temp283033374249595952423127
Temperature values in °F; Precipitation in Inches

Joshua Tree National Park Road Trips

Many family vacations consist of stringing one or more national parks together during a week-long trip. Creating these types of trips is our specialty! Here are the road trips we've created where Joshua Tree National Park is visited.

Trip NameTrip MilesTrip Days
Visit Joshua Tree National Park from LA or SD in One Day3001
Route 66 National Park Road Trip2,30013
Channel Islands, Joshua Tree to Death Valley5978

Other Nearby National Park Sites

From national monuments, to historic sites to seashores and more, here are the other parks closest to Joshua Tree National Park.

Mojave National Preserve76 mi
Cabrillo National Monument109 mi
Castle Mountains National Monument116 mi
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area156 mi
Lake Mead National Recreation Area166 mi
Death Valley National Park177 mi
Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument178 mi
César E. Chávez National Monument181 mi
Channel Islands National Park202 mi
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument220 mi

Nearby Campsites & RV Parks

If you are looking to pitch a tent or park an RV at a campsite near Joshua Tree National Park, here is a list of the closest campsites in the surrounding area. They all have slightly different amenitites, so its best to check them all out instead of just chosing the first on the list.

NameDetailsMiles Away
Cottonwood - Joshua Tree National ParkIndio, CA more 5 miles
Joshua Tree SouthCA more 10 miles
Painted CanyonMecca, CA more 13 miles
Box Canyon DispersedMecca, CA more 15 miles
White Tank - Joshua Tree National ParkCA more 15 miles
Belle - Joshua Tree National ParkCA more 16 miles
Jumbo Rocks - Joshua Tree National ParkCA more 17 miles
Headquarters - Salton Sea State Rec AreaMecca, CA more 20 miles
Ryan - Joshua Tree National ParkCA more 20 miles
Mecca Beach - Salton Sea State Rec AreaMecca, CA more 21 miles

Nearest Ski Resorts

For those of you who are the diehard outdoors type, visiting a national park on a ski trip can be quite the adventure. Here are the ski resorts within 100 miles of Joshua Tree National Park:

NameLocationSummitDifficulty ScoreDistance
Snow Summit Mountain ResortBig Bear Lake, CA8,200 ft46%65 mi

Nearest Airports

When visiting a National park, many people are faced with either a very long drive across country, or a much shorter flight. For those of you looking to fly into Joshua Tree National Park, we've listed the closest airports in the area.

Large Airports

A large airport has scheduled major airline service with millions of passengers per year. This type of airport always accepts international flights. Here are the closest large airports to Joshua Tree National Park.

Ontario International AirportONTOntario, CA99 mi
San Diego International AirportSANSan Diego, CA104 mi
Lake Havasu City International AirportLHSLake Havasu City, AZ106 mi
Los Angeles International AirportLAXLos Angeles, CA144 mi
Harry Reid International AirportLASLas Vegas, NV164 mi
Phoenix Sky Harbor International AirportPHXPhoenix, AZ225 mi
Norman Y. Mineta San José International AirportSJCSan Jose, CA419 mi
Medium Airports

A medium-sized airport has scheduled regional airline service. This type of airport may or may not accept international flights. Here are the closest medium-sized airports to Joshua Tree National Park.

Palm Springs International AirportPSPPalm Springs, CA35 mi
Lake Havasu City International AirportHIILake Havasu City, AZ103 mi
Yuma International Airport / Marine Corps Air Station YumaYUMYuma, AZ108 mi
John Wayne AirportSNASanta Ana, CA113 mi
Long Beach Airport (Daugherty Field)LGBLong Beach, CA129 mi
Hollywood Burbank AirportBURBurbank, CA144 mi
Prescott International Airport - Ernest A. Love FieldPRCPrescott, AZ207 mi

Credits: Campground data provided by Map shapes from CartographyVectors. Weather data from NOAA. Airport data from Images from Unsplash, Flickr and Parks&Trips. All data has also been updated and augmented by Parks&Trips.

Author Image
Chris Cagle

I love traveling the United States. I hunt down fantastic places to visit in the summer and great slopes to ski down in the winter. The first national park I ever visited was the Smokies, but since then, I've been to dozens. However, my favorite by far has been Zion.