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)
VISIT Joshua Tree National Park:
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|
|Hours||365 days a year, 24 hours a day|
|Entrance Fee||$30 per vehicle, valid for 7 days|
|Learn More||Official Website|
When to Visit: Weather vs. Peak Visitation
Joshua Tree National Park is the 27th 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.
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 Name||Trip Miles||Trip Days|
|Visit Joshua Tree National Park from LA or SD in One Day||300||1|
|Route 66 National Park Road Trip||2,300||13|
|Channel Islands, Joshua Tree to Death Valley||597||8|
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 Preserve||76 mi|
|Cabrillo National Monument||109 mi|
|Castle Mountains National Monument||116 mi|
|Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area||156 mi|
|Lake Mead National Recreation Area||166 mi|
|Death Valley National Park||177 mi|
|Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument||178 mi|
|César E. Chávez National Monument||181 mi|
|Channel Islands National Park||202 mi|
|Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument||215 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.
|Cottonwood - Joshua Tree National Park||Indio, CA more||5 miles|
|Joshua Tree South||CA more||10 miles|
|Painted Canyon||Mecca, CA more||13 miles|
|Box Canyon Dispersed||Mecca, CA more||15 miles|
|White Tank - Joshua Tree National Park||CA more||15 miles|
|Belle - Joshua Tree National Park||CA more||16 miles|
|Jumbo Rocks - Joshua Tree National Park||CA more||17 miles|
|Headquarters - Salton Sea State Rec Area||Mecca, CA more||20 miles|
|Ryan - Joshua Tree National Park||CA more||20 miles|
|Mecca Beach - Salton Sea State Rec Area||Mecca, 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:
|Snow Summit Mountain Resort||Big Bear Lake, CA||8,200 ft||63%||65 mi|
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.
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 Airport||ONT||Ontario, CA||99 mi|
|San Diego International Airport||SAN||San Diego, CA||104 mi|
|Lake Havasu City International Airport||LHS||Lake Havasu City, AZ||106 mi|
|Los Angeles International Airport||LAX||Los Angeles, CA||144 mi|
|Harry Reid International Airport||LAS||Las Vegas, NV||164 mi|
|Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport||PHX||Phoenix, AZ||225 mi|
|Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport||SJC||San Jose, CA||419 mi|
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 Airport||PSP||Palm Springs, CA||35 mi|
|Lake Havasu City International Airport||HII||Lake Havasu City, AZ||103 mi|
|Yuma International Airport / Marine Corps Air Station Yuma||YUM||Yuma, AZ||108 mi|
|John Wayne Airport||SNA||Santa Ana, CA||113 mi|
|Long Beach Airport (Daugherty Field)||LGB||Long Beach, CA||129 mi|
|Hollywood Burbank Airport||BUR||Burbank, CA||144 mi|
|Prescott International Airport - Ernest A. Love Field||PRC||Prescott, AZ||207 mi|
Credits: Campground data provided by USCampgrounds.info. Map shapes from CartographyVectors. Weather data from NOAA. Airport data from OurAirports.com. Images from Unsplash, Flickr and Parks&Trips. All data has also been updated and augmented by Parks&Trips.