Joshua Tree National Park

Vacation Travel Guide
Joshua Tree National Park

Few places in the world combine high and low desert flora, fauna and geology like this breathtaking expanse of preserved wilderness.

As you drive through the arid landscape of Southeastern California, Joshua Tree National Park announces itself as unmistakably as the limbed and spiky plant that gives it its name. The park features Joshua trees throughout the higher Mojave Desert and shrubbier creosote plants where it spans the lower Colorado Desert. The entire park’s rocky, hilly landscape makes it ideal for backpacking, climbing and wildlife spotting.

The best way to explore the rough terrain of Joshua Tree is hiking. Spend a day on the 7.2-mile (11.6-kilometer) Lost Palms Oasis Trail, where bighorn sheep roam. Marvel at the results of millions of years of mineral erosion in Old Woman Rock or Ryan Mountain. Explore Lost Horse Mine, one of the best-preserved gold and silver extraction sites in America. Even if you are a late riser, wake up before dawn at least once to see a Joshua Tree sunrise from a high peak.

Bring your rock-climbing gear and scale the face of an immense boulder. Track lizards, mule deer or 239 species of bird. Mountain bike or horseback ride on trails where wildflowers bloom in spring. On your recovery day, the Geology Motor Tour packs a number of Joshua Tree’s glorious views into a 2-hour drive. When the day is over, gaze up to see a perfectly starry sky.

When you first arrive, stop by the Joshua Tree Visitor Center to acquire park passes and get familiar with the park’s Leave No Trace policy. Permits are available for campgrounds inside the park. Hotels, motels and short-stay rental houses surround the park’s entrances. Camping supplies and groceries can be purchased at stores outside the park and nearby cafés and diners serve meals.

From Los Angeles Joshua Tree National Park is a 140-mile (225.3-kilometer) drive east. From San Diego it is a 175-mile (281.6-kilometer) drive northeast. It’s worth the long drive and you may find yourself not wanting to leave this world-renowned desert oasis.

Top things to do in Joshua Tree National Park

Top Hotels Close to Joshua Tree National Park

The Wolf House Cabin with fenced 5 acres and a Watch Tower
The Wolf House Cabin with fenced 5 acres and a Watch Tower
Twentynine Palms, CA
Fully refundable
The price is $99 per night from Oct 11 to Oct 11
Located in Wonder Valley, this romantic cabin is within 9 mi (15 km) of Joshua Tree National Park Oasis Visitor Center, Luckie Park, and Twentynine Palms Art ...
4.3/5Excellent! (10 reviews)
One night
"Thank you for letting us rent your house for one night. Quiet and dark. Thanks again"

Reviewed on Mar 12, 2021

The Wolf House Cabin with fenced 5 acres and a Watch Tower
Thar in the Mojave - A Joshua Tree Retreat
Thar in the Mojave - A Joshua Tree Retreat
Twentynine Palms, CA
The price is $129 per night from Sep 28 to Sep 28
Located in Wonder Valley, this romantic vacation home is within 12 mi (20 km) of Joshua Tree National Park Oasis Visitor Center, Luckie Park, and Twentynine ...
4.3/5Excellent! (3 reviews)
"The property was fine, however it was expensive for the location"

Reviewed on May 10, 2021

Thar in the Mojave - A Joshua Tree Retreat
Todos Santos JoshuaDesertRetreats
Todos Santos JoshuaDesertRetreats
3 out of 5
81761 Twentynine Palms Highway, Twentynine Palms, CA
Located in Wonder Valley, this vacation home is within 12 mi (20 km) of Joshua Tree National Park Oasis Visitor Center, Luckie Park, and Twentynine Palms Art ...
Get rates
Todos Santos JoshuaDesertRetreats
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Kings Inn Anaheim at the Park & Convention Center
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Best Lodging Options Near Joshua Tree National Park

The Wolf House Cabin with fenced 5 acres and a Watch Tower
The Wolf House Cabin with fenced 5 acres and a Watch Tower
Twentynine Palms, CA
The price is $99 per night from Oct 11 to Oct 11
The Wolf House Cabin with fenced 5 acres and a Watch Tower
Thar in the Mojave - A Joshua Tree Retreat
Thar in the Mojave - A Joshua Tree Retreat
Twentynine Palms, CA
The price is $129 per night from Sep 28 to Sep 28
Thar in the Mojave - A Joshua Tree Retreat
Todos Santos JoshuaDesertRetreats
Todos Santos JoshuaDesertRetreats
3 out of 5
81761 Twentynine Palms Highway, Twentynine Palms, CA
Todos Santos JoshuaDesertRetreats
BYO Tent@ OffGrid Joshua Tree Desert Campsite
BYO Tent@ OffGrid Joshua Tree Desert Campsite
Twentynine Palms, CA
BYO Tent@ OffGrid Joshua Tree Desert Campsite
The WKNDR - Less than 1 minute to the park entrance, secluded, stars 🌟
The WKNDR - Less than 1 minute to the park entrance, secluded, stars 🌟
Twentynine Palms, CA
The WKNDR - Less than 1 minute to the park entrance, secluded, stars 🌟
★Secluded Desert Retreat★ | Staycation | Fast WiFi
★Secluded Desert Retreat★ | Staycation | Fast WiFi
Twentynine Palms, CA
★Secluded Desert Retreat★ | Staycation | Fast WiFi
Private Desert Retreat with Rock Tub -3 BR/2Bath
Private Desert Retreat with Rock Tub -3 BR/2Bath
Twentynine Palms, CA
The price is $164 per night from Sep 26 to Sep 26
Private Desert Retreat with Rock Tub -3 BR/2Bath
Funky movie House, stunning views! 4 min to Joshua Tree park, Fire Pit & Pool
Funky movie House, stunning views! 4 min to Joshua Tree park, Fire Pit & Pool
Twentynine Palms, CA
The price is $207 per night from Sep 26 to Sep 26
Funky movie House, stunning views! 4 min to Joshua Tree park, Fire Pit & Pool
Welcome to Ocotillo Ranch- 1mile from JTNP!
Welcome to Ocotillo Ranch- 1mile from JTNP!
Twentynine Palms, CA
Welcome to Ocotillo Ranch- 1mile from JTNP!
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.