With its dreamy, sun-drenched landscapes, breathtaking rock formations and the Milky-Way lightning up the dark sky, it’s easy to fall in love with the Joshua Tree National Park.
Whether you’re an artist looking for inspiration, a couple seeking a weekend desert escape or a nature lover wanting to experience the world’s class stargazing- Joshua Tree is the place.
If you still have not visited this magical destination yet- here are the 10 reasons why you should add it to your bucket list!
1. Enjoy the golden hour from Keys View Road
Joshua Tree shows its real magic during the golden hour. And when watched from the Keys View Road, one of the most iconic viewpoints in the surroundings of Joshua Tree, the sunsets gain an entirely new meaning.
Park your car by the road, step outside and enjoy the sun going down over the most spectacular panoramic views of Coachella Valley, the San Andreas Fault, the Salton Sea, and the highest peak in Southern California, the San Gorgonio Mountain.
2. Experience the world’s class stargazing
With it’s high desert altitude and minimal light pollution, Joshua Tree is a place where you can watch the night sky sparke. If you’re a night photography lover, or simply love stargazing, you are up for the greatest treat!
For the ultimate stargazing experience, visit Joshua Tree in August during the Perseid meteor shower.
3. Spend a night in a stylish vintage Airstream
Joshua Tree is a place full of unique Airbnb options characterised by
stylish, homely yet vintage designs. If you’re an adventurous soul, pick yourself a 1970’s style airstream to spend a night in! With that music record on, a glass of wine in hand and a terrace overlooking the vast dreamy landscapes, your escape to Joshua Tree will be nothing but delightful.
One of the best vintage airstream rentals is Joshua Tree Acres, offering a variety of stylish cabins at very affordable prices.
4. Explore the diverse landscapes
Where the high Mojave Desert blends with the low Colorado Desert, you can see the unique mixture of landscape and ecosystems. The otherworldly landscapes of Joshua Tree can be described by smoothed boulders, unique rock formations such as the Arch and Skull Rock and vast plains stretching as far as the eye can see.
5. Take a scenic hike
Joshua Tree is full of treks for different-level hikers. Some of the most scenic routes include Ryan Mountain Trail, Barker Dam Nature Trail, Hidden Valley Nature Trail, Lost Palms Oasis Trail, Arch Rock Nature Trail, Fortynine Palms Oasis Trail, Lost Horse Mine Loop Trail, Split Rock loop Trail.
6. Pick your activity
There are quite a few activities you can choose from when staying in Joshua Tree. Except from hiking and exploring the picturesque landscapes, you can sign up for a day 4x4 tour around the park. The adrenaline lovers may want to take a closer look at the great selection of climbing tours and courses. Horseback riding is another option for travellers seeking activities within the park. Joshua Tree is also a playground for photographers. If you would like to take your photography to a different level, sign up for one of the workshops and learn how to master night and lifestyle shots!
7. Go camping!
With just over 500 campsites within the park, Joshua Tree is an oasis for all the adventurous souls wanting to put up a tent amongst the otherworldly landscapes.
Although the biggest campsites can be pre-booked in advance, the smaller ones operate on the first-come first-serve basis.
The prices for a campground per night start from $15 and go up to $25.
The campsites available for prior reservation include: Black Rock, Cottonwood, Indian Cove, Jumbo Rocks and Ryan.
The first-come campsites include: Belle, Hidden Valley, White Tank.
8. Observe the flora and the fauna
Joshua Tree National Park is a real treat for all the nature lovers, but not only when it comes to its landscapes. Get amused by the incredible variety of local flora and fauna! As the name indicates, the Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) are omnipresent within the park. Except from those twisted and unique palms, you can spot cacti everywhere you go in the JT. Make sure you don’t miss the Cholla Cactus Garden which is one of the highlights.
Joshua Tree National Park is also an incredible place for bird observation. Whenever you decide to visit the park, you can spot such birds as red-tailed hawk, Cooper’s hawk, mockingbird, Gambel’s quail or American kestrel.
9. Indulge in amazing food and live music
Although Joshua Tree National Park is an incredible outdoor experience, make sure you plan some time for the town itself. Keeping the vibe of an old American West, The Joshua Tree town is your perfect stop for food and live music experiences.
If your itinerary allows, take a 20-minute drive to Pioneertown to visit the iconic Pappy & Harriets!
10. Watch Joshua Tree explode in colours in spring!
Following winters with the higher rainfall, you may have a chance to see the Joshua Tree National Park explode with colours in spring! Visiting the site when the wildflowers such as Mojave Aster and Mariposa Lily is one of the best sights you can experience while exploring the desert.
Good to know:
What is the best time to visit Joshua the Tree National Park?
The best time to visit Joshua Tree is from mid-March to May or October to November.
Is Joshua Tree worth visiting?
Absolutely. Joshua Tree is not only full of nature wonders, dreamy trails, but also has plenty of activities to do around. You cannot miss it while road tripping around California or planning a weekend break!
How much time do I need in Joshua Tree National Park?
It is worth considering at least 2-3 days here at Joshua Tree National Park.
Is Joshua Tree National Park suitable for a day trip from LA?
The road distance between Joshua Tree National Park and Los Angeles is approximately 135 miles and takes anything between 2-2,5 hours. It is worth to consider at least 5 hours within the park if you're planning for a day trip only.