Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
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  • LeeAnne
    5 contributions
    Road to Joshua Tree - Route 62
    Just two hours in live from the coast, Joshua tree is a stargazing hotspot, particularly if you get there around the new moon. There are hikes for all. Ability levels can generally be satisfied from road tours of the varying sites, to expert technical rock, climbing for the hipsters in your crowd. Rangers are knowledgeable about weather and humidity so enlist one to go see whatever works for your logistics. I favor Mt Ryan at dawn or dusk, Split rock and Barker Dam although the oasis hikes are better for the intrepid souls. Water and a hat are de riguer and some of our crew liked their hiking boots and poles as much. With three significant access points, the surrounding areas offer ample old western vibes. But there are also excellent coffee shops, fancy bakeries, good local fare, and more varieties of dates than you can imagine. Try to hit the farmers market in twenty nine palms, where I purchased my winter hat and Pokémon masks. Campbell Hill bakery and La Copine up the road are well worth the wait. Tell Travis I say hello and thank his wife for the pea and potato curry which helped me get safely home. If you go to Pioneertown stop and have a stiff drink and tacos. Lovely humans can be desert rats, especially coastal elites looking for a new biome in the winter. But the desert is all bout the light so be outside as much as possible. The desolation and beauty will remind you we are not ever alone.
    Visited December 2022
    Traveled with friends
    Written December 14, 2022
  • Kathy_56_jb
    Chicago, Illinois141 contributions
    Great day trip/drivable park
    Totally awesome day, with spectacular, even other-worldly landscapes. We made it a day trip from our resort in Palm Desert, about a 45 minute drive, entering at the southern gate (Cottonwood). Drove the Pinto Basin Road, slowly, stopping frequently along the way, to the Cholla Cactus Garden. So cool. Then onto the incredible rock formations, including Arch Rock, Skull Rock, etc. did a short walk through Skull Rock area on both sides of the road. Then headed west to Cap Rock, again with stops along the way. Took the road south to Keys View, a short drive distance, and the views are spectacular and well worth the detour. Then headed back northwest towards to West entrance/exit. The roads are in excellent condition, the scenery just beautiful, the Joshua trees are a sight to see. Restrooms clean and plentiful at various picnic sites. Plenty of easy, short walking trails high suited our abilities. If in the area, this is a must. And since it is possible to drive the entire park in a day, kids,molder folks, and those with mobility limits can still enjoy the experience. Pack lunch and snacks.
    Visited December 2022
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 14, 2022
  • FLtrotter
    St. Augustine, Florida261 contributions
    Unique ecosystem worth a visit must be respected
    Pristine nature could be in Dr Seuss’ land. Rock formations so unique, and a few folks were bouldering. Wildlife not so abundant but it could require sitting and waiting at different times to catch a glimpse especially of birds. Winter a good time to visit with daytime very comfortable. Of course the Disney crowds make it challenging to visit NPs these days unless getting off the beaten path. Maybe NPS to start a system requiring reservations booked years in advance good for a once a lifetime visit. These parks are too rare and fragile to let hordes of people come trampling thru everyday.
    Visited December 2022
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 22, 2022
  • Canadi-Lynne
    Edmonton, Canada167 contributions
    Hot Spot In The Desert!
    Unlike anything else I have ever seen! This California section of the Mojave desert is fascinating, with all sorts of plant life that are unique to the arid, hot, and dry climates of the desert. The Joshua Trees (yes there are actual Joshua Trees, it's not just a name) are so cool and served many purposes throughout history. I highly recommend you wear closed toed footwear, as being a wilderness area, you can encounter various bugs or snakes. Treat it as any other hiking destination even if the terrain seems less treacherous. Make sure you grab a map as you go through the entrance so you don't miss anything as there are many treasures to see here. I would highly recommend adding this to your itinerary and try to overnight so you have time to fully enjoy all it has to offer!
    Visited July 2022
    Written January 3, 2023
  • IanThomas84
    Ilford, United Kingdom275 contributions
    Great place to visit between places
    A lovely drive was had through this park. Lots of places to park and take in the views, or to use as a base for hiking. We just drove through for an hour on our way to Vegas. Buying a ticket for the car was simple, and you could show the ranger the ticket on your phone. The views are desolate but also green, which I did not expect. I recommend going here.
    Visited August 2022
    Written January 6, 2023
  • ptm2
    97 contributions
    Great family park
    Very unique national park. Great rock formations and Joshua trees. This is also great for families. No real long hikes. But for people with high energy they can rock scramble around while grandma just walks the path. Would recommend skull rock. The rock is nothing, but the scrambling is great. Hidden valley is another great spot
    Visited January 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written January 18, 2023
  • travelingfamily4Ma
    715 contributions
    Palm Springs to JTNP day trip
    We went to JYNP on Jan. 17, 2023. It was a nice, mostly sunny day, about 50 degrees. It was windy, so it felt a little cooler. We stopped at Crossroads Cafe in Joshua Tree for a hearty breakfast. Then we stopped at the JT Visitor and Cultural Center before driving to the North Entrance in 29 Palms. No traffic at all heading in to the park. Our first stop was the Cholla Gardens- very cool. Short path to take and spent less than 1/2 hour there. We then backtracked and drove to the Arch Rock and Heart Rock trail. We spent about 50 minutes there exploring on the trail and doing a little rock scrambling. Very fun area. Then we drove down the road to Split Rock. This was the only time in the day that we had any trouble with parking. Luckily a car pulled out after a while and we were able to get a spot. We had a snack in the car and used the bathroom. We decide not to walk the trail there and headed on to Skull Rock and the Discovery Trail. Skull rock and Jumbo Rocks were on one side of the road so we looked at those. Then we crossed the street to Discovery Trail. Things were not super well marked and it looked like there were multiple paths to follow- so I would definitely recommend the AllTrails app that keeps you on course. Lots of rocks and nooks and crannies to explore- we probably spent 45 minutes here. The next stop was Hall of Horrors. It is a short loop trail but we probably spent an hour there exploring the slot canyons and climbing the rocks. It was another fun area. By this time it was about 3:45 and we decided to head out. There were a lot of other areas we had wanted to explore, but maybe another time! Most of the major stops had bathrooms. This particular day was not crowded at all. With the exception of Split rock we were able to easily park at any stop we felt like. We found ourself doing less than we had planned, but spending more time at each trail than we thought we would. The rock climbing/scrambling was great! The trails were gravel which was easy to walk on. I think we saw quite a bit, but there is definitely more to explore. Fun day!
    Visited January 2023
    Written January 18, 2023
  • SUEBIDOUX
    Dunham, Canada1,212 contributions
    Fantastic diversified national park,a must when in the region
    Second time to Joshua Tree wonderful park,get your map at visitor Center to decide which hicking trails are suited for you.Love that the park offers different geological marvels so intriguing.Scull rock,divided rock,king views…A must when in the region.we did it as a day trip from Palm Springs.
    Visited January 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 21, 2023
  • Lori M
    Wisconsin93 contributions
    Unique!
    Enjoyed this unique National Park over 2 days in January. Weather was cool and sunny, allowing for comfortable hikes. Not too busy in winter. Favorite parts were cholla cactus garden and skull place.
    Visited January 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 27, 2023
  • AmosRedux
    Oshkosh, Wisconsin558 contributions
    The Joshua Tree is not actually a tree
    We spent four days here in January. It was cold (40s and 50s). We also had full sunshine. We participated in one ranger led tour and did three hikes on our own. Despite the cold, our adventures were enjoyable. We had the proper clothing and equipment.
    Visited January 2023
    Written February 5, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Chris E
Fort Wayne, IN81 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
Unique rock formations including skull rock and lots of cactus gardens in this amazing park. I loved coming here in late fall as there was never a problem with parking or having to wait to do anything and the weather was perfect low 80’s.
Written 20 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DemiHale1
United States1,880 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
The United States has many beautiful National Parks and Joshua Tree is one of them! Really stunning desert landscape with unusual trees and cactus and rock formations. Plenty of spots to stop and get out and take pictures. The park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You are welcome to drive in and out at any time.
There is an entrance fee, but sometimes the fee booth is closed. You may be asked to show your pass or pay the entrance fee on your way out. Disabled visitors can get a free pass presenting disability paperwork at the fee booth.
Reservations are not required for entrance. There are no gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, or hotels. Bring all your own food, water, and supplies. There is no water available in the interior of the park.
Cell phone reception is very limited.
Pets are not allowed on trails. They must always be on a leash and can't be more than 100 feet from a road. I did bring my dog and had no issues.
The park can be crowded on holidays, weekends from Oct-May, and during spring break season (mid-Feb-April). Be prepared for long lines, limited parking, busy trails, and full campgrounds. You can camp, check the website for rules and fees. It really is a beautiful and serene place!
Written 13 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gurugilly
Nottingham57 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
We visited at the start of November with the temperature in the low 70’s though the dry atmosphere made it feel hotter. Wouldn’t like to do any serious walking in the height of summer. No water or food in the park so come self sufficient. Entered by the West Entrance which gives access to some main areas. Worth downloading the NP app and checking for Ranger guided walks and talks (usually free) either on the app or at the visitor centre. We did a 2 hour, there and back walk up Ryan Mountain, well defined trails but the heat makes a 3 mile walk feel more exhausting, so there are few popular walks longer than 3/4 miles.
Despite the heat, it’s worth wearing long trousers and sleeves because of the sun and spikey plants!
Written 3 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cazz K
145 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
Fantastic. Can’t find the words to sum up this amazing place. Joshua trees absolutely amazing so did. Cactus garden in the middle of the park a great place to visit. Many weird cactus plants, very sharp so don’t touch. Went in late October which was great as it wasn’t packed with tourists.

Written 2 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kelly D
2 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
Sky Watcher Tours! Great night! Adam was so informative and engaging! His passion pulled us in! Hot cocoa and wool ponchos was a great touch for a chilly night even though we were prepared for cool temps. Thank you for a perfect night!
Written 17 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sui_Generis94
Phoenix, AZ2 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
The national park was beautiful and amazing. Only two days, really, is needed. It's like being on another planet! The town of JT was a bit odd. I can't really describe it - except for odd. I'm not sure we would go back except to stop in the park for hiking for a day.
Written 12 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike Siesing
19 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
This was my 2nd visit to JT, but my wife's first.
This is an amazing, underrated NP.
It's named for the Joshua Trees - but the real reason for exploring are the unique rock formations.
We tented at Hidden Valley. Highly recommend this campsite IN the park.
Do NOT go to Black Rock, which is listed on the NP website, but is NOT in Joshua Tree NP!
Written 1 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

runner24
Orlando, FL1,515 contributions
Sep 2023 • Solo
I arrived at the north entrance of Joshua Tree National Park early on a Friday morning, just a few weeks after Hurricane Hilary had passed through the area. To my surprise, the aftermath of the storm had brought forth a vibrant display of wildflowers at higher elevations. The desert floor was blanketed in a stunning carpet of yellow blooms, a sight that truly took my breath away.
Despite my concerns, the park wasn't overly crowded during my visit, although I've heard from other reviews that it can get quite busy. It's possible that visiting on a weekday made a difference, but I can't say for sure.
I embarked on a hike to Baker Dam with the hope of spotting the elusive Bighorn Sheep, as someone had mentioned in the parking lot that they were in the vicinity. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch a glimpse of them. Nevertheless, the hike itself was quite enjoyable, featuring a captivating section with Petroglyphs that added to the experience.
Another must-visit spot within the park is the Cholla Cactus Garden. Here, you'll find yourself surrounded by the surreal sight of Teddy Bear Cholla Cacti, creating a truly unique and memorable landscape. Just exercise caution and avoid the needles, as they can lead to infections if you happen to get pricked.
Finally, no visit to Joshua Tree National Park would be complete without stopping at Skull Rock. As its name suggests, this rock formation is a fascinating natural wonder that resembles a skull, making for an intriguing photo opportunity.
In conclusion, Joshua Tree National Park offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, unique landscapes, and intriguing wildlife. Whether you're drawn by the wildflower blooms, the Petroglyphs, the Cholla Cactus Garden, or Skull Rock, there's something here for everyone to enjoy. Don't miss out on this extraordinary desert oasis. Enjoy your visit!
Written 25 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shubh K
Vienna, VA490 contributions
Jun 2023 • Family
This national park is only a few hours from LA and San Diego. It's rugged and isolated. Has some great hiking and, of course, those famous Joshua Trees. If you go in summer, be very prepared for heat. I went in June and fortunately it wasn't as bad as it could be.
Written 17 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jamie_sue_12
Unadilla, NY103 contributions
Sep 2023 • Couples
This is my daughter's favorite trail so she was excited to show us during our visit. Being a weekday, the park wasn't very crowded. This loop was challenging enough to feel like a legitimate hike but not difficult. Not appropriate for people who avoid steps and incline. Even starting around 9:15, it feels terribly hot under the blazing sun. Not much shade, but there are places you can stop for a minute in the shade of a tree. I love this trail for the variety of plant life and the rock formations.
Written 8 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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