Joshua Tree National Park

A view of Joshua Tree National Park


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Spanning over 1,200 miles of southern California, Joshua Tree National Park is a sprawling landscape characterized by the collision of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. It’s named for the twisted, alien-looking plants that thrive there, which are actually a species of yucca. Along with cactus-dotted sweeps of sand, Joshua Tree also offers stunning mountain views and unique rock formations, forged by erosion coupled with the ancient movements of the park’s underlying tectonic plates. The park is situated nearby, though not on top of, the famous San Andreas fault line, and a number of parallel faults pass through the park itself, explaining its surreal and rugged vistas.

Because of Joshua Tree’s extreme size and the variability of its elevation -- which ranges from about 700 to well over 5,000 feet -- it’s hard to make general statements about the area’s weather. However, due to its southeastern California location and desert climate, the park boasts relatively comfortable daytime temperatures year round, with average highs hoving around 60 F even in January and February. The park seldom sees freezing temperatures, but the nights can get chilly, with temperatures between 30-40 F. And during the high summer months, daytime temperatures in the triple-digits are not unheard of.

Although Joshua Tree is quite remote, there are some small towns offering facilities and lodging in the immediate area. Joshua Tree National Park gateways exist at Twentynine Palms and the town of the same name; visitors can also explore the bigger nearby destinations of Palm Springs and Palm Desert.

Popular activities at Joshua Tree National Park include hiking, mountain biking, and backcountry camping; the area also offers climbing, bird watching, and stargazing opportunities. The park puts on a spectrum of ranger-led events and educational opportunities, as well as an annual Night Sky Festival in November. Click here to see the park’s full events calendar and learn more details.

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  • Spring 70-85 F
  • Summer 95-100 F
  • Fall 80-85 F
  • Winter 60-65 F
Location & Hours
  • Coming soon
Park Info
  • Joshua Tree National Park Private Vehicle: $30
  • Joshua Tree National Park Motorcycle: $25
  • Joshua Tree National Park Per Person: $15
Joshua Tree National Park Hiking Trails

Joshua Tree National Park Hiking Trails

Joshua Tree offers a wide range of hiking opportunities, from easy, accessible loop trails to strenuous multi-day backpacking adventures.

While carrying ample water, sunscreen, and nutrition is always important, in the desert, preparation is essential. Wear light, breathable, moisture-wicking clothing that offers the maximum amount of sun protection, and always carry more water than you think you’ll need. Lengthy, difficult hikes should not be attempted in the high summer heat.

Keep in mind, also, that Joshua Tree is home to a wide variety of fauna, some of which can pose a threat to your health and safety. Rattlesnakes, scorpions, and spiders all call the desert home, and many varieties are venomous. Always keep your distance from any wildlife you might encounter, and most importantly, always hike with a buddy!

These are just a few of the best hiking trails at Joshua Tree. For complete details, see the park page.


Things to do Outside Joshua Tree National Park

Things to do Outside Joshua Tree National Park

No one can wander the desert forever (though some of us would certainly like to try). When the relentless sunshine means it’s time to seek succor and sustenance -- and maybe a show -- here’s where to head in the Joshua Tree National Park area.




RV Resorts & Campsites in Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree offers eight on-site campgrounds, all of which offer at least some accommodation for RVs. Specific facilities, size restrictions, and fees vary; please see each campground’s dedicated page, linked below, for full details.

None of the on-site campgrounds offer hookups, and they often fill up on weekends from October through May (and during the week from February through May). We suggest you reserve a spot early if possible -- though most campsites in the park are available only on a first-come, first-served basis. You might also plan your visit during the off-season (June through September).

There are also a number of off-site, privately-owned campgrounds to choose from, as well as BLM land on which dispersed camping is legal both north and south of the park.

RV Resorts & Campsites in Joshua Tree National Park

Campgrounds Near Joshua Tree National Park

Find the Best Dumpstations Near Joshua Tree National Park

Find the Best Dumpstations Near Joshua Tree National Park

An unglamorous but necessary aspect of RVing? Dump stations. Knowing where the best dump stations are near you will allow for more ease and less stress in your travels. Dump stations are an easy and convenient way to clear waste from your RV. Use our guides to find dump stations on your route, so you can get back to the good stuff – exploring, relaxing, and making memories on the road.

Dumpstations Near Joshua Tree National Park

How to get to Joshua Tree National Park

How to get to Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree is serviced by the nearby Palm Springs airport, though you could also fly into larger hubs like Los Angeles or San Diego.

From LA, take I10 east to California Highway 62, also known as the Joshua Tree Highway. Avoid relying on GPS, which can get you turned around in these remote desert areas; check the official park website for a map and complete directions.

Although tent and car camping is a great way to experience this wild landscape, an RV offers the best combination of comfort and convenience. (And with that beating desert sun and abundant sand, you’ll be grateful for the opportunity to turn on the AC or grab a shower.)

If you don’t have an RV of your own, you can check out the RV rentals available in your area. In some cases, you can also rent a trailer and have it delivered and set up for you before your arrival.

FAQ Icon
Frequently Asked Questions
    How large is Joshua Tree National Park?

    Joshua Tree National Park is 1,242 square miles, or 795,156 acres. The park includes parts of two deserts - the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert.

    Do you have to reserve a camping spot at Joshua Tree National Park?

    It is not required that you reserve a camping spot at Joshua Tree National Park, but it is highly recommended. You can make reservations at Black Rock, Cottonwood, Indian Cove, Jumbo Rocks, and Ryan Campgrounds. The Belle, Hidden Valley, and White Tank Campgrounds are all first-come, first served.

    Are pets allowed at Joshua Tree National Park?

    Yes, pets are allowed at Joshua Tree National Park. Pets are not allowed on hiking trails, in the backcountry, or in park buildings. However, there are many unpaved roads where pets can walk. Joshua Tree can get very hot, so bring plenty of water and be aware of how hot the surfaces are that your pet is walking on.

    What are the top things to do in Joshua Tree National Park?

    Top things to do at Joshua Tree National Park include hiking the Hidden Valley Nature Trail, checking out Keys View, and visiting the Cholla Cactus Garden. There are many other trails for hiking in the park, as well as off-road trails, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities.

    What is the best time of year to visit Joshua Tree National Park?

    The best time to visit Joshua Tree National Park is between March and May, or October to November. Joshua Tree is open year-round, but the summer temperatures can be scorching, and spring and fall have the most pleasant weather.