What? : Joshua Tree
National Park is a true desert wilderness just a few hours outside Los Angeles.
About 2.8 million visitors come to the park each year to enjoy activities such
as hiking, camping, photography, rock climbing, and simply enjoying the serene
The Park highlights are probably the unique Mojave Desert Joshua
Trees Forests and the rock boulders formation. The park is open year-round and
the busy season runs from October through May.
Where? : Joshua Tree
National Park located in southern California, 140 miles east of Los Angeles.
From I-10, take state route 62 to the park west entrance stations via Joshua
Tree village, there is another entrance (and visitor center) at the city of
You can also
enter the park from the south directly off I-10 at Cottonwood Spring Visitor
Center, which is 25 miles east of Indio.
When ? : Late fall, winter
and spring is the preferred time to visit the Mojave desert, summer is hot.
Due note 1: Water - Always take
more than what you think you need, this is desert and temperature can be hot,
in summer this is extremely hot environment. There is no water available in the
Due note 2: Pets are not
permitted on any trails in the park, except for the paved Oasis of Mara Trail.
Due note 3: There is limited
cell service in Joshua Tree National Park, so make sure to have a park map on
Due note 4: No gas service
in the park, there are many options near the north and west entrance to the
park, make sure you have enough gas when driving into the park especially if
you are driving down to Highway I-10.
Due note 5: Most of Joshua
Tree trails have little to no cover from the sun, make sure you are coming prepared
especially at the hot summer.
Due note 6: Joshua Tree
National Park has 24 access; you can travel in the park at night or before
Due note 7: At winter evenings
it can be windy and cold at the Keys viewing point, come with the right cloth.
My thoughts: Last time I was
here was more than 25 years ago… I visit here during long weekend in mid-January
2022, and I came back with mixed feelings.
I arrived Joshua
Trees after visiting Mojave National Preserve to the north, there I almost did
not saw anyone, except at the large dunes (see my blog), arriving Joshua Trees
mid-day starting my visit at Arch Rock Nature Trail, I can’t find a parking lot
and I had to park on the side-road, and it was overcrowded at the trail. Not the
solitude experience I was expecting to have.
I’m happy to
see many others enjoying this amazing park but overall, it was overcrowded
especially at main trails after late morning hours.
Do not get me
wrong this is amazing park with many attractions, things to see or do and I enjoy
my two days visit here very much.
Plan You Visit:
desert ecosystems, the Mojave, and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree
variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong
winds and rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, Joshua Trees Forests,
piles of boulders features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in
Joshua Trees NP
has the typical south California high desert climate.
are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high around 85°F and
lows around 50°F. Winter brings cooler days, around 60°F and freezing nights. Summers
are hot, over 100°F during the day and not cooling much below 75°F at night.
of the park and the park name are the Joshua trees.
are not actual trees, but members of the yucca family. Joshua trees only grow
in the Mojave Desert.
The Mormons who
named the trees thought their outstretched branches resembled Joshua raising
These trees are
confined to altitude rage of about 2,500-6,000 feet above sea level, so they
can’t grow in lower valleys or high mountain slopes, and they do need sandy
soil to flourish.
How the unique rocks formations where created?
Joshua Tree National
Park is famous for its unique rock boulder formation, piles of stacked boulders
scutter across the park landscape.
How they were
The rock piles
began underground where molten magma rose from deep within the Earth. As the
granite cooled and crystallized underground, cracks formed horizontally and
vertically. The granite continued to uplift, where groundwater dissolves the
granite blocks, widening cracks and rounding edges. Eventually, the surface
soil eroded, leaving heaps of rounded shape rocks scattered across the land.
Center is in the north, right outside of the park off Route 62.
Visitor Center is west of the Oasis Visitor Center in the north, right outside
of the park off Route 62.
Visitor Center is at the southern section of the park, close to Pinto Basin
Road and Highway I-10.
Park visitor numbers and overcrowded
Located not so
far from the greater LA area and being recognized as major and unique nature
attraction help to establish the park popularity, the park is on the 10 Most
Visited list in 2020 and the most popular national park in Southern California.
the NPS more than 2.4 million people visited Joshua Tree National Park in 2020,
most of them during weekends.
and the park’s popularity continue to be a challenge.
in visitor number creates many problems: Long lines of cars waiting to get into
the park, at mid-day parking lots across the park at the different attractions
are always full, many people park their cars park at the road shoulders, hundreds
of people walking in the trails, all park 540 campsites are pre-booked.
Reservations and Permits:
are needed to enter Joshua Tree National Park.
are required for ranger-led tours of Keys Ranch.
campgrounds are first come, first served, whereas most others require
reservations during the peak season.
Side note: This
is the first and only time I saw in National Park website that scattering Ashes
is authorized with an approved permit. There is one location in Joshua Tree
National Park where the park is permitted to allow this activity.
designated nearly 558,000 acres of Joshua Tree National Park as wilderness.
A permit is not required for day hiking in the backcountry. To backcountry camp, you must park and register at a backcountry registration board. There is no fee. Your registration is your permit.
Loading and Restaurants:
There is no
lodging available within Joshua Tree National Park. However, there are many
places to stay in nearby communities.
I will recommend
sleeping at the north side of the park at the cities of Yucca Valley or Twentynine
Palms, there is only a short drive from the park to your hotel and you can
enter back the park the following early morning.
If you are staying
near Indio or Palm Spring than it is a long drive into the park.
There are no
restaurants or grocery stores inside Joshua Tree National Park, but nearby
communities provide these services.
Joshua Tree has
eight picnic areas
There are nine
campgrounds in Joshua Tree with 500 campsites, some need reservation and other (Hidden
Valley, White Tank, and Belle Campgrounds) are based on “first come first serve”
can be made the same day or up to 6 months in advance on recreation.gov.
Book your site
before entering the park. Cell service is unreliable and nonexistent in Joshua
Tree National Park.
With 2.4 million
visitors every year reserving a site is highly recommended especially if you
plan to camp on a holiday, a weekend, or any day of the week in the spring. The
busy spring season runs from November to May.
There are also number
of disperse camping options outside of the park in nearby BLM land:
BLM land near Twentynine
Palms: link to Google Map
BLM Joshua Tree
South: link to Google Map
Hiking Safety Tips and Equipment:
where you are going and when you plan to be back
Bring plenty of
food and water—even on short hikes
fluids—drink when you are thirsty
especially salty foods. Eat twice as much as normal.
Rest in the
Plan your day, avoid
hiking between 10am and 4pm during the summer.
Cary with you a
First Aid Kit
Paper Map -
while many trails are well-marked, maps are helpful tools.
Batteries - allows you to hike out during the evening or night.
Protection - hat and sunscreen to keep the sun off you and protect your skin.
At winter bring
warm Clothing, it can be very called at nights.
Stay away from
children, particularly around cacti and climbable rocks.
Do not rock climb
unless you are properly trained and equipped
Plan Your Visit:
Joshua Tree NP is
a large park, and you can’t really cover all it highlights in one day visit,
planning for at list 2 days trip.
Most of park
attractions are along the main road that cross the park west to southeast.
Plan your visit
according your night accommodation arrangements and your park entering point.
During my visit I manage to
see the below locations in less than 2 full days, but I did start my day very early
before sunrise and stay after sunset....
– Keys View
– Geology Road (4x4 drive)
– Barker Dam Nature Trail
– Hidden Valley Nature Trail
– Arch Rock Nature Trail
– Cholla Cactus Garden Trail
If possible, I recommend
visiting Cholla Cactus Garden Trail for sunrise and Keys View at sunset.
Try to do Barker
Dam Nature Trail or Hidden Valley Nature Trail early morning, they are very popular,
and parking can be a full at mid-day.
If you have
only one day than I do recommend hiking at list one of the following short and
easy trails Barker Dam or Hidden Valley. If you have time you can stop at the
not so far Skull Rock and Split Rock Loop Trail and before sunset drive to Keys
– Barker Dam Nature Trail
– Hidden Valley Nature Trail
– Arch Rock Nature Trail
Additional Hikes in the Park:
This is a huge
park with many different things to see and do, the below list is about hikes or
locations I did not visit yet so I did not cover them in my blogs:
- Skull Rock
- Split Rock Loop
- Ryan Mountain
- Maze Loop
- Wall Street
- Desert Queen
- Lost Horse Mine
- Keys Ranch
You're amazing since the article you've written is both engaging and informative. Thank you for sharing about things to do in Denver. Keep up the good work.ReplyDelete
CASINO - Las Vegas, NV Jobs - Jtm HubReplyDelete
CASINO. Las Vegas, NV. Find your 포항 출장마사지 perfect career at JTM 밀양 출장샵 Hub. Get a 100% 화성 출장마사지 bonus up to $1,000 and 문경 출장마사지 access the best jobs. 동두천 출장마사지
Excellent post. I really enjoy reading and also appreciate your work. This concept is a good way to enhance knowledge. Keep sharing this kind of articles, Thank you.Camping Newport OregonReplyDelete
You have referenced here incredible data here. I might want to say this is a very much informed article and furthermore gainful article for us. Continue to share this sort of articles, Thank you Behavioral summer camps for kidsReplyDelete