Joshua Tree NP – Keys View


What? : This popular destination, located on the edge of the elevated mountain range (at an elevation of 5,185 feet), provides panoramic views to the south and east, below you is the Coachella Valley and on the other side you can see San Jacinto Peak behind Palm Springs. The most recommended time to visit here is at sunset.


Related blogs:

Joshua Tree National Park – Visit planning

Joshua Tree NP – Geology Road (4x4 drive)

Joshua Tree NP – Barker Dam Nature Trail

Joshua Tree NP – Hidden Valley Nature Trail

Joshua Tree NP – Arch Rock Nature Trail

Joshua Tree NP – Cholla Cactus Garden Trail


Where? : Located at the end of Keys View Road, 19 miles from the west park entrance.

Google Map Link


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 park.


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 hand.


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 sunrise.


Due note 7: At winter evenings it can be windy and cold at the viewing point, come with the right cloth.


Due note 8: As I wrote the most recommended time to visit here is at sunset, but many others of the park visitors are doing the same. Parking can be challenging, do not come at last minute, come earlier and be patient until parking spot is available.


Due note 9: Keys View is one of the most easily accessible viewpoints in Joshua Tree. The viewpoint is just off the parking lot with a short, paved trail.


My thoughts: excellent place to visit and enjoy the view. From the viewpoint you will have a spectacular overlook of the Coachella Valley, the Salton Sea, Mt. San Jacinto, Mt. San Gorgonio, and the San Andreas fault.



The visit:


This viewpoint is located on the edge of the elevated area of Joshua Tree Park, at this point the southwest side of the ridge drops nearly a mile in elevation into the Coachella Valley that was created by the San Andreas Fault.

It is well worth the 20-minute drive from Park Boulevard junction down Keys View Road (9 miles).


From the view point you can see on your left the Salton Sea, which is 230 feet below sea level, the impressive 10,800-foot-high San Jacinto Peak behind Palm Springs, the I-10 corridor leading to LA covered with wind turbine farms. Further right, the snow-covered peak of 11,500-foot San Gorgonio Mountain, the tallest mountain in south of California, is clearly visible.


At sunset you will not be here alone but as the sun set in the west and darkness progress, with a cold winter weather you will have less and less people here.

I did stay for much longer after sunset to take some long exposure night pictures of the Coachella valley and highway far below the viewpoint and some trailing backlight of car driving in and out the park road…