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Joshua Tree National Park

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Overview

Joshua Tree National Park boasts an impressive, vast, and unique landscape. Its 800,000 acres encompass two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado. Visitors will find some of the most interesting geologic displays found in California’s deserts, ranging from rugged mountains of twisted rock to exposed granite monoliths that testify to the tremendous earth forces that shaped and formed this land. Playas, arroyos, bajadas, alluvial fans, pediments, desert varnish, granites, aplite, and gneiss interact to form a giant mosaic of stunning beauty and complexity. A fascinating variety of plants and animals also make their home in this land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California. Come explore for yourself!

To learn more about Joshua Tree National Park, visit www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitor Centers:
  • Joshua Tree Visitor Center: Open 8 am to 5 pm, daily.
  • Oasis Visitor Center: Open 8:30 am to 5 pm, daily.
  • Cottonwoood Visitor Center: Open 8:30 am to 4 pm, daily.
  • Black Rock Nature Center: Open 8 am to 4 pm, October through May.

Visiting Tips

Joshua Tree National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Visitation typically increases during the more moderate temperatures in the fall, peaks during the spring wildflower season, and declines during the heat of summer.

Fees & Passes:
To learn more about park fees, click here.
  • Purchase an annual pass for all national parks sites, $80
  • Camping & Lodging

    Camping:
    There are nine campgrounds located in the park. Most campsites are available on a first come, first served basis. During the busy season from October through May, reservations may be made for individual or family sites at Black Rock and Indian Cove Campgrounds. Group campsites should be reserved in advance. It is very likely for campgrounds to fill on weekends from fall through spring. To learn more about camping in the park, visit the park's website.

    • White Tank Campground: 15 sites. Available on a first come, first served basis.
    • Jumbo Rocks Campground: 124 sites. Available on a first come, first served basis.
    • Belle Campground: 18 sites. Available on a first come, first served basis.
    • Ryan Campground: 31 sites. Available on a first come, first served basis.
    • Hidden Valley Campground: 44 sites.Available on a first come, first served basis.
    • Indian Cove Campground: 101 sites. Available on a first come, first served basis June - September.
    • Reservations can be made October - May, online or by calling 1 (877) 444-6777.
    • Black Rock Campground: 99 sites. Available on a first come, first served basis June - September. Reservations can be made October - May, online or by calling 1 (877) 444-6777.
    • Sheep Pass Group Campground: 6 sites. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1 (877) 444-6777.
    • Cottonwood Campground: 62 sites. Available on a first come, first served basis. 3 group sites. Reservations for group campsites can be made online or by calling 1 (877) 444-6777.

    Backcountry Camping:
    Backcountry camping is also an option for those looking to extend their stay in the park. Visit the park's website to learn more about backcountry camping rules and regulations.

    Lodging:
    There is no lodging available within Joshua Tree National Park. However, there are many options in the nearby towns. For more, information click here.

    Food & Drink

    There are no restaurants or grocery stores located in the park. A variety of dining options can be found in the nearby towns of 29 Palms, Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, and Indio.

    Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

    Guided Tours:
    Joshua Tree National Park offers a variety of ranger-led programs that vary by season. All programs, unless otherwise specified, are free and open to the public. To learn more about these ranger-led programs and to see the current events calendar, click here.

    REI Adventures:
    REI offers over 30 national park trips led by expert guides capable of taking you off the beaten path to discover hidden gems that many visitors never see.

    Check out REI Adventures' national park offerings here.

    Other Activities

    Joshua Tree National Park is home to a multitude of outdoor activities. Recreational opportunities include backpacking, camping, bird-watching, horseback riding, photography, stargazing, and wildflower viewing. No matter your interest, this beautiful desert park is sure to exceed your expectations whether you're planning your first visit to a national park or your fiftieth. Additionally, be sure to check out the world-class rock climbing and bouldering in the park. For those looking to extend their adventure beyond the park, check out the opportunities for mountain biking up the road in Palm Springs.

    Maps & Guidebooks

    To download a variety of free maps and brochures to help plan your trip, click here.

    Gems in Joshua Tree National Park - 10

    Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Gems

    gem Favorite Eastside or backside of Baker Dam facing N. Nice reflections in the water. Lots of people taking photos of each other.

    Barker Dam

    (31) Twentyn…, CA
    gem Favorite Droves of cholla are highlighted by the setting sun at Cholla Cactus Garden. Photo credit: NPS/Brad Sutton.

    Cholla Cactus Garden

    (36) Twentyn…, CA
    gem Favorite The clouds erupt in wonderful colors as we reach the summit of Mt. Ryan.

    Ryan Mountain

    (18) Twentyn…, CA
    gem Favorite Milky Way over Arch Rock

    Arch Rock

    (16) Twentyn…, CA
    gem Favorite Keys View, Joshua Tree National Park.

    Keys View

    (23) Sky Valley, CA
    gem Favorite Skull Rock peeks up through the surrounding boulders. Photo credit: NPS/Robb Hannawacker.

    Skull Rock

    (29) Twentyn…, CA

    Recommended Routes in Joshua Tree National Park - 14

    Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Recommended Routes

    Favorite A sunset settles over the start of the Hidden Valley Nature Trail. Photo credit: NPS/Brad Sutton.
    Easy/Intermediate

    Hidden Valley Nature Trail

    1.0 mi 1.7 km 112' Up 34.11 m Up 111' Down 33.97 m Down

    Twentyn…, CA
    Favorite The clouds erupt in wonderful colors as we reach the summit of Mt. Ryan.
    Intermediate/Difficult

    Ryan Mountain Trail

    2.9 mi 4.7 km 1,029' Up 313.74 m Up 1,028' Down 313.4 m Down

    Twentyn…, CA
    Favorite Eastside or backside of Baker Dam facing N. Nice reflections in the water. Lots of people taking photos of each other.
    Easy/Intermediate

    Barker Dam Nature Trail

    1.3 mi 2.1 km 49' Up 14.81 m Up 48' Down 14.77 m Down

    Twentyn…, CA
    Favorite Lost palms are not lost any more. We have found them!
    Intermediate/Difficult

    Lost Palms Oasis

    7.3 mi 11.8 km 1,012' Up 308.33 m Up 1,011' Down 308.17 m Down

    Indio, CA
    Favorite Dodge the Joshua Trees.
    Intermediate

    Lost Horse Mine Loop

    6.4 mi 10.4 km 664' Up 202.44 m Up 679' Down 206.96 m Down

    Twentyn…, CA
    Favorite In the spring, flowers bloom alongside the trail. It adds a little bit of color to the desert landscape.
    Intermediate

    Fortynine Palms Oasis Trail

    3.1 mi 5.0 km 628' Up 191.54 m Up 629' Down 191.58 m Down

    Twentyn…, CA
    Favorite Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park.
    Easy/Intermediate

    Skull Rock Nature Trail

    1.8 mi 2.8 km 147' Up 44.75 m Up 147' Down 44.85 m Down

    Twentyn…, CA
    Favorite Joshua Tree National Park.
    Easy

    Wall Street Mill Trail

    2.3 mi 3.7 km 79' Up 24.1 m Up 79' Down 24.04 m Down

    Twentyn…, CA
    Favorite The view back to Cap Rock at sunset is spectacular. Photo credits: NPS/Brad Sutton.
    Easy/Intermediate

    Cap Rock Nature Trail

    0.4 mi 0.7 km 10' Up 3.19 m Up 11' Down 3.28 m Down

    Twentyn…, CA

    Joshua Tree National Park Hiking

    • 416 Miles 670 Kilometers of Trail
    • 14 Recommended Routes
    • 10 Gems Gems
    • 59 Easy Trails Easy Trails
    • 61 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
    • 4 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
    Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Share what you know about this area!

    Areas Within Joshua Tree National Park

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    Trails in Joshua Tree National Park - 110

    Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Trails

    37.6 mi 60.5 km #1California Riding and Hiking Trail
    Easy/Intermediate
    Yucca Valley, CA
    Easy/Intermediate
    Yucca Valley, CA
    8.3 mi 13.3 km #2Boy Scout Trail
    Intermediate
    Joshua Tree, CA
    Intermediate
    Joshua Tree, CA 11 
    1.7 mi 2.7 km #3Johnny Lang Connector
    Intermediate
    Joshua Tree, CA
    Intermediate
    Joshua Tree, CA
    0.3 mi 0.4 km #4Fan Canyon View
    Easy/Intermediate
    Sky Valley, CA
    Easy/Intermediate
    Sky Valley, CA
    4.9 mi 7.9 km #5West Side Loop Trail
    Intermediate
    Yucca Valley, CA
    Intermediate
    Yucca Valley, CA
    7.1 mi 11.5 km #6Stubbe Springs Loop Trail
    Intermediate
    Sky Valley, CA
    Intermediate
    Sky Valley, CA
    2.3 mi 3.7 km #7Willow Hole Trail
    Intermediate
    Twentynine Palms, CA
    Intermediate
    Twentynine Palms, CA
    2.0 mi 3.2 km #8Split Rock Loop Trail
    Intermediate
    Twentynine Palms, CA
    Intermediate
    Twentynine Palms, CA 18 
    3.0 mi 4.8 km #9North View Trail
    Intermediate
    Joshua Tree, CA
    Intermediate
    Joshua Tree, CA
    3.2 mi 5.2 km #10Quail Springs Trail
    Intermediate
    Joshua Tree, CA
    Intermediate
    Joshua Tree, CA

    Photos of Joshua Tree National Park - 300

    Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Photos

    Milky Way over Arch Rock
    Feb 1, 2018 near Twentyn…, CA
    The clouds erupt in wonderful colors as we reach the summit of Mt. Ryan.
    Feb 23, 2017 near Twentyn…, CA
    Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park.
    Apr 2, 2020 near Twentyn…, CA
    The light fades on Ryan Mountain.
    Mar 28, 2017 near Twentyn…, CA
    Milky Way and Arch Rock
    Feb 1, 2018 near Twentyn…, CA
    Droves of cholla are highlighted by the setting sun at Cholla Cactus Garden. Photo credit: NPS/Brad Sutton.
    May 25, 2017 near Twentyn…, CA
    Arch Rock!
    Mar 19, 2016 near Twentyn…, CA
    Joshua Tree National Park
    Apr 2, 2020 near Twentyn…, CA