Within the borders of the Joshua Tree National Park, two deserts meet to create a beautiful landscape. Both the Mojave and the Colorado deserts lend a variety of indigenous plants and animals to the nearly 800,000-acre park. The park attracts over 1.25 million visitors each year with its amazing geological features and vast wilderness. Offering endless opportunities for adventure and exploration, Joshua Tree National Park should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Backpacking & Hiking
With a plethora of trails and wilderness, Joshua Tree National Park is a hiker and backpacker’s dream. Trails of varying length and terrain provide a little something for hikers of every skill level. Day hikes vary from short and leisurely to strenuous and demanding. If your preference is backpacking, Joshua Tree National Park is the perfect destination with a network of long trails and abundance of places to set up camp for the night. Backpacking requires registering at any one of the thirteen backcountry registration boards within the park.
For those who wish to learn more about the Joshua Tree National Park ecosystem, the park offers a variety of ranger programs. Guided tours, patio talks, and evening programs are a few ways in which you can gain more knowledge about how humans, wildlife, and vegetation have survived in Joshua Tree National Park, as well as how certain geological forces have shaped the landscape. One of the most popular tours, and one of our favorites, offered in Joshua Tree is the Keys Ranch Walking Tour. This tour requires a reservation, so check program availability beforehand.
With beautiful, towering rock formations, Joshua Tree National Park is a rock climbers dream. The park is famous for traditional crack, slab, and steep-face climbing. Over 400 climbing formations and 8,000 climbing routes provide options for climbers of every skill level. A climbing guide will come in handy for new visitors and can be purchased from the park visitor centers. For more information, including climbing closures and safety instructions, click here.
With its abundance of bird species, Joshua Tree National Park is a popular destination for bird watchers. The park has a number of resident bird species that can be spotted year-round, such as the greater roadrunner, mockingbird, cactus wren, and Gambel’s quail. Other species migrate to the park during different seasons. Stop by the visitor center to pick up a bird checklist. The rangers can give you a better idea of what species you are likely to spot during the season you’re visiting, and about any interesting or unusual sightings that have been reported.
Escape the city life and head to Joshua Tree, where you can look up at the stars and be amazed by the view. The night sky in Joshua Tree National Park is not polluted by bright lights and bustling highways. For a genuine look into space, any corner of the vast wilderness park will do. Tour the Milky Way with just a pair of binoculars. With a star chart in hand, you can easily identify different stars, constellations, and planets.
Joshua Tree National Park offers 9 different campgrounds, with around 500 developed campsites to accommodate individual travelers, families, and large groups. Many of the campgrounds are first-come, first-served, but reservations are available for Black Rock and Indian Cove campgrounds from October through May. Each campground offers different amenities, such as water, potable water, and dump stations. RV hookups are not available in any campground within the park; however, RVs and trailers of a maximum of 25 feet are permitted at Hidden Valley and White Tank campgrounds. For a full list of campgrounds, amenities, and camping regulations, click here.
With these available activities and more, Joshua Tree National Park has become a world famous destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. This national park is the perfect place to find your next outdoor adventure!