Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
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  • NotALostWanderer
    937 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spring day in the park
    Fantastic day in Joshua Tree! The road through the park hits all the highlights. Spring is the time to go because everything's in bloom and temperatures are ideal. Bring more water than you think you need and treat it like a life-or-death situation. The desert depletes you so quickly.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 19 April 2023
  • Samcat79
    Savage, Minnesota286 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Love the Cactus Gardens
    The park ranger in the visitor center was so helpful. I hadn't planned anything and just came to visit and she gave me a great itinerary to follow while I was there for the day. I found this extremely helpful. Loved the cactus gardens and the overall scenery. Make sure you go up to Keys view.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 30 April 2023
  • Helene B
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing!
    I went to Joshua Tree for the long Memorial Day weekend and I couldn’t recommend it more! It such a beautiful landscape with many trees unique to Joshua Tree as well as beautiful skies both during the day, sunset and night stars. And let’s not forget about the famous Skull rock! I definitely recommend!
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 2 June 2023
  • Hans
    Kwadendamme, The Netherlands2,917 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of the most beautiful ever visited
    We entered the park from the north, as we left via the south I can confirm that the north is far more beautiful. We walked the hidden valley and the Barker Dam trail and they were easy to moderate and beautiful. Also the Cholla garden is great, although not really a trail, more of a walk. Skull rock is nice. Entrance is 30 USD for a car which seems reasonable to me.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 June 2023
  • ChickenParm41
    777 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great National Park!
    We drove through the park from I-10 to Joshua Tree. It was a really nice drive. We picnicked in the park. We stopped at all the prime spots. Great views! The Joshua Trees were really cool. So different than the Saguaros. Beware the Bees! Lot's of bees in certain areas.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 22 July 2023
  • LabmeisterII
    Morro Bay, California172 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beastly, in a good way
    We came in the middle of the brutal July heat wave- 106 when we arrived-greeted by the sign at the southern visitor center that said 'don't die today'...really. And that was a good way to start. It is fantastic to hike and it is very easy to go a mile and loose track of time and distance. The park is full of small trails and even more spaces that lend themselves to personal exploration. In our late 60's, we always are aware of our location and have plenty of water, and even food and shade if needed. The very arid southeast is a deep bowl with amazing boulder piles. The Joshua Trees start as one enters higher elevations to northwest. The north central edge we had done a few years ago, so we kept more to the north western edge that has dramatic viewpoints out over the Coachella Valley at Keys View.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 16 August 2023
  • Lorie M
    Eustis, Florida63 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Joshua Tree is beautiful
    We went to the visitors center, picked up a map, you will also need a park pass $30/day or get an annual pass for unlimited parks for $80, it’s good for the year, all national parks. We went in late August so it was pretty in the morning but hot as we were leaving the park. A nice drive, lots of hiking opportunities. Beautiful park.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 28 August 2023
  • Ali G
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hot, gorgeous, hot
    Amazing park! I have not spent much time in the Southwest USA and so was fascinated with the scenery, vegetation, and wildlife. We took a few gentle hikes and a ranger led walk at sunset which was good. A few of us did take a more strenuous hike in the morning. I brought more water than I thought I needed but it wasn’t nearly enough. That hot August sun was no joke. I only wish I had more time.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 31 August 2023
  • jamie_sue_12
    Unadilla, New York103 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hidden Valley Nature Trail
    This is my daughter's favorite trail so she was excited to show us during our visit. Being a weekday, the park wasn't very crowded. This loop was challenging enough to feel like a legitimate hike but not difficult. Not appropriate for people who avoid steps and incline. Even starting around 9:15, it feels terribly hot under the blazing sun. Not much shade, but there are places you can stop for a minute in the shade of a tree. I love this trail for the variety of plant life and the rock formations.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 September 2023
  • Shubh K
    Vienna, Virginia499 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Desert adventure
    This national park is only a few hours from LA and San Diego. It's rugged and isolated. Has some great hiking and, of course, those famous Joshua Trees. If you go in summer, be very prepared for heat. I went in June and fortunately it wasn't as bad as it could be.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 17 September 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles819 reviews
Excellent
672
Very good
114
Average
27
Poor
3
Terrible
3

Rachelle C
38 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Went last week to Joshua Tree National Park for the first time. The rock formations are beautiful. We especially enjoyed the trail to "arch rock" and "heart rock," which are near each other at the end of the same easy trail. We drove down from Las Vegas and so didn't arrive until noon. Parking was a little tricky, but frankly the park rangers made parking more difficult than it should have been. We found easy parking spots in several parking lots marked as "full." As we were leaving one lot, there was a ranger at the head of the parking lot actively turning people away from what he said was a full lot. We told him there were at least 10 open spots. I don't think he cared. We spent a full afternoon here, and it was probably enough for us.
Written 10 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarah G
Harrogate, UK1,538 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Not as many hiking options as some other National Parks but loved the scenery, we drove round the park and did shorter hikes around key sights.
Written 7 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL18,095 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Like Saguaro, here the most dominant plant of the Mojave Desert gives its name to another desert National Park. While the park is mostly thought of as a Mojave due to the Joshua Trees and most of its attractions, half the park is in the Colorado Desert a subset of the Sonoran Desert, oddly where Joshua trees don't grow. While the famous Joshua Tree, really an overgrown agave, grow across the high desert Mojave, they are thickest and largest here in the park, especially Lost Horse Valley. However, the park is also known for its rocks, some of the most gripping I've experienced, that are renowned for the scenery as well as their climbing.

For me, the hiking in JTNP is great, and I was thoroughly entertained during the time I was in the park. However, I was let down by the scenery in the park that seemed to be overhyped to my actual experience. Looking back on pictures now it does not have the "wow" you expect from most National Parks. There is no doubt with its 1994 creation that much of its popularity results from the U2 album of the same name. However, all of the pictures associated with that epic album and cover were taken in Death Valley which is spectacular when it comes to scenery.

With all that said you can have some incredible experiences in JTNP. The irony is two of the best experiences in the park that provide the greatest diversity are named for other desert plants, the Cholla Garden and 49 Palms Oasis. Both of these were awesome visits in the park and with fewer crowds. The Cholla Garden really is the best and only attraction to the Colorado Desert but it is amazing to walk amongst these glowing cacti. The hike and visit to 49 Palms Oasis are simply epic and unique within a desert environment.

One of the other great parts of any desert are their mountains as you can usually see forever, and JTNP is no exception with two great mountain experiences. The first is Keys View with one of the highest spots of the Little San Bernardino Mountains overlooking the Coachella Valley. It is a great view any time but truly magical at sunset. The second is Ryan Mountain that sits in the middle of the park and has one of the best hikes in the park to its summit, offering commanding 360 views of the entire park.

Other highlights include several rocks that are in unique shapes, my favorite being Arch Rock, as well as other rock features like Hidden Valley, Barker Dam and Jumbo Rocks. I will say for me, these areas tended to be overcrowded and overhyped compared to other attractions highlighted above. I will say you will want to drive the park especially in Queen and Lost Horse Valleys. Here the Joshua Trees are at their best. It is amazing that a plant without solid interior structure can get that tall. Also here they are the thickest which is rare when their roots reach 30 feet away.

One other slight weakness of JTNP is wildlife. We did see a coyote and rabbit cross the road in front of us and got to see the 2 foot iguana-like desert lizard on a trail. However, other than that we did not see much.

In summary, JTNP is a great desert park that highlights two deserts of the US and the iconic Joshua Trees that symbolize the Mojave. It has great hiking and other flora like palm oasis and Teddy Bear cholla. Finally, it has great mountains that provide commanding views and great sunsets. While the scenery is not as scenic as what you expect from many national parks, it has great attractions that will make it an enjoyable visit.
Written 6 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LostInTime
Pittsburgh, PA11,844 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Business
The drive thru the park from the west entrance to the cottonwood center is very enjoyable. I’ve never been to a landscape that is at all similar. It’s a fun ride and you see a lot.
Written 30 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The Bearded Traveler
Milwaukee, WI176 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Solo
This is deinitely a one of a kind place. I have wanted to journey here for quite some time but never had a reason until a business opportunity came up and I had to go to Palm Springs and then drive up to Johnson Valley and then Ontario. So of course I took a detour and checked out this magical place. If this has been on your radar don't wait and go check it out!
Written 26 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The Nanny
22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Very beautiful park. The landscapes and terrain changes throughout were amazing. Clean bathrooms at campgrounds and picnic areas. Lots of hiking and the Keys Ranch tour with Ranger Jesse was super.
Written 22 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jane L
Evanston, IL279 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
I absolutely love America's National Parks and feel bad about not giving this one a five star review. The landscape is fascinating, and signage in the park is good. However, the bathroom situation in the park is terrible. The three or four latrines I used were filthy. There are absolutely no services in the park, and the Joshua Tree entrance is a mess. Despite having a pass hanging from our rearview mirror, we had to idle in a long line every time we entered--and left--the park. There was no second lane at the pay station to wave people with passes into the park. If you don't want to leave the park for lunch, bring your own food. The visitor's center in Joshua Tree had very little to offer; while the rangers on duty were friendly, there were very few ranger programs available at a time when there seemed to be a lot of people in the park. However, the landscapes are great, and our day at the park was enjoyable.
Written 21 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carrie D.
Cleveland, OH1,987 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
We spent a really great day at Joshua Tree National Park. We were able to make it to two of the Visitor Centers. The gift shops were much smaller than I’d have expected, but the rangers were as helpful and friendly as always.
The park was easy to drive through—really good signage and the map was very clear. We were glad we had done our homework ahead of time and knew which hikes we wanted to prioritize. We only had the one day at the park, so we knew we couldn’t pack everything in. Parking was a bit of a challenge later in the day in some places, but overall it was smooth sailing.

We really enjoyed the Cholla Cactus Garden trail—super easy loop trail, but really cool to see all of those cacti. Watch your step and be sure not to step on one—one of us accidentally did and the needles went right through her shoe.

We had a nice little picnic at the Live Oak picnic area—we had brought sandwiches and chips and water in with us and this made a nice little mid-way stop. We shared a picnic table with a lovely couple from Oregon and traded NP stories with them through lunch.

We loved the Cap Rock Nature Trail—again, an easy look trail, but one full of giant rock formations and classic Joshua trees. Kind of what you picture when you think of Joshua Tree NP.

We didn’t stay long at Keys View—it was super cold and windy up there, but the views are gorgeous. I wish it had been a clearer, warmer day.

Finally, we loved the Barkers Dam trail. It was not a difficult hike by any means, but a little more challenging than the Cholla Cactus Garden or Cap Rock Nature Trails—it’s a little more rugged with a little bit of climbing through rocks. It’s about a mile and it was a lot of fun. An added bonus was seeing the petroglyphs at the end.

Overall, we had a great day in Joshua Tree National Park. We didn’t get to everything we wanted to, but we loved everything we did get to do!
Written 17 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dena f
California305 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
Loads of hiking and climbing available here for beginners and advanced! We went in the winter with 3 kids and everybody had a good time. We had a beautiful day planned for our National Park Day and the kids loved climbing on the huge rocks. The surrounding days were super windy and wouldn't have been as fun to be out on the terrain so check the weather!

Pack a picnic so you can eat it on the trail or at one of the many picnic tables throughout the park. The Visitor Center was a great stop for more information, bathrooms, maps and a wind break. Sometimes it's a little slow coming through the gate if it's busy time but there's plenty of room to explore once you're in. I didn't feel over crowded on any of the trails.

Bathrooms throughout the park as well. Pack lots of water for hikes!
Written 13 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RobBoston80
Boston, MA1,215 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
What a transformational place. Our family has been trying to get to as many National Parks and this was one of the bests. My folks are elderly, so most of the hikes were not going to happen, but that was okay. There were plenty they could do, and you can drive the whole park in a few hours in the comfort of your car.
Written 10 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Joshua Tree National Park




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