15 Best Things to Do in Joshua Tree In 2022

Best Things to Do in Joshua Tree1
Read Time:11 Minute, 23 Second

With its landscapes of the desert, hiking trails, rock climbing routes, secret oases, scenic drives, and trees that resemble those found in a Dr. It’s fun to explore Joshua Tree National Park from Dr. Seuss. Discover the top activities in Joshua Tree National Park in this guide, along with advice on how to make the most of your visit.

Things To Do In Joshua Tree National Park

Check Out The Joshua Trees

Although there are many activities to enjoy in Joshua Tree National Park, seeing the Joshua trees is the main draw. Joshua trees are pretty bizarre-looking; they more closely resemble something Dr. than a real tree, Seuss conjured up. Moreover, despite belonging to the yucca plant family, they aren’t technically trees because they have fibers rather than growth rings. Early Mormon pioneers gave the trees the name “Joshua tree” because they believed they resembled the biblical character Joshua lifting his arms in prayer. They are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. In my opinion, no two are exactly alike, just like snowflakes. On my trip, I photographed Joshua trees for hours, and I’m sure you will want to do the same.

Camp In The Desert

Although you may have a mental image of the desert as being flooded with sunlight, you haven’t truly understood it until you have seen it at night, when the stars come out and the heat of the day has subsided. Camping is the most effective way to do that. There are nine campgrounds in Joshua Tree National Park, some of which accept first-come, first-served reservations and some of which don’t. Camping is a primitive experience because the majority of them don’t have running water or flushing toilets. But it’s totally worthwhile. Make a reservation for camping or come early to try to get a first-come, first-served spot as it is fairly popular. Backcountry camping is also permitted in the park for those who are more daring. You must begin at one of the 13 backpacking trailheads, and your campsite must be at least 100 feet from any water source and more than a mile from the trailhead.

Ryan Mountain

This hike can be difficult due to the elevation, but I’m so happy we did it! The round-trip distance is three miles, and the first 1.5 miles have an elevation gain of 1,000 feet. Since it was summer and we had been advised to leave early, we started out on the trail at 8:30am. Even though it does get quite hot there, I wish we had gone sooner because at least at that time of day there is some shade provided by the mountain itself.

The 360-degree views are breathtaking! The Coachella Valley and the entire region are visible. Once you reach the top, have a snack in the middle of the morning and relax. Also keep in mind that the descent is roughly half as long as the ascent!

Walk Among The Palm Trees At An Oasis

The phrase “oasis” conjures up stereotypical pictures of a cluster of palm trees emerging from the desert. There are a few different oases in Joshua Tree National Park, so it turns out that’s totally a thing. (“Oases” is the plural of oasis – the more you know, right?) Several of them require a hike, while others are accessible by car. They all have willow trees and other plants that thrive in water, as well as palm tree groves. Since no gardener removes the dead fronds to keep the trunk exposed, these palms are all shaggy in contrast to the carefully maintained palms you see in cities.

Go For A Hike

One of the must-do activities in Joshua Tree, in addition to seeing the Joshua trees, is taking a hike. There are a ton of hiking options, from quick nature hikes to lengthy treks, so there is something for every fitness level. Even in the winter, the desert climate can be stifling, so be sure to pack plenty of water, a hat, and sunscreen.

The Barker Dam Trail is a great option for a quick and simple walk. This 45-minute loop is 1.5 miles long and passes a dam and some pictograms. The hike to Lost Horse Mine is a fantastic moderate trail. I enjoyed the Willow Hole trail because it was longer and more difficult. The Boy Scout Trail leads out of the desert and deep into the Wonderland of Rocks on a 7-mile out-and-back journey to a willow oasis below the surface. Aside from the possibility of spotting wildlife, there is a lot of interesting vegetation.

Explore An Abandoned Mine

Old mines are scattered throughout the majority of Joshua Tree National Park. Beginning in the 1800s, the region was a part of a sizable land grab as western settlers scurried to find gold and other minerals. The operation of many of the mines in the park was brief. Watch your step when exploring the mining ruins because there is rusted metal and equipment all over the place. It is definitely unsafe, so never go inside or climb anything. Several of the mine shafts are vertical drops!

Drive To Eureka Peak

Another one of our favorite experiences in Joshua Tree National Park was this off-the-beaten-path location.

The far westernmost point of Joshua Tree National Park is where Eureka Peak is situated. A 4WD vehicle is required to get here. The Lower Covington Flat Road, which leads to this location, is largely an unpaved, sandy road with some areas of particularly deep sand.

It takes 20 to 30 minutes to drive here from Black Rock Canyon Campground. Numerous Joshua trees will line the road for the majority of the journey, and from our observations, no other vehicles will be present. When you reach Eureka Peak, take in the expansive views of the Santa Rosa Mountains and the San Bernardino Mountains.

Giant Rock

However, it’s not just any rock. It’s a rock. It is thought to be the world’s largest freestanding boulder, measuring 5,800 square feet and standing 7 stories high. People gathered here in the 1950s to wait for aliens; this gathering was actually organized by the same person who built the Integratron.)

A loud BOOM was heard, but no aliens have been spotted in this area. in 2000 when the rock mysteriously fractured. Today, it is merely a entertaining side-of-the-road attraction and another illustration of the mysteries concealed in the low desert.

Best Things to Do in Joshua Tree2

Visit The Cactus Garden

at the cactus garden, a close-up of a cholla cactus. The spring buds were just beginning to grow. In the distance, you can make out a sizable cactus forest.
Teddybear cholla (pronounce choy-ya) cactus are abundant in the cactus garden. These fuzzy looking cactus also have the nickname “jumping cactus” since if you brush against them parts of the cactus will break off and get embedded in your skin or clothes. Since so many people unintentionally get cactus spines stuck in them, there is even a first aid kit chained to a post close to the entrance! There are many other desert plants in the cactus garden as well, but there are just SO MANY teddybear cacti that it is difficult to see anything else.

Take A Photo In Front Of Arch Rock

The name of the trail is derived from this rock formation. From the main trail, look for the sign directing you to Arch Rock or just follow the crowd. Although the arch is right next to the trail, if you are not looking for it, it may be simple to miss.

You must climb some rocks to reach the popular photo location known as Arch Rock. For the purpose of taking your picture, your photographer will have to rock-climb up onto the rocks on the other side.

Spend Some Time People Watching

A diverse range of people travel to Joshua Tree, including homeless rock climbers who live in vans, elderly hippies seeking spirituality in the desert, and L.A. hipsters on weekend United States, Instagram photo shoots Marines from the nearby base, European families on camping vacations in rented RVs, grey-haired retirees taking a break from Palm Springs golfing, and regular tourists. They all get along because Joshua Tree is a laid-back location with a vast expanse of desert and clear skies.

Check Out The Panorama At Keys View

A view from Keys View in Joshua Tree National Park, one of the park’s 15 awesome attractions. Specify Keys View on your bucket list for Joshua Tree.
from Keys View, looking out. The Coachella Valley and the vicinity of Palm Springs are visible in the background.
For sweeping views to the south, take the drive up to 5185 feet to the Keys View. From up there, you can see Signal Mountain in Mexico, Palm Springs, and the Salton Sea. The Indio Hills, which are a result of the San Andreas Fault’s movement, are also visible. Other than from an airplane, it’s one of the few places where you can actually look directly at the San Andreas Fault. If you have binoculars, bring them.

Go Star Gazing

One of the 15 awesome things to do in Joshua Tree is see a joshua tree and the night sky in the national park. Your bucket list for Joshua Tree should include stargazing.
A night photography experiment of mine. (I’m still learning!) The glow in the distance is coming from 29 Palms. Low levels of light pollution make Joshua Tree National Park the ideal place to observe the stars. Even a Night Sky Festival is held there in January.

Cholla Cactus Garden

These incredible yellow cactuses will appear seemingly out of nowhere as you travel south on Pinto Basin Road, not far from Cottonwood Visitor Center. There are thousands of them all over. These were such a delightful array of color that they couldn’t be missed out on out of all the things to see in Joshua Tree Park!!

Cholla are primarily found in Mexico, so seeing them here is exciting, but beware. You’ll first notice signs warning of bees, and they are not kidding. When we went, the cacti were in bloom, and there were more bees than cacti, and they were swarming all over the place. Even though our boys didn’t like it, they didn’t interfere with me while I was taking pictures; just be careful if you have allergies.

Fun fact about this cactus: It’s called a “jumping” cactus. Even a light touch will cause the barb’s reverse barbs to cling to your skin. And let me tell you, it hurts like hell.

Drink A Date Shake

Since the 1920s, date shakes have gained a lot of traction in the Palm Springs region. In order to market dates to Americans, date growers in the Coachella Valley, south of Joshua Tree National Park, decided to put them in milkshakes. You must try a date shake if you’ve never had one.

Where to Find Date Shakes Near Joshua Tree National Park: The Coachella Valley and Palm Springs, which are located south of the park, are home to numerous date shake establishments. The original location was Shields Date Garden in Indio. Shields can be reached by car in 40 minutes from the Cottonwood Visitor Center at the park’s southern boundary. Don’t be concerned if that is too far to go.

Where To Eat

Natural Sisters Cafe:

One of my all-time favorite places to eat in the area is Natural Sisters Cafe, which is situated in the small town of Twentynine Palms just outside the park. With vegan and gluten-free options also available, Natural Sisters boasts a fully vegetarian menu.

You can get delicious breakfasts here, as well as burgers, sandwiches, salads, wraps, and smoothies for lunch. To finish off your meal, you can choose from some incredible vegan desserts. One of the best vegan carrot cakes I’ve ever tried was ordered by our friend.

Even if you eat meat, I suggest stopping by Natural Sisters for a wholesome lunch after exploring the park (just keep in mind that they do close every day at 2:00 p.m.).

Algoberto’s Taco Shop:

Southern California is the only place where real Mexican food is available. In my opinion, Algoberto’s Taco Shop serves the tastiest Mexican food in the area because it isn’t particularly attractive. The Joshua Tree National Park entrance is only a 10-minute drive away from them, and they have fantastic prices (5 tacos for $5.75, sort of prices). Try the tacos or burritos if you’re not sure what to order. If you’re looking, they also offer vegetarian tacos and burritos.

Crossroads Cafe:

In the sleepy town of Joshua Tree, Crossroads Cafe is a diverse and unpretentious diner that offers both standard diner fare and some distinctive regional options. If you’re sick of eating at your campsite after a night of camping, this cafe would be a great place to go for a hearty breakfast. Additionally, they provide some gluten-free and vegan options.

Joshua Tree Farmers’ Market:

The official Joshua Tree Farmers’ Market, located in the tiny town of Joshua Tree (here), is open every Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm and is packed with delectable local produce, baked goods, and of course everything else you would find at a farmers’ market. We happened to come across this market while traveling to rent crash pads for our day of bouldering in Joshua Tree, and I’m so happy we did! We shopped for some fantastic fresh bread and local fruit and munched on it all day.

Average Rating

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

What Is A Travel Enthusiast? - Secrets You Should Know About It

What Is A Travel Enthusiast? – Secrets You Should Know About It

A travel enthusiast is someone who truly loves to travel. People with outgoing, flexible, and amiable personalities are good candidates for social travel.

Read More
Is Cartagena Safe to Visit in 2023 - What to Pay Attention to

Is Cartagena Safe to Visit in 2023 – What to Pay Attention to

Travelers can go to Cartagena with confidence. Each year, millions of tourists arrive to explore the stunning walled city. The common yellow taxi cab is the most reliable and safest form of transportation.

Read More
Is Dubai Expensive to Visit - Everything You Should Know

Is Dubai Expensive to Visit – Everything You Should Know

Dubai is equally as expensive as other global metropolises like New York, London, and Paris. Dubai can be as inexpensive or as expensive as you like; it all depends on you.

Read More