Palm Desert

Joshua Tree National Park

Adventure Awaits in Joshua Tree 

Drive 45 min (38.7 mi) via I-10 E

For a destination that offers two distinct desert ecosystems, a fascinating variety of plants and animals, and surreal geologic features with rich cultural history, look no further than Joshua Tree National Park. 

The Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert come together to form the picturesque Joshua Tree National Park. You’ll need to bring your camera and sense of adventure with you as you explore lands sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Lose yourself in the dark night skies as you take in the vast wilderness in Southern California that is just waiting to be explored. 

About 2.8 million visitors come to the 800,000-acre Joshua Tree National Park each year to enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, photography, rock climbing, and simply enjoying the serene desert scenery. The busy season in Joshua Tree runs from October through May, while it is open year-round.

If thrill-seeking is your passion, rock climbing, bouldering and high-lining is welcomed at Joshua Tree National Park. As a Hi-Desert climbing mecca, the park is famous for its traditional-style crack, slab, and steep face climbing. Joshua Tree offers challenges for all ability levels with more than 8,000 climbing routes, 2,000 boulder problems, and hundreds of natural gaps to choose from. If you are learning to climb or are looking to expand your climbing skills, a guided day or class will let you experience the heights of Joshua Tree to the fullest. When hiring a climbing guide, make sure that they are permitted to work in Joshua Tree National Park. Before getting a permit each guide is required to have the highest levels of rock guiding certifications through the PCGI, AMGA, or similar organizations. They are also required to be certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR; and they must carry insurance. These requirements protect both the guide and the climber making your day safer. Climbing guides and hiking maps if you are unfamiliar with the park. They are available at park visitor centers and at outdoor shops in the surrounding communities.

No matter your hiking level preference, there are many trails and loops that showcase the natural beauty of Joshua Tree Natural Park and the abundance of plant life found, such as cacti, seasonal wildflowers, and the trademark Joshua Tree surrounding the area. The Bajada Loop, for example, takes 15 minutes and lets visitors discover plants of the Colorado Desert with ease, while the Pine City trail is a 2 to 3-hour out and back trail with a dense stand of junipers and pinyon that goes to an old mining site.

The National Park Service does list some safety tips for visitors who are hiking during the summer on the many trails found in Joshua Tree National Park. It is recommended that you tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back, as there is no cell service throughout the park, and to bring plenty of food and water—even on short hikes. It is also recommended that hikers eat often, salty snacks are key for salt loss from sweating, and to stay hydrated. A minimum of one gallon of water per person, per day is ideal while hikers and cyclists should carry two gallons per person, per day. The National Park Service also advises to rest in the shade and avoid hiking between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the summer peak temperatures. 

Living in Joshua Tree, the desert weather can change swiftly and dramatically. The National Park covers a vast area with elevations ranging from 536 feet (163 m) in the park’s extreme southeast corner to 5,814 feet (1,773 m) atop Quail Mountain. Conditions may vary greatly depending on your exact location within the park.

Visitors often spend days exploring Joshua Tree National Park, as there is so much to do and see within the rugged rock formations and stunning desert landscapes upon thousands of acres of land. There is an abundance of hotels and vacation homes available near the vicinity of the park, providing comfort and luxury to your visit. One example is the Stargazers’ Paradise—a spacious two-bedroom, two-bath home in a lovely neighborhood just minutes from the National Park entrance. Visitors can enjoy incredible sunsets from the spa, or walk from the house to a nearby nature preserve for hours of local hiking. There’s plenty to do at this sweet retreat with the pool table, ping pong table, dart board, corn hole and an actual tether ball game.

Another vacation home available in Joshua Tree is the Jumbo Rocks Cottage. Located only two blocks from Joshua Tree Village and minutes away from the west entrance to the National Park, this two-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage is conveniently located so that visitors can take in everything the High Desert has to offer, including a six-person hot tub, plunge pool, and fire pit.

Joshua Tree real estate offers a variety of options for buyers and renters seeking the perfect property or those starting from scratch with the ideal home building land. When buying land in Joshua Tree, it is important to note that land comes with its own set of expenses such as property taxes, insurance, as well as the upkeep of the land.

With a population of 7,786 people, living in Joshua Tree offers residents a rural feel and most residents own their homes. Many young professionals and retirees live in Joshua Tree. The total cost of housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities for a single adult in Joshua Tree is $36,159 a year, which is less than the annual cost of living for California of $45,534 and less than the national figure of $38,433.

Whether you are looking to go on a trip of a lifetime to Joshua Tree National Park, or you become so enchanted with the majesty of the desert that you decide to make Joshua Tree your new permanent home, one thing is for certain: the possibilities are endless when it comes to exploring Joshua Tree.


  • Camping

    Sleep under the stars at one of Joshua Tree’s nine developed campgrounds.

  • Hiking

    Joshua Tree has about 300 miles of hiking trails for you to explore. Which one is calling to you?

  • Ranger Programs

    Find out about ranger-led programs and special events taking place in the park.

  • Photography

    Capture your memories to share with others.

  • Birding

    What do you spy with your little eyes?

  • Experience Dark Night Skies

    Can’t see the Milky Way from where you live? You’re not alone. Joshua Tree offers outstanding stargazing.

  • Biking

    Miles of dirt and paved roads to explore.

  • Rock Climbing

    With an estimated 8,000 established routes and 2,000 bouldering problems, Joshua Tree is a premier destination for climbers.

  • Backpacking

    Backpacking can be a great way to get out into the park for those who are prepared.

  • Horseback Riding

    Ride through the wild west landscape of Joshua Tree.

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