15 Best Things To Do In Joshua Tree National Park This Weekend

Joshua Tree National Park is only a couple hours outside of Los Angeles and is one of the main tourist attractions during the wintertime. With plenty of things to do in Joshua Tree National Park this weekend, no wonder it is one of the must-see tourist attractions in the southern California region.

Joshua Tree National Park is not very big compared to many other national parks across the country, but don’t let that detour you. There are amazing things to do in Joshua Tree National Park this weekend that keep the tourist returning year after year.

From hiking and rock climbing to camping and stargazing, you will find really fun things to do in Joshua Tree National Park this weekend.

 

15 Best Things To Do In Joshua Tree National Park This Weekend

15 Best Things To Do In Joshua Tree National Park This Weekend #joshuatree #weekend

Joshua Tree National Park is like a trippy scene straight of a Dr. Seuss book. Joshua trees were given their name by Mormon settlers. They thought that the tree’s shape reminded them of the biblical figure Joshua and how he would raise his hands to the sky in prayer.

But from the cholla cactus to the ocotillo patch, the Joshua trees aren’t the only interesting plants in the park. Check out these 15 best things to do in Joshua Tree National Park this weekend.

1. Off Road Trails in Joshua Tree

Off Road Trails in Joshua Tree #joshuatree #offroad

Geology Tour Road is one the easiest off road trails in Joshua Tree. The 4WD recommended dirt road winds through Pleasant Valley. Enjoy the scenery and take plenty of photos along the way.

If your vehicle is not ready for bouncing along on dirt roads, then leave the driving to professionals. Ride in a Hummer and take a 4 hour guided tour of the off road trails in Joshua Tree.

2. Arch Rock 

Arch Rock in Joshua Tree National Park #archrock #joshuatree

Arch Rock is a 0.5-mile nature trail with lots of large boulders and incredible rock formations to climb around on. Of course the central focus of this hiking trail is the Arch Rock.

3. Keys View

Keys View In Joshua Tree National Park #joshuatree #keysview

This lookout point offers a clear vista overlooking Palm Springs and Coachella valley. Drive up to the crest of the Little San Bernardino Mountains and experience this high elevation view.

4. Hall of Horrors

Hall of Horrors in Joshua Tree National Park #joshuatree #explore

The Hall of Horrors is a popular climbing and slacklining destination. Grab your gear and practice your slab smearing.

The sunset is incredible throughout the park, but especially here!

 

5. Lost Palm Oasis

Lost Palm Oasis in Joshua Tree National Park #joshuatree #lostpalmoasis

source: @_yubble_bumm

The lost palm oasis is situated along a moderate 7-mile hike through a canyon. The trail has lots of loose rock, so be prepared for some scrambling.

 

6. 49 Palms Oasis

49 Palms Oasis in Joshua Tree National Park #joshuatree #explore

source: @thegirlinglass

A 3-mile moderately strenuous hike leads you to the 49 palms oasis. It might not exactly fit the description for what you picture as an oasis, but if you love the desert, it’s not too long of a hike.

 

7. Mastodon Peak

Mastodon Peak in Joshua Tree National Park #joshuatree #hiking

source: @amyjococo

Mastodon Peak is another moderate 3-mile hike that offers views of the Eagle Mountains and Salton Sea.

 

8. Skull Rock

Skull Rock in Joshua Tree National Park #joshuatree #skullrock

Skull rock is visible off the main road, but there is also a 1.5-mile nature trail that loops around the rock formation.

 

9. Rock Climbing At Hidden Valley

Rock Climbing At Hidden Valley in Joshua Tree National Park #joshuatree #rockclimbing

Rock climbing at hidden valley is surely on every SoCal climbers bucket list which attracts lots of people to the nearby campground.

We love bouldering the natural rock formations. Make sure to get there early to get your campsite, its first come first serve.

 

10. Ryan’s Mountain Trail

Ryan’s Mountain Trail in Joshua Tree National Park #joshuatree #hikingtrails

source: @rsayesmith

Ryan’s Mountain Trail is a moderate 3-mile hike to the second highest peak in Joshua Tree National Park. The mountain peak trail is centrally located within the park and offers a spectacular vantage point of the vast landscape.

 

11. Cholla Cactus Garden

Cholla Cactus Garden in Joshua Tree National Park #joshuatree #cactusgarden

The Cholla Cactus Garden is a 0.25-mile walking loop through a concentrated area of cholla cactus.

 

12. Ocotillo Patch

Ocotillo Patch in Joshua Tree National Park #joshuatree #nationalparks

The ocotillo is another thriving plant in the arid and harsh climate. The ocotillo patch is a 5-minute drive from the cholla garden and has shrubs growing 15 feet tall.

 

13. Desert Institute

Desert Institute in Joshua Tree National Park #joshuatree #desert

source: @desertron

Taking an informational course at the Desert Institute is one of the most informational things to do at Joshua Tree National Park this weekend.

One day course are extremely educational and provide tremendous insight into specific features within the park.

 

14. Stargazing

Stargazing in Joshua Tree National Park #joshuatree #stargazing

source: @skylightphotography_

Stargazing is one of the best things to do in Joshua Tree National Park this weekend. There are plenty of campgrounds in the park to choose from, and the best stargazing is right in from your campsite.

If you’re looking for a crystal clear view of the Milky Way, make sure that you visit during a New Moon.

 

15. What To Eat In Joshua Tree

What To Eat In Joshua Tree National Park #joshuatree #foodie

If your looking for a few options for what to eat in Joshua Tree, then we have a few suggestions for you. Our stay was short but we did eat out on our way into the park and when we left. Pie for the People and Natural Sisters Café both made it on our recommended list of what to eat in Joshua Tree.

 

Bonus: The Drive to Joshua Tree

When you’re planning fun things to do in Joshua Tree National Park this weekend, there are three park entrances to choose from when you drive to Joshua Tree. The main entrance to the Park is in the town of Joshua Tree.

 

West (Main) Entrance

Park Blvd is located off Hwy 62 in Joshua Tree. The west entrance is the best entrance for visitors coming from Los Angeles, San Diego and Palm Springs. Make sure the stop at the Park Visitor Center so that you can pay for your park pass BEFORE driving up to the park.

 

North Entrance

Located off Hwy 62, in the small town of 29 Palms, there are plenty of signs. This entrance is best for visitors coming from Las Vegas

Pro Tip: The lines are much shorter at the north entrance on weekends and holidays!

 

South Entrance

Located off Hwy 10 on the east of Palm Springs and Indio.

The south entrance works well for visitors coming from Phoenix and New Mexico. The south entrance guarantees that you drive thru the entire park!

 

We enjoyed the quick getaway and saw a lot of great photo locations for Joshua trees along the main road inside the park. Joshua trees look like they belong in a different world, which makes driving thru the entire park one of the best things to do in Joshua Tree National Park this weekend.

Joshua Tree National Park is small in comparison to others across the country, but don’t let the size fool you, there are plenty of fun things to do in Joshua Tree to keep you interested and entertained.

Do you have any more recommendations for things to do in Joshua Tree National Park this weekend?

Please share your travel tips with us!

XOXO

fashion wanderer

These are 15 best things to do in Joshua Tree National Park this weekend. From rock climbing to what to eat and many more! Fun weekend getaway destination guide. #joshuatree #thingstodo

Soonjoo Uh

I graduated with a bachelors of fine arts degree in fashion design. I worked in the fashion industry as a lead designer for major brand name labels such as Stitch Fix, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and Dillards. Now, I am the founder of the website Fashion Wanderer where I share current fashion trends, style tips and how to build a capsule wardrobe collection.

24 Comments
  1. I have actually never been to Joshua Tree but I have heard a lot of people say they LOVE going up there. I wonder if it would be a fun adventure for my husband and I – I guess the only way to find out would be to GO!

    1. GiGi, it’s a magical place to visit! Joshua Tree feels looks like a place out of this world with the gigantic rock formations, gnarly trees and vast dessert landscape! Highly recommend checking out all the fun things to do in Joshua Tree with your husband 🙂 You will also LOVE it and have a wonderful time exploring the national park!

  2. Joshua Tree is on our list of places to visit! My husband and I have a goal to visit every National Park in the country. So far, we’ve been to about 10-15 of them. The rock climbing sounds fun, and we were amazed at the stargazing when we were at the Utah parks this summer. But, we would have to go to Ryan rock since my youngest son’s name is Ryan!!

    1. We love stargazing! Out last trip to Joshua Tree was on a new moon, so the sky was absolutely epic, the milky way was bright and we saw dozens of shooting stars! Highly recommend also staying at Ryan’s campground if your into camping 😉

  3. Wow so much to do in Joshua Tree, this looks great. Arch rock looks like a fab spot. also so many photo opportunities too xx

    1. Joshua Tree National Park is a really amazing place to visit. From Arch Rock to Keys View, I recommend adding this destination to your travel bucket list 🙂

  4. I’ve always wanted to go to Joshua Tree but honestly had no idea that it was so big and included all these fun spots that I’ve heard of before! I also didn’t know there was three entrances. I would love to go stargazing some day!

    1. Joshua Tree is a great place to visit if you have never been there before. There are many exciting things to do within the park, so plan your visit soon 🙂

  5. Joshua tree is definitely on top of my bucket list and just can’t wait to be there one day. I have heard such incredible things about that national park.

    1. You should definitely visit Joshua Tree! It is a beautiful national park that has very unique features. The Joshua trees and cholla cactus garden are out of this world!

  6. Wow. So many places to go hiking in the post and so little time! lol Seriously though, you always bring so many ideas and beautiful places to choose from!

  7. Exactly what I have been wanting to read pertaining to Joshua Tree National Park! Seriously, I have been wanting to take my kids there for camping and day hiking, it’s around an hour away. All the questions I have asked friends who have gone, just got answered in one fell swoop.

    1. Thank you very much! You should definitely take the kids for a short camping trip if you live so close. You can easily visit most of the attractions with an overnight stay.

  8. I really enjoyed your review of Joshua Tree National Park! My brother works for the NPS so I have visited many, but not this one yet. Hopefully someday!

  9. I need to make time for this the next time I’m in LA! Joshua Tree National Park just seems so cool, and I appreciate the info on the entrances!

    1. Yes I highly recommend visiting Joshua Tree next time you are in LA. It is only 2 hours away and you can visit most of the exhibits in just one day.

  10. Ah I wish we had more parks like this where I live! I’d love to go stargazing, too – always too cloudy where I am.

  11. This looks like Joshua Tree would be such a great place to visit! I have always heard such great things about the national park. It looks like there are so many sites to take in.

    1. Joshua Tree is an incredible place to visit! There are so many exhibits and attractions to see let alone the awesome hiking trails. Geology Road Tour is also really fun to check out!

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