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.
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15 Best Things To Do In Joshua Tree National Park This 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.
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 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
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.
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
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
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 is another moderate 3-mile hike that offers views of the Eagle Mountains and Salton Sea.
8. Skull Rock
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 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 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
The Cholla Cactus Garden is a 0.25-mile walking loop through a concentrated area of cholla cactus.
12. Ocotillo Patch
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
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.
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
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.
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!
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!