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Activities in Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park stands as a beacon for hiking and climbing enthusiasts who prefer solitude over crowds, reliable sunshine over cold and damp, and those who enjoy strange and wonderful geological formations.

The park covers over 1200 square kilometers of desert. Many backcountry campsites serve the budget-conscious climber and backpacker – though you’ll need to pack any water you need.

Art from hiking and camping in Joshua Tree National Park, there are plenty of other things to do in Joshua Tree.

Activities in Joshua Tree National ParkCamping in Joshua Tree National Park, USA

When is the Best Time to Visit Joshua Tree National Park?

The best time to visit Joshua Tree National Park is between the months of October and March when temperatures are moderate. Avoid June to August when temperatures can quickly reach unbearable levels.

Where is Joshua Tree National Park?

Joshua Tree is 140 miles east of Los Angeles but less than 50 miles from Palm Springs, California. It can easily be visited as a day trip from Palm Springs, but if you have more time and enjoy hiking and climbing, a couple of nights camping under the desert skies can be pretty exciting.

Relatives read: The best camping and hiking equipment.

8 things to do in Joshua Tree National Park

Check out these things in Joshua Tree National Park – from hiking to rock climbing to the best viewpoints in the national park.

1. Climb one of the best rocks in the USA. Rough granite offers good grip and lots of cracks and holes make Joshua Tree an ideal place for all climbers.

2. Riding backcountry roads or mountain biking. One of the most interesting tours is the 18 mile Geology Tour Road. Sixteen stops take about two hours to properly see the fascinating landscape. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended.

3. Visit the Barker Dam The building was built around 1900 for cattle irrigation and mining. Today the collected rainwater is used to attract wild animals and birds. Nearby is a path into the fantastic Wonderland of Rocks area. This area has many Joshua Trees and some cave art.

4th Walk the 1 mile Hidden Valley Trail and meander around huge boulders. This area was considered a meeting place for ranchers.

5. Drive up to Key’s View and look at the view of the valley floor. Look for the San Andreas Fault.

6th Hike the four miles to it Lost Horse Mine – once famous as a gold mine.

7th Check Skull Rock and Arch Rock.

8th. When you have two days Hike the 16 mile Boy Scout Trail. It will take you to the westernmost edge of the Wonderland of Rocks.

9. Stop every time you pull out and Hike all of the short nature trails as you meander through the park.

Words of caution

Many of the things to do in Joshua Tree National Park are hiking and rock climbing. Here are some things to be careful about while out and about.

  • The high desert is a harsh place to live. Carry at least one gallon of water per person per day.
  • Avoid drainage areas during or after thunderstorms.
  • Don’t rely on your cell phone for a rescue. The coverage is irregular.
  • Stay away from my openings.
  • Watch where you place your hands and feet, especially in spring and summer when there are snakes around
  • Pets are only allowed on the first 100 feet of the trail.
  • Hinterland permits are required. Display or your vehicle is being towed.

Interested in camping in the USA? Check out these posts:

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