"Joshua Tree National Park" Top 5 Page for this destination Joshua Tree National Park by Basaic

Joshua Tree National Park Travel Guide: 344 reviews and 822 photos

Joshua Trees

The Joshua Tree National Park houses a surprisingly diverse plant and animal life. The main attraction, of course is the Joshua Tree itself (Yucca brevifolia). Additionally, there is the landscape which was shaped by strong winds, unpredictable torrents of rain, and climatic extremes. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the attraction of this place. You would need to spend a few days here to fully explore the park. If your time is limited you may want to consider limiting yourself to the main park roads. There are a number of pullouts with wayside exhibits all along these roads. There are 12 self-guiding nature trails, and you may want to experience at least one of these walks. Keys View, depending on the weather, offersspectacular views including the San Andreas Fault and on really clear days views beyond Salton Sea to Mexico. There are 9 campgrounds and a number of picnic areas in the park. Joshua Tree National Park is also a very popular rock-climbing destination. The park is always open and may be visited anytime of year. Visitation increases as temperatures moderate in the fall, peaks during spring wildflower season, and diminishes during the heat of summer. A 7-Day Vehicle Permit costs $15 and admits the passengers of a single, non-commercial vehicle for the day of purchase and the next six days. An additional attraction in the park is the Keys Ranch, a prime example of the way the rugged individuals who populated this desolate area eked out their living. Ranger guided tours of the ranch, the only way to see it, are scheduled for 11 AM and 1 PM Saturday and Sunday from October through May. Weekday tours vary during the season and are listed on the Ranger Program schedule. The tour costs $5 per person, is 1/2-mile in length and lasts 90 minutes. Group size is limited to 25 people.

Mountains/Rock Formations

There are also lots of interesting mountains/rock formations throughout the park. They have posted informational signs at various sites and pulloffs in the park that explain how these formations were made and provide additional information.

Keys View

The waether was not optimal when I visited; but Keys View still offered great views.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful and varied landscape
  • Cons:Remote, hot, limited facilities
  • In a nutshell:Spend a few days here and really get acquainted
  • Last visit to Joshua Tree National Park: Nov 2014
  • Intro Updated Nov 13, 2014
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Reviews (81)

Comments (11)

  • xaver's Profile Photo
    Nov 28, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    Interesting reading, for example I had no idea that indians used fibers from the plant to make baskets sandals.

    • Basaic's Profile Photo
      Nov 29, 2014 at 9:59 AM

      It is too bad that so many people from more "advanced" cultures do not pay attention to what they can learn from others. The Indians know quite well how to live in harmony with the earth.

  • vichatherly's Profile Photo
    Jun 6, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Tidy tips matey. Skull Rock looks interesting

  • JessieLang's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    I love Joshua trees! I was here once, but couldn't spend as much time as I wanted. (Someone else had the car keys!)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2010 at 6:13 AM

    It's a great place to explore...

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    "Barren or Bountiful?", that exactly the same in the Sahara desert! Great and informative page ! Thanks to show what I have missed during my too short visit. Too bad I missed Hidden Valley!

  • PinkFloydActuary's Profile Photo
    Nov 17, 2009 at 5:07 AM

    Really great stuff here - a lot of detail on a wonderful park!

  • Redang's Profile Photo
    May 13, 2008 at 9:08 PM

    Thanks for your comment on my Madrid page; you also have great pages here, unfortunately I missed many places during my visit to Ca and Az, but time is so short...

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Apr 14, 2008 at 8:51 PM

    Interesting pages, thanks for sharing

  • risse73's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:56 PM

    Thanks for all these tips!

  • filipdebont's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2007 at 11:22 AM

    Great tips on a great park - beautiful nature - well done


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