MILES FROM LOS ANGELES
1,235 square miles.
National Park Service
Named for the region's recognizable Joshua trees, Joshua Tree National Park is one of the largest protected areas in southern California. It's characterized by rugged rock formations and stunning desert landscapes with plenty of opportunities for hiking and cycling.
Joshua Tree National Park There are many campgrounds peppered throughout the park, offering a variety of views and unique features. Sites are first come, first served or reservation only depending on the time of year. Click here for a list of campgrounds and details.
Joshua Tree Lake, RV & Campground This is the only official campground outside the park. It attracts many families and large groups. Reservations are recommended.
Hiking in Joshua Tree is abundant. AllTrails is a great resource to check out all the possibilities. Some recs: Hidden Valley, Skull Rock, Lost Horse Mine, Barker Dam and Ryan Mountain.
The park doesn't provide much opportunity for sport climbing. However, bouldering and trad routes are endless. The Mountain Project app is a great resource for searching and saving routes before losing signal — while in the park you can use the interactive map.
Joshua Tree National Park is recognized as an International Dark Sky Park and offers many visitors the chance to see the Milky Way for the first time in their lives.
Located in Pioneertown, this quintessential Western Roadhouse has been around since 1982 serving drinks, mesquite barbeque and live music. It's extremely popular — expect a wait on most nights. Reservations are recommended on weekends.
A classic roadside spot, offering everything from classic diner fare to unique specials — all made from scratch. Located near the entrance of the park on 29 Palms HWY; a great place for breakfast.
A great option for healthy vegetarian or vegan sandwiches, wraps and salads. There's a market next door where you can shop for essentials before heading into the park.
Family owned and operated since 1983 — a western atmosphere with live music and traditional pub fare. Their website features a calendar of daily/weekly events and specials.
Rustic Moroccan meets modern-minimalism. Built in the 50s, this motel bosts five luxury botique rooms — two suites and three standard. A large reflecting koi pond is at the center of the common grounds, along with outdoor fireplaces placed throughout for relaxing in the evening.
A Spanish Colonial style inn built in 1949, just down the road from the North entrance of the park. Rooms are laid out in the shape of a horseshoe, facing a courtyard with a pool. The decor is eclectic, and it's entirely solar-powered.
This is a unique space to celebrate the work of American architect John Lautner. The compound is about an hour outside the park, and with only a handful of units, reservations far in advance are recommended.
Purifoy lived his last fifteen years (1989-2004) in the desert working on the museum created entirely of junked materials. Before that he was admired for bringing art into the state prison system.
If you're near the south entrance to the park and have time for a slight detour, Salvation Mountain is worth visiting. Created by Leonard Knight, this religious tribute is a mountain, man-made of local adobe clay and covered in roughly half a million gallons of donated paint. A very popular stop/photo op.
An eco-themed, desert-set art project/community with a sculpture garden made from junk, waste, and everything repurposed. Located near Salvation Mountain, it is also a very popular stop for visitors (read the survival guide first!).
Created by George Van Tassel in 1954 as an electrostatic generator. Restored, this massive dome is used as a sound bath, offering 60 minute sonic healing sessions. Reservations are available on their site.