The Ultimate Guide to a Weekend in Joshua Tree, California

Bring some blankets and hiking shoes and get ready for a reminder of the spectacular beauty that is Mother Nature. Joshua Tree National Park offers life at its simplest in the breathtaking open desert.  My favorite things to do were watching the sun set across the wide landscape of the park and then seeing the stars and Milky Way appear. The sunsets in Joshua Tree are unlike anything I have ever seen.  The pinks, the purples, and the blues of the sky put on a show for anyone to admire and watch.  Watching the sunset is a great way to spend the end of your day of hiking and exploring the enormous National Park.

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Things to Do:

Skull Rock

A very short walk from the car, admire the amounts of rocks with erosions in the granite that produced the look of hollowed-out eyes like a skull.

Key’s View

This hike is a short walk up some stairs from where you park your car.  The view shows the spectacular landscape of the Coachella Valley.

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Cholla Cactus Garden

This unique landscape full of prickly cactuses was an amazing sight to witness on my Joshua Tree trip.  This garden makes for great photos and views of desert nature.

Indian Cove

This is a campground and a half mile nature trail with incredible views of plants and wildlife (maybe you can catch a glimpse of desert tortoise).

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Barker Dam

This 1.3 mile loop is a very popular hike that has views of cool rock formations and ends with the picturesque Dam.

 Campgrounds:

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Jumbo Rocks Campground – 124 sites, first-come, first-served.  This campground has picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets. No provided potable water.

Tip: This is where I camped and I loved it, but make sure to check the site and the pink slips on the post because many times people do not take off the tag when they leave.

We camped in the Jumbo Rocks Campground. It was pretty full when my friends and I showed up for the weekend in October (peak seasons are late fall and early spring), but by Monday even the most popular site to camp and explore Indian Cove was deserted.

White Tank Campground- 18 sites, first-come, first-served. This campground has picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets. No provided potable water.

Indian Cove Campground- 101 sites (13 group), reservations accepted.  This campground has picnic tables, fire rings, and flush toilets. No provided potable water.

Black Rock Campground- 100 sites (2 horse camps), reservations accepted.  This campground has potable water, picnic tables, fire rings, and flush toilets.

Hidden Valley Campground- 9 sites, first-come, first-served. This campground has picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets. No provided potable water.

Sheep Pass Campground- 6 group sites, reservations accepted. This campground has picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets. No provided potable water.

Cottonwood Campground- 62 sites (3 group sites) first-come, first-served. This campground has potable water, picnic tables, fire rings, and flush toilets.

Ryan Campground-  31 sites, first-come, first-served. This campground has picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets. No provided potable water.

Belle Campground- 15 sites, first-come, first-served. This campground has picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets. No provided potable water.

Helpful Tips:

Peak Season: Spring
Low Season: Summer (it will be extremely hot to visit during June-August)

Getting there: East on the 10 freeway towards Palm Springs. Then take 62 East to Joshua Tree.  The Joshua Tree National Park is easily accessible off Highway 62 via Park Blvd, which will become Quail Springs Road and takes you straight to the gate.

The entrance fee for the JT National Park is $25 per vehicle but includes reentry for 7 days.

There little to no cell service in the park so make plans to meet up with friends in a specific location before you enter the park.

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I had an amazing time bonding with my friends, exploring and hiking, and taking in the views that this place had to offer.  The natural beauty of the stars, the trees, and the rocks was a great reminder to de-plug from everything sometimes in order to really enjoy what is right in front of us.

I am also very happy with getting a spot at the Jumbo Rocks Campground.  I suggest walking into the backyard of the campground and watching the Milky Way or watching the sunrise on one of the rocks. It is something truly spectacular.

Happy Camping!

L x

 

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6 Replies to “The Ultimate Guide to a Weekend in Joshua Tree, California”

  1. Andrew Brown says:

    Excellent post, love the word choice. Makes me long for another J Tree trip under the stars.

  2. I’ve heard so many great things about Joshua Tree. Thanks for all of the tips about the campsites. It sounds very affordable too, which is always a plus.

  3. I appreciate the campground guide here!! Joshua Tree has long been on our list and we’re talking about adding it to our June trip, so some sunsets and beautiful sights may just be in the not-so-distant future!

  4. Such a beautiful national park to visit. Alas, I live in the other part of the world. But I would definitely want to visit here

  5. Wow! Spectacular views. Deep blue sky and sunset looks so mesmerising in Joshua Tree. Thanks for the campsite tips. Nicely Captured.

  6. Thank you for sharing! I’ve been wanting to visit Joshua Tree for the longest time. I have to convince my boyfriend to camp. I’ve never done it but have always wanted to try.

    Justine

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