Joshua Tree National Park California: A Complete Guide

Popular for its iconic bulbous rocks and snake-shaped canyons, Joshua Tree National Park is one of the top tourist attractions in California and is truly an oasis of serenity. Whether you visit the desert playground for the first time or you have been to it before, it presents tourists with the opportunity of doing something new all the time. From sightseeing to cycling and bird watching, the exciting activities at the desert playground will take your tourism experience to the next level.

Knowing about this iconic attraction of the desert playground is imperative if you are planning to visit it for the first time. It will not only help you choose the right activities but also maximize the fun element until the time you leave Joshua Tree National Park. Read on to know more about the top things to do in the park.

Things to do in Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is one of the best places to visit in USA, and a paradise for visitors who love to explore new places or indulge in exciting activities. After hitting this tourist spot, you can look forward to some memorable moments of fun and excitement. Here, alongside sightseeing, you can take part in a wide range of exciting activities.

From hiking to climbing and dining, here are some exciting things worth engaging in at Joshua Tree National Park.

1. Head to a Campsite for the Ultimate Camping Experience

Joshua tree national park

Nothing beats the experience of Joshua Tree National Park camping. At Joshua Tree in California, you can pick and choose your camping ground from a wide range of choices. These include Cottonwood, Ryan, Jumbo Rocks, Black Rock, and The Indian Cove. Camping on these campgrounds will let you unwind and connect with nature. Plus, you can also develop a friendly relationship with other campers.

2. Hike along the Challenging Trails

If you are fond of hiking, the first destination you would want to consider post your arrival at the desert park in California is the loop around Barker Dam. Ideal for family hiking, it stretches up to a mile and has watering holes plus a sizeable presence of flora. These features attract several migrating birds.

For more hiking action, you can also stroll along the hiking trail to Ryan Mountain. Located on the western side of the desert park, it is a 3-mile-long hiking trail with some stunning views. The other two prominent options for hiking include the trail that concludes at Lost Horse Mine and the one to Warren Peak.

3. Climb Rocks – Test the Strength of Your Body and Mind

Joshua tree national park

Rock climbing, no matter where you do it, is a challenging activity. It puts your body and mind at work and lets you find out how tough you are both physically and mentally. Joshua Tree National Park has several trad routes laden with cracks and boulders. When you put your best foot forward to climb them, the rocks of the sand playground with these characteristics will keep you on your mettle.

4. Explore the Desert Region on the Back of a Horse

Being a desert, Joshua National Park has plenty of ground to cover. This lets visitors enjoy horseback riding to the fullest extent. With several knowledgeable guides around, you will get plenty of help for it. The best place for horseback riding at Joshua National Park is the path between the north entrance (in proximity to Twentynine Palms) and Black Rock Campground. It stretches up to 37 miles between these areas.

5. Watch more than 250 Species of Birds

Joshua Tree

Are you a bird nerd? If yes, you can look forward to an unforgettable bird-watching experience at Joshua National Park. Don’t forget to carry your binoculars, though, as you will need them for an invaluable experience of seeing colorful birds in proximity.

Overall, Joshua Tree National Park has 250+ distinct species of birds. Prominent among them are bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, osprey, egrets, roadrunners, quail, raptors, waterbirds, and songbirds. Other than these birds, you can also see birds of several other species. Spring is the best season for watching these birds in action.

6. Ride a Bicycle on the Public Roads of Joshua Tree

Ride a Bicycle on joshua tree

There is no restriction on riding a bicycle on the public roads of Joshua Tree. Thus, you can engage in cycling here with ease. This way, aside from keeping your body and mind busy in an engaging activity, you will also get a healthy workout. Plus, you will also be able to gauge your cycling skills.

Cycling along the dirt roads of Joshua Tree will help you avoid traffic congestion. Queen Valley Road, which leads to Desert Queen Mine, is perfect for cycling. You can also head to the interiors of Eureka Peak Road for stunning views. As regards getting a bicycle on rent, you can get it at a local shop.

7. Eating & Drinking

Joshua Tree National Park has ample arrangements for letting its visitors enjoy coffee, burger, and other smoothies. Some popular cafes to enjoy these foods are Crossroads Cafe, Joshua Tree Saloon, Sisters Cafe, Sam’s Fine Indian Cuisine and Pizza, the 29 Palms Inn, and so on.

Joshua Tree National Park Hours

Joshua Tree National Park remains open to visitors every day. You can visit the Joshua Tree visitor center between 8 am and 5 pm and Cottonwood Visitor Center between 9 am and 3 pm.


Notwithstanding the rocks of unique shapes and sizes, Joshua Tree National Park is also popular for its exciting activities. It is one of the best national parks in USA and Indulging in the above activities will make your trip to the destination both enjoyable and memorable.

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