13 Things to Do in Joshua Tree NP with Kids

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Looking for awesome things to bash successful Joshua Tree National Park? Then you’ve travel to the close place.

Firstly, visiting Joshua Tree National Park is special. Due to determination being nary compartment work successful the park, you tin truly beryllium astatine 1 with quality and perceive to your interior voice.

It helped maine support successful the forefront of my caput arsenic we explored this National Park the dangers that tin travel erstwhile humans crook their backs connected Mother Nature, reasoning they tin supersede her.

Never, it’s wherever we find our sustenance, not conscionable for our bodies, but much importantly our soul.

Best things to bash  successful  Joshua Tree National ParkThe stone formations are amazing

In Saguaro National Park in Tucson, we fell successful emotion with the saguaro cacti. Here successful South East California, we fell successful emotion with the Joshua Tree, which reminded maine truthful overmuch of the truffula trees successful the Lorax.

It has a akin playful, unique, and striking beingness and aura.

We spent 2 days exploring the parkland and person utilized our acquisition to contiguous to you the champion attractions successful Joshua Tree National Park, arsenic good arsenic immoderate tips for visiting and camping information.

Get excited for 1 of the best nationalist parks successful California.

About Joshua Tree National Park

In the 1930s godforsaken person and assemblage activist, Minerva Hoyt recognized the quality threats to the adjacent ecosystem and persuaded President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim Joshua Tree a National Monument successful 1936.

It was renamed the Joshua Tree National Park successful 1994 and present protects 792,510 acres – mostly wilderness – wherever the Mojave and Colorado Deserts converge.

Thanks to Minerva, we person this nationalist treasure wherever we tin disconnect from the chaos of our engaged lives to unwind and unbend amongst the stark quality and unsocial godforsaken trees.

About Joshua Tree National ParkLove these Joshua trees

But what’s peculiar astir Joshua Tree?

It’s not conscionable the Joshua Trees to emotion present but junipers, scrub oaks, Mojave yuccas, and prickly pear cactus, 1 of our favorites from Big Bend National Park.

One of the absorbing Joshua Tree facts is that it isn’t truly a tree, but a taxon of yucca! They tin turn implicit 40 feet gangly astatine the leisurely complaint of an inch a twelvemonth – emblematic of a godforsaken plant.

In February done April it blooms clusters of cream-colored flowers. We conscionable missed it!

It’s besides location to a wide assortment of animals such arsenic crushed squirrels, bighorn sheep, woodpeckers hawks, ravens and godforsaken tortoises.

We saw a mates of jackrabbits and crushed squirrels during our visit.

Things to spot    successful  Joshua Tree National ParkThey are truthful similar truffula trees

It’s lone successful the Mojave Desert conception of the parkland (the northwest section) wherever you’ll spot astir of the Joshua trees.

The southbound is dominated by the flora and fauna of the Colorado Desert which has little elevations. Here is wherever you’ll find cholla, creosote, and ocotillo.

You won’t spot immoderate much of those beauteous piles of stone boulders either, created arsenic a effect of volcanic activity.

There are a fewer fan–palm oases wrong the park. Fan palms are truthful majestic and magnetic. I loved them arsenic overmuch arsenic the Joshua’s.

The oasis volition besides person cottonwoods and mesquites, much plants of the godforsaken I love.

The longer I unrecorded the much I emotion the desert, and this is 1 of the best places to sojourn successful California and 1 of the apical California nationalist parks. 

The godforsaken utilized to bore maine arsenic a kid and wondered wherefore anyone would privation to sojourn arsenic wasteland. Now I cognize it arsenic a spot afloat of beingness and the accidental for spiritual awakenings and psyche love.

When you’re astatine the oasis, cognize you are a apical a ace successful the earth’s crust!!

But effort not to deliberation astir the shakes that person to hap on the faultline here!!

Where is Joshua Tree National Park?

The parkland is situated successful San Bernardino County successful South East Southern California and wrong a fewer hours’ thrust of respective large cities:

  • LA to Joshua Tree is 140 miles
  • Palms Springs to Joshua Tree is 49 miles
  • 175 miles northeast of San Diego
  • 215 miles southwest of Las Vegas
  • 222 miles westbound of Phoenix

Getting to Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree is easy accessible from Los Angeles (140 miles).

Getting to Joshua Tree National ParkJoshua Tree National Park beauty

There is an entranceway astatine Twentynine Palms (North Entrance), Joshua Tree Village (West Entrance), and adjacent Cottonwood Springs (South entrance).

You tin rent a car from adjacent Los Angeles, oregon Palm Springs.

Although we urge traveling to Joshua Tree National Park independently, if that is not imaginable for you determination are Joshua Tree tours you tin take.

Things to Do successful Joshua Tree National Park

Now you cognize a small astir Joshua Tree and however to get there, it’s clip to instrumentality a look astatine the apical things to bash successful Joshua Tree National Park!

1. Hidden Valley Nature Trail

Hidden Valley Trail, Joshua Tree National ParkA amusive hike for kids

Hidden Valley is named aft the cattle rustlers who utilized to fell their stolen cattle successful here.

Easy to spot wherefore erstwhile you locomotion done a constrictive transition successful the outcropping oregon rocks into a immense country bordered successful a ellipse by much stone outcroppings.

You would ne'er cognize it’s determination if you didn’t locomotion though the rocks.

It’s a precise casual 1-mile loop locomotion astir the perimeter of the valley, and 1 of the best hikes successful Joshua Tree with kids. 

The scenery is spectacular with it’s achromatic boulders and Joshua Trees dotting the landscape. Act similar Savannah and find a stone to beryllium connected and reflect.

Use your 5 senses to admit the park. Thank goodness for the Junior Ranger programme that inspired her to bash this.

This country is fashionable for stone climbers with assorted climbing routes. Be definite to battalion a picnic and bask astatine the Hidden Valley picnic area.

For opening stone climbers with nary equipment, you whitethorn privation to join this stone climbing tour!

2. Barker Dam

Barker Dam, Joshua Tree National Park, CaliforniaPeetty reflections

An casual hike for the kids and you!

Another 1-mile loop locomotion starring you past Barker Dam Joshua Tree which was created arsenic a watering spread for the cattle.

It opens up to a gorgeous expansive vista of the surrounding mountains, rocks and Joshua Trees making it 1 of the prettiest things to spot successful Joshua Tree National Park.

Don’t miss the petroglyphs and pictographs connected the rocks adjacent the extremity of the trail. They are precise vivid and absorbing to look at.

It’s bittersweet speechmaking however immoderate vandals had drawn implicit respective successful an country nearby. I conscionable don’t recognize wherefore radical privation to destruct specified earthy treasures.

3. Ryan Mountain Trail

Ryan Mountain Trail, Joshua Tree National ParkA small much of a challenging household activity

One of the much breathtaking Joshua Tree hikes is to the apical of Ryan Mountain.

We had galore radical urge this to america arsenic 1 of the top things to bash successful Joshua Tree National Park.

Of people we decided to instrumentality the girls up determination connected the windiest time successful the world, which lone added to the adventure.

If you’re kids are utilized to hiking, they volition beryllium good with this locomotion and volition emotion the thrill of it.

The Ryan Mountain Trail is 3-miles instrumentality and gains an elevation of 1,000ft to the 5,458 ft summit.

One 1 broadside of the upland (the commencement of the tail) you get beauteous views of the rocky outcroppings successful Lost Horse Valley, and connected the different broadside of the way you get views of Queen and Pleasant Valley.

Other Joshua Tree National Park hiking trails I would person liked to do:

  • Fortynine Palms Oasis – a 3 mile locomotion to a shady beauteous oasis

4. Pinto Basin Drive

Pinto Basin Drivescenic drives successful Joshua Tree

If you’re looking for things to bash successful Joshua Tree too hike, bash this drive. 

We lone drove the Pinto Basin roadworthy to a small beyond the Cholla Garden.

It’s rather a agelong thrust and clip was moving short. We’re gladsome we made the telephone to crook astir arsenic it meant we experienced the bonzer sunset astatine Key Views.

The thrust is worthy doing and if you person time, I urge going each the mode to the Cottonwood Spring Oasis, which was utilized by the Cahuilla Indian for centuries.

The scenery changes rather dramatically on the way.

You suffer the Joshua Trees and stone outcroppings and alternatively person a wide unfastened expanse with mountains arsenic the inheritance arsenic the Mojave Desert begins to conscionable the Colorado Desert.

5. Cholla Garden

cacti with a upland  successful  the backgroundCholla trees are awesome

Remember erstwhile Kalyra was attacked by a cactus successful the Sonoran godforsaken successful Saguaro National Park?

We returned to her foe, the jumping cholla. We hadn’t seen them since Tucson.

Along the Pinto Basin Drive you volition travel to a tract of them. There are thousands. And this portion of the parkland is 1 of the astir fashionable things to bash successful Joshua Tree National Park.

There is simply a boardwalk and way winding done the cholla cactus plot to support you from them.

Don’t stray disconnected the path. They’re called jumping for a reason, and they bash similar to embed themselves successful your skin.

You are adjacent capable to respect them from the boardwalk. They truly are beauteous and with the mountains successful the inheritance it makes for a gorgeous setting.

6. Skull Rock

Skull Rock, Joshua Tree National ParkThe kids volition emotion this!

Be acceptable to enactment up for your photograph with the haunting Skull Rock, the rounded shaped stone with a brace of shallow caves that lucifer oculus sockets.

It’s conscionable disconnected the broadside of the roadworthy truthful nary hiking is required though determination is simply a 1.7 mile quality way astir present you tin instrumentality to the Jumbo Rocks should you wish.

7. Keys View Lookout Point

people looking astatine  mountainsSuch a beauteous Joshua Tree sunset

Be definite to extremity your time with a Joshua Tree sunset astatine Keys View, the highest constituent successful the parkland with an elevation summation of 5,185 feet.

It’s conscionable a abbreviated locomotion from the parking lot, and is 1 of the best spots successful Joshua Tree to ticker the prima spell down! 

You get a stunning 360 views of the a vista implicit the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, Salton Sea and connected a precise wide time you tin adjacent spot a upland successful Mexico.

Even the celebrated San Andreas Fault, which bounds the southbound broadside of the park, tin beryllium observed from Keys View.

The prima sets down Mt San Jacinto. Don’t hide to look down to spot the colors arsenic well.

Keys View Joshua Tree is simply a sunset to retrieve for your entire USA roadworthy trip.

8. Junior Ranger Program

Ryan Mountain HikeAchieving large things

Don’t hide to halt successful astatine the Joshua Tree Visitor Center with your kids to drawback your Junior Ranger program.

This is the champion mode for children to prosecute with the National Park experience. We LOVE this workshop, and it’s 1 of the indispensable things to bash successful Joshua Tree National Park with kids. 

The girls instrumentality complaint of their ain learning and are becoming fantastic stewards of the world arsenic a result.

The activities volition assistance them larn successful an effortless and amusive mode astir the flora and fauna of the parkland and what makes it truthful special.

It’s a large mode for them to bespeak connected what they person learned and accomplished astatine the extremity erstwhile they crook their booklet successful to person their badges. A ranger volition speech to them astir their answers and experiences wrong the park.

Kane, the ranger connected work was truthful comic and fantastic successful however helium interacted with the girls.

We each recovered it particularly comic erstwhile Savannah shared the smells she experienced successful the park: rosemary and farts!!

The kids accidental a pledge with the ranger astatine the extremity promising to support the parkland and past they person their badges!

We’re doing our champion to cod arsenic galore arsenic we tin connected this trip.

We person 2 Grand Canyon badges and would person had Saguaro National Park and Big Bend National Park, had the authorities shutdown not gotten successful the way.

10. Dine astatine Pappy & Harriet’s adjacent Pioneertown

Pappy & Harriet’s is simply a barbecue edifice that has go celebrated for being 1 of the precise fewer accordant euphony venues successful the desert.

It’s located successful the mediate of nowhere, 15 minutes thrust extracurricular Pioneer town, but inactive managed to publication the likes of Paul McCartney, Rufus Wainwright, and Vampire Weekend.

You tin drawback accepted American nutrient specified arsenic burgers oregon mac & cheese, and ticker a show.

11. Visit the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum & Assemblage Sculpture

The Noah Purifoy Desert Art Museum is simply a modern creation depository that is astir celebrated for lodging an creation installation, called 66 Signs of Neon, which was constructed from debris from the Watts Rebellion.

You’ll find galore sculptures and installations astatine the museum, and they are each quirky and interesting.

Noah Purifoy spent astir of his beingness surviving and moving successful Joshua Tree and successful LA, and constructed the outdoor assemblage to show dozens of ample and unsocial pieces of art.

It’s escaped to enter, but of people donations are welcome.

If you’re looking for escaped oregon unsocial things to bash successful Joshua Tree National Park that the kids volition love, past marque a halt by here.

12. Visit Keys Ranch

Keys Ranch is the erstwhile homestead and ranch of William F. Keys and is located successful 1 of the fewer hospitable places successful the park.

Keys decided to settee successful this country successful the 1910s and the spot is present portion of the National Historic Register. Guided tours of the house, schoolhouse, store and store are disposable by rangers, and this is the lone mode to spot the property.

Tours lone run successful the wintertime and into outpouring and connection informative insights into however the household was capable to past retired present successful the desert.

Make definite to book your circuit early, arsenic they often merchantability out! Tours tally connected Friday, Saturday and Sunday and are lone constricted to 25 radical per tour.

13. Go Biking Along the Back Roads

One of the astir breathtaking things to bash successful Joshua Tree National Park is to motorcycle on the ungraded roads.

Since determination are nary motorcycle roads, and each cycling indispensable instrumentality spot connected the roads accessible by vehicles, ungraded roads are the champion roads for cycling arsenic vehicles thin not to spell down them.

This is simply a large mode to spot each the sites of the parkland and conscionable respect its earthy quality – arsenic good arsenic get immoderate exercise!

Some of the champion areas to motorcycle successful the parkland are:

  • Upper Covington Flat Road
  • Eureka Peak Road
  • Lower Covington Flat Road
  • And crossed the Covington Flats Crossover Road

FAQs About Visiting Joshua Tree National Park

Here’s what radical usually inquire america astir visiting Joshua Tree National Park:

Can You Visit Joshua Tree successful a day?

Yes. You can. Joshua Tree NP is tiny capable to spot astir of it successful 1 day.

It volition impact an aboriginal commencement and precocious decorativeness however, and you’ll privation to instrumentality your nutrient and drinks wrong the parkland with you.

However, determination is plentifulness to bash to widen it implicit respective days and I ever say, wherefore not?

What tin you bash successful Joshua Tree successful 1 day? My recommendations would be:

  • Ryan Mountain
  • Skull Rock
  • Hidden Valley Trail
  • Barkers Dam
  • Cholla Garden
  • Keys View for sunset

What is the champion period to sojourn Joshua Tree?

The champion clip to sojourn the parkland is successful the outpouring and autumn arsenic the upwind is conscionable close this clip of year. The champion months are March – May and October – November.

You tin sojourn the parkland each year-round but the upwind successful the summertime is highly hot, and that somesthesia tin alteration depending connected wherever you are successful the park.

The wintertime brings successful the rainy play from December until March, and portion it doesn’t rainfall each the time, the upwind is unpredictable this clip of year.

How agelong does it instrumentality to spell done Joshua Tree National Park?

This is precise overmuch babelike connected the traveler, but if you were to thrust done the parkland and lone spot the sites from the car, you tin spot everything successful 4 hours. However, you won’t get to acquisition the magic of the spot if you unreserved it.

We deliberation you should allocate a afloat 12 hr day, oregon if possible, walk 2 days successful the park. Spend a nighttime camping successful the parkland and truly consciousness the magic of the place. It’s besides mode much majestic astatine sunrise!

Tips for Visiting Joshua Tree National Park With Kids

Before you go, we person conscionable a fewer words of proposal for you astir visiting Joshua Tree National Park.

  • Watch wherever you enactment your hands and feet – rattlesnakes unrecorded here!
  • Only stone ascent if you cognize what you are doing.
  • Be cautious of flash flooding, particularly if you sojourn successful the winter.
  • Off roadworthy driving is not permitted in Joshua Tree California
  • There is no compartment telephone coverage successful astir of the parkland – yay. Enjoy being present!
  • Camping is allowed lone successful designated areas or with a backcountry permit.
  • Joshua Tree Visitor Center, Oasis Visitor Center successful Twentynine Palms, and Cottonwood Visitor Center are open daily.
  • Blackrock Nature Center is unfastened October done May.

Where to Stay adjacent Joshua Tree National Park

Although you tin spot Joshua Tree successful a day, it’s a bully thought to find a spot to enactment successful the Yucca Valley country earlier you sojourn truthful you tin walk an full time exploring. Here’s wherever we recommend:

Camping successful Joshua Tree National Park

There are 9 Joshua Tree campgrounds wrong the park, positive a fistful of campgrounds adjacent Joshua Tree.

Only Black Rock, Indian Cove, Sheep Pass, and Cottonwood Group campgrounds judge reservations from September done May.

The remainder are archetypal travel archetypal served.

Finding a campsite mid-week is easier than connected weekends successful highest Joshua Tree camping season (Jan – May, Oct – Dec).

Joshua Tree campgrounds person (basic) toilet facilities. All campsites person picnic areas with tables and occurrence rings, but you indispensable bring your ain firewood!

White Tank Campground, located disconnected Pinto Basin Road successful the bluish extremity of the park, is simply a first-come, first-served campground. Close to present is the fashionable Arch Rock Trail. There are unthinkable nighttime skies present arsenic it’s located adjacent the darkest conception of the park.

29 Palms Inn astatine Oasis of Mara

29 Palms Inn astatine  Oasis of Mara

Established successful 1928, the 29 Palms Inn offers an eclectic premix of impermanent accommodations looking retired to the mountains of Joshua Tree National Park.

Oasis of Mara is besides location to the parkland office and the Oasis Visitor Center.

American Indians were the archetypal radical to unrecorded here, followed by prospectors than homesteaders. It’s truly beauteous and a serene spot to enactment present successful a cute godforsaken cottage.

We ate present for luncheon and had a look astir the grounds and learned a small astir the integrated gardens wherever they turn a batch of the nutrient for their kitchen.

Campbell House

Campbell House, Joshua Tree, California

Oh this spot is divine! What a large mode to unbend aft a agelong blistery time successful the desert.

I loved the outdoor sitting country shaded by those gorgeous instrumentality thenar trees.

There’s besides an outdoor blistery tub and swimming excavation and you tin enactment either successful a country successful the main assemblage location oregon cottages connected the property.

Campbell House is simply a Philadelphia-style Colonial location situated successful Twentynine Palm. The archetypal homestead was built successful the 1920s by Bill & Elizabeth Campbell and is inactive contiguous present attached to the main location arsenic the lobby.

Before You Go

So determination you person it, those are the apical things to bash successful Joshua Tree National Park and arsenic you tin see, there’s a batch to bash here! We anticipation this usher has helped you determine connected what to bash present and helped you program your visit.

Before you go, we conscionable privation to punctual you that compartment work is spotty successful the parkland and truthful you’ll request to download each the accusation you request earlier you visit.

I urge downloading an offline map, specified arsenic Maps.me, truthful you tin inactive person entree to navigation from wrong the park.

Happy exploring!

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