Joshua Tree

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO

Joshua Tree

Where to stay

Twin Tanks Campground

It’s a walk-in site in the backcountry (no permit required) with no running water or amenities. But who needs those kinds of luxuries?! Only the weak! The best sites are always those that put you closest to nature and away from the real world.

WHERE TO HIKE

Ryan Mountain

The hike is about a 3 miles and is moderately strenuous. Once you gain the 1059 feet in elevation, you arrive at 5,457 feet to a rewarding, sweeping view of the park that seems to go on forever. Depending on the time of year, you might just see wildflowers and big horn sheep. Don’t forget to bring a beer for the top -you’ve earned it.

MUST SEE LANDMARK

Keys View

Keys View may be popular, but for good reason. With panoramic views of Coachella Valley and the San Andreas Fault, the site is breathtaking. Even though there is bound to be a small crowd, something about the way the sun reflects off the mountainside and vastness of the valley makes everything seem to stand still. Pack yourself a little picnic and post up to take it all in. 

WHERE TO SEE SUNRISE/SUNSET

Cholla Cactus Garden

The landscape at Cholla Cactus Garden is unlike most areas of the park. Unlike the usual Joshua trees and boulders, this is a highly concentrated area of cholla cacti, aka the teddy bear cactus. When the sun rises, the cacti glows from the light and it looks awesome. It’s one of the coolest backdrops for photos. Depending where you stay in the park, you need to plan a little time to get out there but it’s worth it.

QUINTESSENTIAL SCENIC DRIVE

Drive from west to south entrance

Every road in Joshua Tree is quintessential California desert. If you take the drive from the west entrance to the south entrance, you will pass by every major stop - Hidden Valley, Ryan Mountain, Jumbo Rocks, Skull Rock, Challa Cactus Garden, etc. 

SECRET SPOT

Stargazing anywhere in the park

Joshua Tree National Park is an official International Dark Sky Park (not an easy designation to get). That means that stargazing is top-notch. Find a place to park it, lay a blanket down on the ground and prepared to be amazed by the Milky Way. 

WHERE TO REFUEL

Crossroads

Before your day of exploring the park, fuel up for breakfast at Crossroads Cafe. They’re breakfast game is on point and appeals to carnivore and vegans alike. 

WHERE TO ENJOY A COLD ONE

On top of a boulder!

Joshua Tree is known for their giant, unique rock formations which are just begging to be explored. Scramble your way to the top of boulder mountain and take in the desert beauty. There is nothing better than a good beer and a great view.

SELFIE SPOT

Skull Rock

Located just off the main highway, Skull Rock is exactly as you would imagine - a giant rock that looks like a skull! Bust out your phone, get that angle and selfie away. Who knows, maybe even try a face swap! 

RADICAL ACTIVITY

Rock climbing Intersection Rock

Joshua Tree is home to world class rock climbing & Intersection Rock put it on the map. It greets you right as you enter Hidden Valley and is a site in itself. There are 3 main routes that you will find running diagonally from the top. The levels range from 5.3-5.lla.

Cassi Ellis

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