We stayed so close (about 3 hours from Yuma, Arizona) to California and Joshua Tree National Park that we decided it would be great to visit. We stayed for about 10 days at a campground near the national park and visited the park several times. In this episode, we discuss things to do in Joshua Tree National Park.

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Things to do in Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Things to do in Joshua Tree National Park and important things to know:

  1. Entry fee: A $30 per vehicle entrance fee is good for 7 days.
  2. Best time to visit: The park is busiest in spring (March-May) and fall (October-November) but can be hot in summer. Winter can be cool but also a great time to visit. We visited in January, and it was cold but not busy.
  3. Hiking: There are a lot of easy nature walks (like Cholla Cactus Garden and Skull Rock) to strenuous backpacking trips.
  4. Rock Climbing: Joshua Tree is a popular rock climbing and bouldering destination.
  5. Camping: There are 9 campgrounds within the park.
  6. Wildlife: Look for desert wildlife such as bighorn sheep, lizards, rattlesnakes, jackrabbits, and roadrunners. We didn't see anything—HAHA!
  7. Services: Gas, food, and supplies are available in nearby towns. Make sure you have enough because the park is very large.
  8. Junior Ranger Program: The park offers a Junior Ranger program where kids can complete activities and earn a badge.
  9. Stargazing: The night skies in the park provide excellent stargazing opportunities.
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Keys View – “San Andreas Fault, stretching 700 miles from the Gulf of California to the Mendocino Coast north of San Francisco, runs through the valley and can be seen below.”

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Skull Rock – The kids would agree that playing on the rocks is one of the best things to do in Joshua Tree.

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Cholla Cactus Garden

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Joshua Trees

Joshua trees are a type of tree native to the southwestern United States, particularly in the Mojave Desert. They typically are found at elevations between 2,000 and 6,000 feet in the Mojave Desert. The Mojave Desert is located in the southwestern United States—California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. 

They can grow quite large, with some trees reaching up to 40 feet tall. 

They are named after the biblical figure Joshua because the branches are said to resemble the outstretched arms of Joshua in prayer. They have a unique appearance, with spiky, green leaves that grow in clusters at the ends of long, thin branches. We think they look like fireworks or very excited trees.  

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Berdoo Canyon Offroad Trail – On the national park website, you can see other backcountry roads. We love the offroad trails and think it's one of the best things to do in Joshua Tree.

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