By Lynne Tucker

Joshua Tree National Park is a vast protected area in southern California. It’s characterized by rugged rock formations and stark desert landscapes. Named for the region’s twisted, bristled Joshua trees, the park straddles the cactus-dotted Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert, which is higher and cooler. Keys View looks out over the Coachella Valley. Hiking trails weave through the boulders of Hidden Valley.

Where Two Deserts Meet

Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California. Come explore for yourself.


Be Prepared

Though beautiful, the desert environment can be harsh and unforgiving. Preparedness is critical for your Safety.

  • There is no cell service throughout the park.
  • Always keep an ample supply of water with you while traveling through the park, whether driving or hiking. We recommend a minimum of one gallon of water per person, per day; hikers and cyclists should carry two gallons per person, per day.
  • Avoid strenuous activity during times of extreme heat.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.

Entrance Fees:

Entrance Fee – $30.00

7-day vehicle permit, admitting the passengers of a single, non-commercial vehicle on the day of purchase and for the next six days.

Motorcycle Entrance Fee – $25.00

7-day entrance permit, per motorcycle.

Individual Entrance Fee – $15.00

7-day entrance fee, per person on foot or bike.

Non-commercial Groups – Per Person – $15.00

Per-person fee charged to non-commercial groups entering in a vehicle with a capacity of 16 passengers or more.

Entrance Passes:

Joshua Tree National Park Annual Pass – $55.00

This pass is valid for 12 months from the month of purchase. It covers the entrance fee to Joshua Tree National Park for the pass signee and accompanying passengers entering in a single, non-commercial vehicle. Joshua Tree Annual Passes are available at park entrance stations and visitor centers.

Days are typically clear with less than 25% humidity. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high around 85°F (29°C) and average lows around 50°F (10°C) respectively. Winter brings cooler days, around 60°F (15°C), and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at higher elevations. Summers are hot, over 100°F (38°C) during the day and not cooling much below 75°F (24°C) at night.