Video: Guide to Joshua Tree National Park

This unique desert destination, filled with can’t-miss activities and camping opportunities, attracts more than 3 million visitors each year

Every year, more than 3 million visitors make their way to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. Nearly 50 miles from Palm Springs and 150 miles from San Diego, this unique desert destination is filled with can’t-miss activities and camping opportunities.

Here are a few things you should know about visiting Joshua Tree National Park:

Camping. There are several campgrounds in the park ranging from first-come, first-served sites to reservation-only areas. You can also find dispersed camping sites just outside of the park on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property, if the campgrounds in Joshua Tree are full.

Cottonwood Springs. When driving through the park, be sure to get out and explore this desert oasis featuring massive palm trees. There’s a trailway that lets you get up close to the peculiar desert vegetation.

Cholla Cactus Garden. This quarter-mile flat trail lets you explore other desert vegetation, just be sure to only observe (not touch) these prickly plants.

Skull Rock. Visit one of the most popular spots in the park to get your picture by this skull-shaped rock. You can also climb the many boulders at this stop to get a view of the desert landscape.

World’s tallest Joshua tree. Be sure to check out this towering tree just off the side of the road.

Keys View. This stop offers incredible views of the valley and the desert and is an ideal destination to catch the sun setting or rising.

Related Planning a trip to Joshua Tree National Park