Day 1: Explore Rocky Landscapes

Hiking Joshua Tree National Park

Day 1: Explore Joshua Tree National Park 

Discover one of southern California’s most spectacular landscapes, where the Mojave and Colorado deserts meet.

Skys The Limit ObservatoryJust a stone’s throw away from Los Angeles and San Diego, a wilAt nearly 800,000-acres, Joshua Tree National Park is home to some of the most fascinating geology found in the California deserts; rugged mountains of twisted rock and exposed granite monoliths testify to the tremendous earth forces that shaped and formed this land. Much of the park exists within an overlap of the Mojave and Colorado deserts, creating a unique transition zone where you’ll find rich biodiversity, and a diverse range of plants and animals from each desert ecosystem. 

Welcoming over 3-million visitors a year, Joshua Tree National Park offers access to world-class hiking trails and rock-climbing routes, fascinating flora and fauna, and one of the most breathtaking starry night skies in southern California. Designated as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association in 2017, Joshua Tree National Park is also home to some seriously spectacular dark skies and is known as one of the best places in southern California to observe meteor showers see the stunning Milky Way! 

Home to Joshua Tree National Park Headquarters, Oasis of Mara Visitor Center, and main park entrance, 29 Palms is your gateway to southern California’s most iconic National Park. Plus, 29 Palms offers the only road access to the 49 Palms Oasis, one of five natural oases found in the park, and Indian Cove, a hotspot for rock climbing.

Plan time to hike the popular Hidden Valley and Barker Dam nature trails, stop to take your photo at the famous Skull Rock, stroll the Cholla Cactus trail, and check out the incredible views from Key Views, where on a clear day you can see the entire Coachella Valley and Mexico!

As a proud Leave No Trace Community Partner, Visit 29 Palms encourages responsible outdoor recreation so that these special places in the California desert can be preserved and enjoyed by future generations of visitors to come.

Start planning your visit:
Lodging in 29 Palms
Joshua Tree National Park Map

Trip Planning Ideas & Itineraries