This one-day highlights tour through Joshua Tree National Park is great for those who are limited with time. If you are looking for a short day trip idea from Los Angeles or San Diego, or just want a quick detour on your road trip from or to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon than keep reading!
We recently took a road trip to Joshua Tree National Park. Unlike most of our other trips where we usually have an unlimited amount of travel time, this was only a short getaway due to new work commitments.
Believe it or not, we lived in Los Angeles for a year and a half and never got around to visiting this park! Now that we had moved two states away I was itching to explore the Joshua Tree area. When I received a low airfare alert from Skyscanner for flights to Long Beach I jumped on the opportunity. We booked car hire in advance online and you wouldn't believe the rate we scored... $80 for 4 days!!! Hell yeah!!!
Flying into Long Beach turned out to be a really good decision. It was a small and easy airport to navigate. And there was no traffic! No traffic on the way out to Joshua Tree on a Sunday morning on the Presidents Holiday Weekend!! Also, on our return during the week we were going against the traffic. I have included a list of airports below if your are flying in to visit Joshua Tree too.
From LAX or Long Beach airports you will need to get on the I-10 and then onto CA-62, also known as the Twentynine Palms Highway to get to Joshua Tree.
If you are coming from San Diego, you could do this driving tour in reverse and begin your trip from the south entrance of the park.
There is an entrance fee which goes towards funding for the park. The entrance fee is $25 per vehicle and allows for a stay of seven days. If you plan on visiting more national parks you should consider buying a National Parks Annual Pass which is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.
The Weather In February & Best Times To Visit Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree's peak season is from October through May, the cooler months of winter, fall and spring for obvious reasons. Expect campgrounds to be full on weekends during these times of the year.
It will be really cold during the winter nights so come prepared. Also, the months of March and April are known to have high winds. We visited Joshua Tree National Park at the end of February and this is exactly what we experienced.
Honestly, I wish we had waited until summer (I am a hot weather kind of gal) but I was really looking forward to getting away. Also, I had been checking the weather for Joshua Tree for a few weeks beforehand and temperatures had been in the high 70's and low 80's which was what made me want to head to Joshua asap. Of course when we got there they had a cold weather snap. It was below thirty during the night and snowed on our first morning there for fifteen minutes. The takeaway from this is that the weather is not predictable!
Of course there is a lot more than you can see in one day at Joshua Tree National Park!
There is a lot more to Joshua Tree than the highlights mentioned below. There are a number of old mines to explore, great hiking trails, and other cool trips to take such as the Geology Tour. If you have more time to spend here then see a complete list of things to do and see in Joshua Tree N.P.
If you are limited with time, the one day highlights itinerary below allows you to see the parks most popular attractions, provides enough time to stop and have lunch, take many pictures and stop at some of the turnouts throughout the park. Make sure you do!
You can also download a free copy of our highlight's checklist and take with you to make sure you don't miss the must see's! Just click on the button below to get your copy.
Begin Driving Tour Through