Joshua Tree National Park and its impressive rocks

Joshua Tree National Park is not only famous for the oddly shaped trees that bear its name, it is also a wonderland for a lunar-like landscape full of stunning giant granite boulders.

The park is a great place for day or night photography, rock climbing and bouldering, and desert hiking.

Due to its relative proximity to the greater Los Angeles area, and being the only National Park in Southern California, the park is a very popular and crowded destination year around.

Most visitors however come during the mild season from October to April when temperatures are tolerable. However, it is always a good idea to check out the latest updates about the park.

The park offers a variety of trails for hiking, short and long distances. Luckily, most of the main attractions are within 1 mile hike from a trailhead/parking area.

One highly recommended activity for back-country enthusiasts is wilderness camping. The park offers 12 great trails when camping is allowed, which are free of charge, and some within a short distance from trailheads.

Top 5 Attractions

1. Exploring the giant boulders
Face rock.

There are many lookouts for great rock formations like near face rock, arches rock, jumbo Rocks, and Skull rock. As these names suggest, many of these resemble some familiar shapes.

2. Camping near the rocks
Jumbo rocks campground.

Joshua Tree is a great spot for camping. Many developed campgrounds are surrounded by the rock formations, and offer a really different experience than camping in forest or shaded places. My favorite campgrounds are Jumbo Rocks and Hidden Valley.

There are many campgrounds and it is often hard to find available spots. A great alternative, however, is wilderness camping. The park offers 12 backcountry trails where camping is allowed. My favorites are Twin Tanks and Boy Scout trails. As 85% of park is wilderness, the park is really ideal for backpackers.

3. Keys View
The view from Keys view. In the far distance one can see Coachella Valley and Palm Spring.

The drive to Keys View is a must. The lookout is great spot to see sunset with panoramic views over the Coachella Valley and Palm Springs.

4. Cholla Cactus Garden
Cholla Cactus Garden

Cholla Cactus Garden is must see spot that really represents the desert landscape of Joshua tree National Park. Along this drive, one also passes Ocotillo Patch, where one can see a small number of these plants.

5. Cottonwood Spring Oasis
Cottonwood Spring Oasis

Deserts often feature some pleasant surprises. At Joshua tree NP, that maybe the green Cottonwood Spring Oasis. It is almost a permanent spring in the desert. It is also one of the best areas in the park for bird sightseeing.

More Attractions

A Joshua tree and boulders, a perfect representation of the park.
Skull Rock
Giant boulders of different shapes near Skull Rock.
Barker Dam which fills in the winder.
Cap rock.
Split rock.


http://Map of Joshua Tree national Park