How to Plan a Trip to Joshua Tree National Park

Thinking of planning a rock climbing adventure with the family? Joshua Tree National Park is one of the best destinations for such a trip, with over 100 miles of hiking trails, rock formations for climbing, and mesmerizing stargazing.

If you have bucket list of activities to partake in during your time, you’l also have to figure out lodging and dining options.  Check out our guide on where to dine and stay during your family’s rock climbing adventure to Joshua Tree National Park.

Stone Adventures family

Where to Stay in Joshua Tree National Park

The camping in Joshua Tree National Park is very limited compared to its high visitation rate.  The reservable campgrounds are Indian Cove, Black Rock, Jumbo Rocks and Cottonwood. These fill up quickly, so you will want to plan your trip in advance if you want to camp inside the Park during your stay.  There are also a few first come first serve campgrounds, but they also tend to stay full during peak season months.

Additionally, there is camping that can be found just outside Joshua Tree National Park at privately owned campgrounds such as the Joshua Tree Lake RV and Campground, as well as a variety of camping or rustic homestead cabins that can be found through Airbnb. If you choose to stay in the high desert near the climbing, just keep in mind that there are three towns you can look for accommodations in Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, and Twentynine Palms.  All three of these towns border each other and the north side of Joshua Tree National Park.

If you would like to stay at an area with more hotels, night life, restaurants and pools, the towns in the low desert are a great option.  The greater Palm Springs area is only about 40-60 minutes away from the West Entrance (the main entrance of  JTNP accessed via Joshua Tree, CA), and staying down there could add a fun dynamic to your trip: climb in the day, soak in a hot tub, or go dancing by night.  Other attractions in the area include the spas, golf, the tram up San Jacinto, hot spring pools, and downtown Palm Springs with all the shops and restaurants in walking distance from each other. These cities include Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Cathedral City, and Desert Hot Springs.

There are accommodations for a wide range of vacation ambitions and budgets!  In any case, you will want to plan ahead and reserve as both the high and low desert grow in popularity every year.

Mother and child in Joshua Tree National Park

Food and Services in Joshua Tree National Park

Despite the fact that Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most popular National Parks and is centrally located in southern California, do not expect to find any services in the Park.  There are no gas stations, no busses, no running water, very few signs, and there is certainly no place to buy food. There is one small grocery store and a handful of restaurants in Joshua Tree town.  However, for buying groceries for camping, you will need to go to Stater Brothers, Vons or Grocery Outlet in Yucca Valley or Twentynine Palms.  These two towns sandwich Joshua Tree and have the real local prices for not only food, but gas and water as well.  So, if you want to avoid paying $6 for a tomato or .80 cents more per gallon of gas, just drive an extra 5 minutes to Yucca Valley.  Plus you can find some of the same hand crafted gifts made by local artists in old town Yucca or downtown Twentynine Palms for a fraction of the price!

Have a few dates in mind for your family's rock climbing trip? Book online with us today!

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