Joshua Tree National Park Things to Do

  • Oasis Visitors Center
    Oasis Visitors Center
    by Basaic
  • Sculpture at Oasis Visitors Center
    Sculpture at Oasis Visitors Center
    by Basaic
  • Oasis Visitors Center Displays
    Oasis Visitors Center Displays
    by Basaic

Most Viewed Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park

  • 1. Rock Formations

    The indentation on this rock was formed by a combination of two geological processes; Undercutting and Cavernous Weathering. These are when moisture is trapped on the surface of the rock or in the...

  • 2. Key's View

    Here you can see the San Andreas Fault where two continental plates; the Pacific Ocean Crust and the North American Crust have collided and push against each other causing instability and earthquakes.

  • 3. Walking / Hiking / Climbing

    There are six "established" hiking trails ranging in distances from 3 miles to 16 miles. They are as follows: Mastodon Peak - 3 miles Ryan Mountain - 3 miles 49 Palms Oasis - 3 miles Lost Horse...

  • 4. Skull Rock

    4 out of 5 stars

    It´s one of the most remarkable spots on this planet!! Just climb on one of these thousands of rockformations, and stare straight into one direction for 5 Minutes, I swear , you WILL believe, that...

  • 5. Joshua Tree

    The Cholla cactus could be taken for a Teddy Bear- it looks quite cuddley. Far from it ! Its thousands of needles will cause quite a lot of damage if you put out your hand to touch it or brush against...

  • 6. Cacti

    There is a small garden showcasing plants indigenous to this area near the Oasis Visitors Center. I find the wide variety of cacti in the desert and the way they adapted to their environment...

  • 7. Mines

    This is a great hike with a surprise in the end. From Keys View Rd, turn east on the dirt road when you see the sign. Leave your car in the parking lot and it's a 2-mile hike (one way). Last time I...

  • 8. Ryan Mountain

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    The Ryan Mountain trail is a 3 miles roundtrip leading to probably the best views in the park. The trail begins at Ryan Mountain parking area and climbs steadily. With a 1000-foot elevation gain over...

  • 9. Hidden Valley

    Probably the most interesting and beautiful place I saw in Joshua Tree National Park was Hidden Valley (although from what I understand Key's View is at least as good). Hidden Valley, and the Hidden...

  • 10. Barker Dam

    Barker Dam itself was a bit of a letdown and was not nearly as interesting as the trail leading to it. Barker Dam began as a catch basin to store water for the ranchers in the area. It was made into a...

  • 11. Cap Rock Trail

    This is an easy, wheelchair accessible loop trail that is less than a half a mile long. Here you will pass a collection of gigantic boulder piles. Cap Rock Formation is just one of these unusual rock...

  • 12. High View Trail

    This moderately steep trail is 2.8 miles long and climbs 300 feet. It is a beautiful trail surrounded by the Mojave Desert environment that rivals my favorite desert, Organ Pipe in Arizona. You will...

  • 13. Meet the Locals

    As always, I enjoy meeting the locals like these two rangers. The rangers at the national parks are almost always nice, helpful and knowledgeable and these two...

  • 14. Cottonwood Visitors Center

    If you enter the park from the south (via Interstate 10) the Cottonwood Visitors Center is a good place to start your visit. This is a great place to get maps...

  • 15. Oasis of Mara

    An oasis in the desert forms when there is a crack in the earth's crust and water is forced to the surface. This life giving moisture supports the trees and...

  • 16. Minerva Hamilton Hoyt

    Minerva Hamilton Hoyt was a Pasadena gardener and civic leader with a strong love of the desert and its plant and animal life. In 1930 she formed the...

  • 17. Oasis Visitors Center

    Just before you enter Joshua Tree National Park from the north you will see the Oasis Visitors Center on the right. This is a great place to get maps and...

  • 18. Road to/from the South Entrance

    I was only here for one day so I did not get to tour the Southern Part of the park. I did, however, take these pictures I'd like to share.I returned to the park...

  • 19. Gather History by Reading the Rocks

    There are pictoglyphs and petroglyphs throughout the Park. There are also books available to read about them and the cultures that have inhabited the area. The...

  • 20. Look out for the unexpected

    There is such a lot to see in this place and it pays to be prepared for the unexpected.In certain lights the park assumes quite a magical. mystical atmosphere....

  • 21. Look carefully at the Rock Paintings

    The Rock formations in the Park provide one of the most visually dramatic aspects of a visit there. Not only in size, shape and colour but equally in the...

  • 22. A Big Rockpile

    About 85 million years ago the formation you see here was formed 15 miles underground from magma. It became Monzogranite and a force called Mountain Uplifting...

  • 23. How are the Mountains Formed?

    As you tour the park, you may notice some mountains that are composed of light and dark areas. The lighter areas are a mineral called Monzogranite and the...

  • 24. Monzogranite

    The impressive rock formations you see in the park are predominantly formed of a mineral called Monzogranite. The formations are formed underground and slowly...

  • 25. Symbol of the Mojave

    The Mojave Desert contains the largest concentration of Joshua Trees. The Joshua Tree got its name from Mormon Settlers who thought the trees branches reminded...

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Joshua Tree National Park Things to Do

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