Tips for visiting Joshua Tree National Park in the Summer


I cannot deny that Joshua Tree National Park is magical. It was our favourite part of our 19-day road trip. It’s amazing. And yes, it is incredibly beautiful, and breathtaking. But it’s still a desert—and like most deserts, it can be hostile and unforgiving. It’s sad to read that many lose their lives due to being unprepared and guilty of underestimating the heat and conditions. We were overprepared and still didn’t pack enough water.


Located in Southern California between the California coast and the Arizona border. The park is a blend of both the Mojave and Colorado Deserts and is two – three hours away from LA and Las Vegas. We made the 1-night stop en route to Las Vegas from LA. Nearby you will find three small towns, Joshua Tree, Twentynine Palms, and Yucca Valley. You can read more about Twentynine Palms in my recent post about visiting this phenomenal national park for a 1-day trip.


We visited in August 2023 and like Death Valley National Park, it’s very hot in the Summer months — on the day we visited it was the most intense heat we have ever experienced. And despite taking all the precautions we came across in our research, our 12-year-old struggled towards the end of our day with a very mild headache. It soon disappeared once we left the park, ate snacks and sat in the shade in our Airbnb.



Tips for visiting Joshua Tree National Park in the Summer



Joshua Tree National Park



Tips for visiting Joshua Tree National Park in the Summer
Jumbo Rocks, Joshua Tree National Park



Here are my 10 Top Tips for visiting Joshua Tree during the Summer months…



1. Unlike other national parks, Joshua Tree does not have a park shuttle or public transport. To get around the park, you’ll need a vehicle and you must stay on the trail.


2. Choose one of 3 entrances that allow you to follow the trail points you are focusing on. Choose wisely.


3. During the busy season, parking can be challenging. To make this a little easier, plan to arrive at the park before 9 am.


4. Prepare for the heat. Pack several litres of water, wear a hat, and suncream, and snacks – there are very few shaded areas in Joshua Tree National Park.


5. There are no services, gas stations, and limited toilet facilities so be prepared for this on entering the park. Pack food and get fuel before entering.


6. Pick up a park map on entry, familiarise yourself with your route. Consider downloading maps offline, and lastly utilise the GPS on your car sat nav – we found that it helped more than the offline maps.


7. Consider buying an annual National Parks Pass if you are visiting multiple parks, you will save money and save time on entry.


8. Wear comfortable footwear and consider the spines from Joshua Trees, check the underneath of your footwear before getting back into your vehicle.


9. They say the best time to visit Joshua Tree National Park is from October to April when temperatures are milder. It is the least busy in the Summer due to extreme heat, where temperatures often exceed 100 degrees.


10. Leave no trace. Enjoy the outdoors while minimising manmade impact. Leave only what you find.



Tips for visiting Joshua Tree National Park in the Summer
Joshua Tree National Park



Would you add any top tips to the list? You can read more about our road trip around California here. If you are more interested in photos and videos from our travels you can view my reels over on Insta.


The KA Edit
The KA Edit

I’m Kerri-Ann or KA as my friends call me, always found with a cup of coffee in one hand and my camera in the other. I have a huge passion for photography, fitness, fashion and family travel. I started this blog in 2014. It began as my creative outlet after becoming a mummy to our little boy George Archie. I started out blogging about parenting and over the years it has evolved into a blog that covers lifestyle, fashion, family and travel. Today TheKAEdit is ultimately a life and style blog. Thank you for reading x x

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