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Neighboring Parks

Joshua Tree National Park

This desert park is a rock climber's paradise and is full of things to see, from hiking to hidden oases and cactus gardens to touring historical sites.

Made internationally famous by the rock band U2, whose worked on their 1988 album The Joshua Tree here, this desert national park is a rock climber’s paradise. There are thousands of established climbing routes here, and outfitters in the gateway town of Joshua Tree can help you get roped up and teach you the skills you’ll need.

Even if you’re not a climber, there’s a wonderland of things to see and do here, from hiking to hidden native California fan palm oases and cactus gardens to touring historical pioneer sites.

The main access to the park is northeast of Palm Springs, which is over 400 miles south of Yosemite Valley. A more beautiful, yet little-traveled way to get to Joshua Tree is to first drive down to Death Valley, then through the Mojave National Preserve, which boasts the largest Joshua tree forest in the world, and briefly cross old Route 66, aka America’s “Mother Road.”

Visit www.nps.gov/jotr for more details about the national park, and www.nps.gov/moja for information about the national preserve.

Night Skies in Joshua Tree

Derek Sturman from Springville, Utah - Rock Arch and the Milky Way Galaxy, Joshua Tree National Park
Derek Sturman

Rock Arch and the Milky Way Galaxy

Joshua Tree National Park - Arch Rock Star Trails
Tony Prince

Arch Rock Star Trails

Joshua Tree National Park - Nature's Night Light
Kinita Albertson

Nature’s Night Light

Joshua Tree National Park - The Milky Way rises boldly over Arch Rock
Tony Prince

he Milky Way rises boldly over Arch Rock

Patricia Knight - Cholla Cactus Garden, Joshua Tree National Park, \
Patricia Knight

Cholla Cactus Garden, Joshua Tree National Park, “Not many people get to see the Cholla Cactus Garden after dark and its a magical sight to see after hours when there is a full moon.”

Scott Poupis - Star Trails, Joshua Tree National Park
Scott Poupis

Star Trails, Joshua Tree National Park

Kenny Chu from Temple City, California - Time Catcher (Star Trails), Joshua Tree National Park
Kenny Chu

Time Catcher (Star Trails)

Tony Prince from San Juan Capistrano, California - Arch Rock's Shape Nearly Matches the Rising Milky Way, Joshua Tree National Park
Tony Prince