8 Fun Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park

8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud

Joshua Tree National Park was recently added to my National Park bucket list after I noticed how close it was to Palm Springs. I didn’t even realize it was in California until a few friends told me about it and I started researching things to do in the area! Since I was heading down to Palm Springs for a girls weekend with my roommate anyway I decided to at least head over for a day.

I was pleasantly surprised!

We ended up loving every second of our day there! Especially because it was unlike anything we’d ever experienced before. If you ever make the trip, and I hope you do, check out my list of 8 Fun Things to do in Joshua Tree National Park.

8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud

1. Cholla Cactus Gardens

A lot of people go to Joshua Tree and totally miss these gardens. My advice to you is DO NOT miss them! The gardens are a bunch of cacti in a concentrated area with a walking path going through. The cacti are actually quite beautiful and make you want to reach out and touch them because they look so soft. Notice my hands are in my pocket in this pic. That’s because the park ranger showed us a photo of a drunk guy who ran through the “jumping teddy bear” cactus and they all jumped out at him and dug into his skin. Seeing that pic was enough to freak us out.  I was SO tempted to touch, but had to keep my mits to myself. 🙂

8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud

2. Skull Rock

Skull Rock is pretty cool! We thought to get to it we’d have to go on a huge hike that leads up to it, but we soon realized that the skull rock was right off of the road. If you want to hike around the Skull they have paths all around that take about an hour.

8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud

3. Arch Rock 

Arch Rock was my favorite rock formation that we hiked to. It actually wasn’t really a hike and took about 10 minutes to walk to it. The view on the other side of the arch is amazing and worth seeing!

8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud 8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud

4. Wall Street Mill or Lost Horse Mine

These are two different hikes both leading to a mill or mine. The actual destination to both of these hikes is a little lackluster, but the scenery on the way there is pretty! Wall Street Mill is more of an easy trail walk while Lost Horse Mine is more of a hike. 

8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud

5. Keys View

Definitely, make the drive up to Keys View so you can see the San Andreas fault. When we were up there it was extremely windy so be careful and hold on to your hat!
8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud 8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud 8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud

6. Hall of Horrors

This was a fun area to walk through. I’m still not sure why the name is so scary. I think it might have rock formations that look like a hall, but I definitely missed that. There’s also a lot of cool Joshua trees in this area and If you’re a rock climber this is a great place for it. We saw a ton of climbers with their bouldering pads hiking around and climbing.

8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud

7. Ryan Mountain Hike

This is one of the most popular hikes in Joshua Tree, but we didn’t have the time to check it out. Next time I go I’d like to go on a hike here. Since I didn’t do it and don’t have pics I thought I’d put this one from the climb down from Arch Rock. I felt like I was in 127 hours for a second.

8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud

8. Town of Joshua Tree

You can’t miss the actual town of Joshua Tree when you go to the National Park. The town itself is a scene. After hiking all day in the park we hit up Joshua Tree Saloon for a brew and some food. I really loved the mix of dolled up LA hipsters with the old desert biker crew. It was fun, eclectic and grungy. I wished I wasn’t wearing my workout clothes and had on my fringe and booties!

8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud

8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud

I hope these tips help you if you’re looking for things to do in Joshua Tree National Park!

If these weren’t enough tips for your adventure, there are a million more things to do in Joshua Tree here!

8 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park | Traveling Spud

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A Girl’s Weekend Guide to Palm Springs
The Colorful Doors of Palm Springs
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Tips for Floating on the Russian River

 

By | 2017-07-25T14:09:06+00:00 March 1st, 2016|April, North America, Top Ten, Travel|5 Comments

About the Author:

The Traveling Spud
Welcome to the Traveling Spud! I’m Katie, a 28-year-old from Idaho who quit her marketing job in San Francisco, California to travel the world for a year. I'm addicted to outdoor adventures, photography and inspiring others to get out of their comfort zones and cross experiences off of their bucket lists. Let's explore together! Read more here.

5 Comments

  1. theStyleJungle March 5, 2016 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Sounds like lots of fun! I’m really a fan of all kind of nature and this National Park is definitely worth visiting.

    Ksenia,
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    theStyleJungle recently posted…Рижский югендстиль. Самая красивая прогулкаMy Profile

    • The Traveling Spud
      The Traveling Spud March 5, 2016 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      Yes! It’s definitely one to add to the bucket list 🙂 The views were incredible!!

  2. Amanda May 3, 2017 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    Heading to Joshua Tree tomorrow. Thanks for the great tips and spots to checkout. Can’t wait to explore =)

  3. Kate from OneBagger June 27, 2017 at 11:19 am - Reply

    I visited Indian Cove sometime back and was nicely surprised. You can reserve a site for $15, unlike deeper inside the park where it’s first come. I’ve stayed at Jumbo and it’s awesome but as others said you likely won’t find a site unless you get lucky. Rattlesnake Canyon in Indian Cove is a great place if you like to go bouldering and scrambling. There are rough trails but it’s pretty much go wherever. You can hike as far into the park as you want. We had site 50 something but it looked like some good ones in the 90s too. We definitely plan on going back to this campground. It’s kind of a relief knowing you have a site reserved and don’t have to compete with everyone else. Don’t get me wrong I like Jumbo and Ryan but IC was a nice alternative.

    • The Traveling Spud
      The Traveling Spud June 27, 2017 at 11:54 pm - Reply

      Good to know for next time I go! I haven’t ever camped in Joshua Tree and want to try it. Hoping next time I go I can. 🙂

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