Bucket List Adventures: Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
Twentynine Palms, Calif.
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- The Wonder
Forests of Joshua trees and enormous rock formations in the converging landscape of the Colorado and Mojave Deserts.
- The Adventures
Rock climbing, hiking, camping, horseback riding, ranger programs and tours, mountain biking, stargazing.
- One for the Bucket List
Rock climbing, without a doubt. The park is a worldwide destination for traditional-style crack, slab, and steep-face climbing. With hundreds of rock formations and thousands of climbing routes, the ruggedly bouldered landscape provides a range of difficulty levels, whether you're a rock newbie or a grappling-hook slinger. The gritty-rough texture of the monzogranite rock also acts like a natural grip-pad, offering better footing to those satisfied with just curious hops up smaller formations.
Although the park does not offer rock climbing instruction, you can attend seminars, take courses, or plan outings with the help of the nearby Joshua Tree Rock Climbing School.
- Seasons and Hours
Summer months can brutally hot, with average highs above 100º from June to August. So bringing plenty of beverages and amping up your sun-safety routine is essential. The park's three visitor centers are open all year, 8am-5pm daily.
From June to September, all the park's campsites are first-come, first-served. From October through May, the park's two larger campsites, Black Rock and Indian Cove, may be reserved. Campground fees are $10-$15.
- Getting There
Most visitors access the park via the main northern entrance on Park Boulevard, where you can find the Oasis Visitor Center and a decent number of places to stock up nearby. See map.
Average Temps (ºF) High/Low
January - 64/36
April - 83/49
July - 106/71
October - 86/52
Approximate Distance From...
Palm Springs, CA - 60 miles
Los Angeles, CA - 150 miles
San Diego, CA - 170 miles
Las Vegas, NV - 180 miles
Death Valley National Park - 230 miles
Fill Your Bucket List With Bewilderness
America the beautiful. You got that right. From the skytops of the world's tallest trees to the underwater color-play of tropical reefs, the National Park Service (NPS) oversees hundreds of parks and areas to conserve many of our country's most precious natural wonders.
Fewer than half of the national parks charge entrance fees, which usually range from $5 to $25 (often just per vehicle). Children 16 and under are always admitted for free. Daily fees for camping usually range between $10 and $20 per party.
If you're planning on visiting multiple parks, the NPS also offers America the Beautiful Passes that cover entrance fees at any national park.
- More National Park Adventures
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Grand Canyon »
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Joshua Tree »
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Sequoia and Kings Canyon »