Welcome to Joshua Tree National Park, a magical desert oasis where families can discover the wonders of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. With its iconic Joshua trees, stunning rock formations, and star-studded skies, Joshua Tree offers families a unique opportunity to connect with nature and create lasting memories together. Here are eight reasons why Joshua Tree is the perfect destination for families:

Joshua Trees: Begin your adventure by marveling at the park’s namesake Joshua trees, with their whimsical shapes and unique silhouettes. Take a leisurely drive along Park Boulevard or hike one of the park’s many trails to get up close and personal with these iconic desert plants.

Hidden Valley: Explore Hidden Valley, a picturesque enclave nestled among towering rock formations. Hike the Hidden Valley Nature Trail, a short loop trail that winds through massive boulders and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding desert landscape.

Cholla Cactus Garden: Discover the beauty of the Cholla Cactus Garden, where thousands of spiny cholla cacti blanket the desert floor. Take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk and marvel at the otherworldly beauty of these unique desert plants.

Keys View: Take in panoramic views of the Coachella Valley from Keys View, one of the park’s most scenic overlooks. On a clear day, you can see as far as the Salton Sea and even catch a glimpse of the San Andreas Fault.

Skull Rock: Snap a family photo at Skull Rock, a natural rock formation that resembles a human skull. Climb on the giant granite boulders and let your imagination run wild as you explore this unique geological wonder.

Arch Rock: Hike to Arch Rock, a natural stone arch that frames the desert landscape in breathtaking fashion. Walk through the arch and feel like you’re stepping into another world as you admire the sweeping vistas of the surrounding desert.

Barker Dam: Visit Barker Dam, an historic reservoir built by early cattle ranchers in the late 19th century. Hike the easy Barker Dam Loop Trail to explore the area and learn about the park’s cultural history.

Junior Ranger Program: Engage the whole family in Joshua Tree’s Junior Ranger Program, where kids can learn about desert ecology, geology, and conservation through fun and interactive activities. Upon completion, they’ll receive a badge and a sense of pride in protecting this unique desert wilderness.

With its stunning landscapes, unique flora and fauna, and opportunities for adventure and exploration, Joshua Tree National Park offers families a chance to connect with nature and create memories that will last a lifetime. Pack your sense of adventure, camera, and spirit of exploration, and prepare for an unforgettable journey into the heart of the desert.


Hiking in the hot desert of Joshua Tree National Park was challenging and rewarding. The heat and arid setting was offset by serenity and solitude. The Fortynine Palms Oasis trail pleased us with plenty of wildlife. We saw iguana, lizards, big horn sheep, and a few black-tailed jackrabbits….

Canceled July 25, 2012