All-inclusive guide to Joshua Tree National Park


Natural History Library / Alamy Stock Photo

Black Rock Campground

Where to stay and eat

Accommodation in and around the JTNP falls into three main categories: camping in the park, affordable hotels and motels in adjacent towns, and luxury resorts in the Palm Springs / Palm Desert area, approximately 40 miles away. southwest of the park. Many of these options can be exhausted during winter weekends and holiday periods, but planning and flexibility can still get you prime locations and great deals.


There is nothing quite like camping in the desert under the amazingly starry night sky of JTNP, being woken up by colorful sunrises and greeting the morning with an outdoor breakfast, then ending the day at camp for a spectacular sunset. For this reason, the 500 campsites of the nine JTNP campgrounds are often full on weekends and holidays. You can book ( six of the campgrounds (Black Rock, Cottonwood, Indian Cove, Jumbo Rocks, Ryan and Sheep Pass) six months in advance for $ 20 to $ 25 per night ($ 50 for group sites). The other three (Belle, Hidden Valley, White Tank) are first come, first served for $ 15 per night – and you’ll need to arrive early to secure a spot during peak times. All nine can accommodate recreational vehicles.

Black Rock (99 sites) and Cottonwood (62 sites) campgrounds are the only ones with running water, flush toilets, and RV dump stations, so they are usually booked particularly quickly. . Since Black Rock sits 4000 feet above sea level in the northwest corner of the park, expect cooler temperatures than those at lower elevations. It has an area reserved for campers with horse-drawn caravans, and you can easily go for quick errands to the town of Yucca Valley, just five miles away.

Wild camping is free with registration, but be very aware of your water supply and weather conditions before entering the backcountry.

Accommodation and restaurants nearby

The town of Joshua Tree (eight kilometers northwest of the west entrance station)

Accommodation: Retro-chic camping is coming to the area at the end of this year with the opening of Autocamp, where guests can settle into 47 luxury custom Airstream trailers. But if you are traveling with your own accommodation (i.e. an RV), a good option 40 miles southwest of Joshua Tree is the KOA Campground at Desert Hot Springs. It has 260 pitches for motorhomes with hook-ups, as well as 26 pitches for tents and five chalets, as well as many amenities suitable for families, including a laundromat, mini-golf, pickleball fields, a playground. games, a swimming pool with a cafe, a social clubhouse and a store.

To eat: In the town of Joshua Tree, start your day with a hearty breakfast at JT Country Kitchen, perhaps ordering banana French toast or gravy-covered cookies. For lunch, Crossroads Cafe serves thick sandwiches including Reubens and Eggplant Parmesan. Dine at Joshua Tree Saloon, live music accompanies the homemade barbecue in “The Yard”.

Twenty-nine palm trees (eight kilometers north of the north entrance station)

Accommodation: The Best Western SureStay Plus with 83 rooms will seduce you with its privileged location just minutes from the park, its good deals, its free breakfasts and its large swimming pool in the shade of palm trees with jacuzzi.

To eat: Refuel before a hike with croissants, pastries and sandwiches at Campbell Hill Bakery. For dinner, Kitchen in the Desert serves grilled Trinidadian chicken with mesquite in an art gallery setting.

Note: The south entrance does not have adjacent food or accommodation, but driving 30 miles west on I-10 will bring you to Indio, the easternmost section of the Palm resort communities Springs.

Palm springs

Accommodation: Search the communities around Palm Springs for upscale resorts such as the 244-room Ritz Carlton at Rancho Mirage, which pampers guests with its clifftop views, golf course access, kids’ club, and swimming pools. and its spa. In Palm Springs, the expansive La Quinta Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, offers an old-fashioned Hollywood vibe (since its origins in 1926) with top-notch service and facilities in nearly 800 guest rooms, suites and villas housed in magnificent Spanish mission style buildings.

To eat: At Miro’s in downtown Palm Springs, savor pan-European cuisine (Budapest Schnitzel, Provencal-style Shrimps and Scallops) in a Mediterranean-themed interior or on a romantic patio. The restaurant also gets high marks for its extensive wine list. For more casual quick bites, head to John’s, a popular restaurant just north of downtown that serves breakfast all day, gourmet burgers, fried chicken, and rib specialties.


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