Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most beautiful, if not the most visited, national parks in the United States.
Based in California, near Palm Springs, the Joshua Tree National Park has lots of stunning sights on offer and can be an incredible tourist destination for those with an interest in natural landscapes.
The name comes from the famed Joshua Tree, which can be seen in this national park and is certainly a sight to behold. The Joshua Tree is a tree with twisted branches and prickly leaves that stands out against the desert backdrop of the Californian park.
Not only does this national park have these unique trees on offer, but a range of other amazing desert sights, which makes it one of the greatest national treasures of the US to date.
If you are interested in expanding your horizons and want to see some of the best natural landscapes in the country, then a trip to Joshua Tree National Park should be on the cards.
To make the most out of your trip and everything this national park has to offer, you will want to consider the timing of your trip very well. In this guide, we are going to share the best time to visit the Joshua Tree National Park and what you can expect in every season to help you plan your vacation.
What Are You Looking For From Your Trip?
The best time to visit the Joshua Tree National Park will differ based on what you are looking to get out of your trip.
Whether you are looking for the best time to hike and rock climb or want to see the desert flowers in bloom, the best time to visit this natural beauty spot will be different for everyone.
Before planning a trip to Joshua Tree, make sure you know what you want to get out of the trip and what you will be doing there. This will narrow down your options for the best time to go and will make it easier for you to plan an itinerary.
Consider not only the activities you want to do, like hiking or camping but also what you want to see. The plants and landscape will change with the seasons, so you need to plan ahead to make sure you don’t miss out on something spectacular.
You should also consider the atmosphere you are looking for when visiting Joshua Tree National Park. As with all other tourist hotspots, Joshua Tree National Park will be crowded in the summer and quieter in the winter.
Regardless of what you are looking to get out of your trip and when you plan to go, the towering rock formations and the stunning trees of Joshua Tree National Park will be unforgettable.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Joshua Tree National Park?
Joshua Tree National Park is accessible all year round, meaning you can plan your trip for whenever suits your schedule best. However, each season has something new to offer, and this can influence when the best time to visit will be.
For example, some times of the year do not make for a pleasant experience when visiting Joshua Tree. It can be quite difficult to enjoy your trip to this national park when the temperatures fall, as hiking will be out of the question.
Other periods to avoid are when the park becomes incredibly busy as you will not be able to get a full experience of the scenery when battling with crowds.
With this in mind, the best times to visit Joshua Tree National Park are March, April, October, and November.
It is during these months that you will experience the most pleasant temperatures at the national park, with an almost zero chance of rain. Depending on the season you choose, the crowds may be quieter at these points in the year, but the scenery remains unforgettable.
To avoid the crowds, it is recommended for you to plan a trip to Joshua Tree during October or November. Before Thanksgiving is the best time, as this tends to be the quietest time in the park while still offering comfortable temperatures.
If you are not deterred by larger crowds, visiting the park during March and April is a great option as the weather is excellent during this time. This is during the Spring season, which means the wildflowers will be in bloom for your trip, and you can embark on a range of outdoor activities.
Even the summer and winter can provide a great experience in Joshua Tree National Park, depending on what you are looking for.
As the park is accessible all year long, you must consider what you want from your trip before planning to go. This will help you to determine the best time to visit Joshua Tree and ensure you have an unforgettable experience regardless of the weather.
When Is Joshua Tree National Park Open?
Joshua Tree National Park is accessible all year long and is open both night and day. The park is open every day of the week, even on national holidays.
The visitors center for the park is open seven days a week between 7 am and 5 pm.
There are various hotels close to the national park, as well as options for camping within the landscape that you can consider if you are planning on staying more than one day.
A Seasonal Guide To Joshua Tree National Park
While we have recommended some of the best times to visit Joshua Tree National Park, it is accessible all year long. This means that depending on your schedule and your desires for your vacation, you can go to the park during any season of the year.
To help you plan your trip to Joshua Tree, we are going to share some of the things you can expect from each season in this location.
Considering your wants and desires for your trip is a great way to narrow down the best time to visit, and we hope this guide makes this choice easier for you to make.
March, April, and May are some of the most popular times of the year for tourists to visit Joshua Tree National park, with an average of over 400,000 visitors in March alone.
This is because the weather in California has begun to warm up once more for the spring and the wildflowers across the park begin to bloom. The pleasant temperatures make Joshua Tree National Park a popular location with tourists of all ages, and it is ideal for nature lovers, hikers, and campers alike.
To avoid the long queues at the entrance, it is best to visit Joshua Tree National Park during the week whenever possible during the spring. Try to avoid national holidays and weekends as much as possible if you want to avoid the crowds.
Likewise, to get the most out of your experience, make sure you arrive at the park early – in time for the visitor center opening hours. This means you may want to book a hotel or camp overnight for the best experience possible.
June, July, August, and September are some of the hottest months in Joshua Tree National Park and, therefore, pretty quiet. It can be uncomfortable to hike or camp in the sweltering temperatures, which is why many people choose spring or fall for their visit to the park.
During this season, there is a significant drop in visitors with an average of 100,000 to 150,000 for each month, making them the least visited months out of the year.
Even with this heat, however, it is still possible to visit Joshua Tree National Park and have a good time. The night or early morning is the best time to visit during the summer, as this is when the temperatures are the lowest.
You will likely have the area to yourself during these times, but you should avoid daytime sun hours and keep hydrated at all times.
The sweltering temperatures make it difficult for many activities to take place at Joshua Tree, such as rock climbing or even hiking during the day. Nonetheless, it is still possible to see the famous Joshua trees and the rock formations during this season.
While in most places across the US, fall begins in September, the official start of fall in Joshua Tree National Park is in October, and it runs through November.
Fall is a short but sweet season in the park, where crowds have picked up since the summer but are still moderate compared to the spring months.
This season still brings pleasant, slightly cooler temperatures to Joshua Tree National Park, which is ideal for hiking and camping. The crowds are more moderate compared to the spring, meaning you can have a better view of the scenery and will be able to spend more time in the most beautiful spots.
With fewer tourists during this season, fall may be the best time to visit Joshua Tree National Park if you are looking for a relaxing experience.
Make sure to avoid Thanksgiving week during this season to keep away from the crowds, as this tends to be one of the busier times, although it does not compare to the warmer months during the spring.
December, January, and February offer a unique experience to visitors of Joshua Tree National Park.
This is because the temperatures have dropped significantly since the fall, yet the daytime is still mild. Campers should be aware that the nighttime temperatures can be cold, so be prepared.
The park reports double the number of visitors during the winter compared to the summer, with an average of between 250,000 and 300,000 per month.
During the day, the winter brings excellent conditions for hiking and rock climbing. In February, wildflowers begin to bloom in the lower elevations of the Pinto Basin, as well as along the south boundary of the park, which creates some beautiful views.
As long as you are prepared for the drop in temperature, especially at night during the winter, then this season can be a great time to explore Joshua Tree National Park.
Things To See In Joshua Tree National Park
While it may not be the most popular national park in California, Joshua Tree has a lot to offer and is a stunning natural landscape all year long.
Some of the great sights include the various plants that grow in the desert. Along with the famous Joshua trees, there is a range of unique cacti present throughout the year and beautiful spring wildflowers which start to bloom as early as February.
The incredible clear, blue skies create an unforgettable landscape, and the desert sunsets can be incredibly romantic.
Each season brings a new type of beauty to the landscape, and the changing temperatures make it possible to enjoy hiking, rock climbing, or camping, depending on when you visit.
Is Joshua Tree National Park Worth Visiting?
With many national parks to choose from across the US, you may be wondering whether a trip to Joshua Tree is worth it.
If you have never experienced the wide-open desert, then you may not be aware of how beautiful the view can be. This is what brings thousands of people to Joshua Tree National Park every month, and each season brings with it new plants, animals, and weather to enjoy.
There are also annual events held in and around the park, such as the Joshua Tree Music Festival, which is held just outside of the park boundaries, which may influence your decision on whether to visit.
No matter what you are into, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Joshua Tree National Park.
This stunning desert landscape is accessible all year and is a great location to get outdoors, be closer to nature, and spend quality time with loved ones in all weathers.
Consider your desires before planning a trip to determine the best time to visit Joshua Tree.