10 Reasons Why You Must Visit Joshua Tree National Park

10 Reasons Why You Must Visit Joshua Tree National Park travel dejavu

Have you ever visited a place that reminded you of a book you read or a movie you’ve seen? Maybe a place that completely transported you? For me, Joshua Tree National Park in California did just that! Right after stepping foot into the park I was immediately blown away by the Dr. Seuss-like trees from the movie, The Lorax. 🙂 If you see these trees, you’ll see what I mean.

After spending a wonderful girls’ weekend in Palm Springs, my friend and I decided to take a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park. Neither of us had been before but immediately fell in love. Now, I’m on a personal mission to convince as many people to visit as I possibly can.

So…here are the 10 Reasons Why You MUST Visit Joshua Tree National Park.


1) You can visit the Cholla Cactus Gardens.
These cactus gardens are some of the most unique gardens I’ve ever seen and are filled with wild, jumping teddy bear cactus. Don’t let the cute name fool you, though. You must be very careful walking through the garden because these types of cactus shoot out thorns at you if you get too close. It was somewhat of a thrill walking through them! Check out this hilarious (and sad) vid of a drunk guy who ran through it!

10 Reasons Why You Must Visit Joshua Tree National Park travel dejavu

2) Joshua Tree is VERY close to Palm Springs.
If you’ve ever thought of taking a long weekend getaway to Palm Springs, it’s a great excuse to head over to Joshua Tree for the day. It’s only 40 min. drive!

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3) You can see a rock that looks like a skull.
One of the most famous landmarks in Joshua Tree is Skull Rock which is a rock that very much resembles a giant skull. You’ll read blogs that say this is a hike to the skull, but it’s not. While there are hikes around the skull, this rock is on the side of the road and is really easy to find!

10 Reasons Why You Must Visit Joshua Tree National Park travel dejavu

4) The views from Arch Rock are amazing.
Arch Rock was one of my favorite sites in Joshua Tree. It took about 10 minutes to walk to the rock from the main road and the views of the surrounding areas from the arch were breathtaking. Make sure to check this one out!

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5) You only need 1 day.
This is true! If you’re on a time constraint and only go to the main sites, you only need 1 day to visit the park. This is if you don’t do any super long hikes and spend your time driving around the check everything out.

6) There are wild Dr. Seuss-like trees.
The trees look like they’ve come from a Dr. Seuss book and are super twisted and unique. You can stop anywhere on the road and get artistic photos with the trees. To me, this is a main reason to visit!

7) The San Andreas Fault from the Keys View is incredible.
This view is an incredible lookout point to see the entire valley. It makes you realize just how big the National Park is. At the top of the viewpoint, you’ll see a clear outline of the San Andrea’s fault jutting across the landscape.

10 Reasons Why You Must Visit Joshua Tree National Park travel dejavu

8) You can make a pit-stop in town of Joshua Tree.
You can’t visit Joshua Tree National Park without heading to the actual town of Joshua Tree. Get yourself ready for rustic, saloon-y, hipster vibes. There are a lot of day trippers from LA so you also might find yourself watching a photo shoot with some eclectic style or watching a biker gang ride by. Don’t forget to hit up the Joshua Tree Coffee Company for a freshly brewed cup of joe!

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9) There’s a great hike up Ryan Mountain.
There are so many hikes in Joshua Tree, but this one is by far the most popular. The hike is about 3 miles roundtrip and has incredible views of the entire park from the top. Make sure to pack layers, bring lots of water and wear sunscreen because in Joshua Tree you never know how the weather will change every minute.

10) You’ll feel like you’re in a different world.
Joshua tree truly is one of the most unique places I’ve ever been and stands out as one of my coolest adventures of my 5 years living in California. Be prepared to be transported into a place so incredible you’ll remember it forever.

Have I convinced you to go yet? Please tell me “YES!” and that you’ve officially added Joshua Tree to your bucket list!

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Katie Williams

A 27-year-old Idaho native, Katie spent 5 years living in San Francisco and exploring everything the city has to offer. After quitting her job, she's currently on a trip around the world..SOLO! Keep up with her adventures on her blog, Traveling Spud, snapchat @kwilliams300 or insta: @travelingspud!


  1. I love this post! Pinned it because I’m dying to do this plus Palm Springs so it will be great to do it together! The photos are amazing!

  2. Those photos are absolutely gorgeous! I’ve heard so many good things about Joshua Tree Park, I need to just make the trip for myself!

  3. That’s so funny! My friends from Michigan visited us here in LA and kept commenting on the Dr Seuss trees. I never thought of them that way, but you guys are right! Sadly, I have only driven through Joshua Tree on the way to somewhere else, but I’d love to spend some time there, even if it is just to star gaze one night. Andy loves hiking out there, so once the weather gets a little bit more manageable, I think we should plan to go. Ryan Mountain, Cholla Cactus Gardens and seeing the fault are definitely going on our list!

  4. Thanks for sharing this! I am going to plan a trip to JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK soon! Loved the photograph of the San Andreas Fault from the Keys View. It seems magical!

  5. The place looks amazing from your photos! Great to know practical tips such as only one day is needed. This is surely like a different world.

  6. What do you mean the cactus shoot out thorns at you?? How far can they shoot out the thorns? Hahah regardless, I would love to visit Joshua Tree and love all your photos. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. Wow, that looks so cool! I spent the whole time walking through Dr Seuss land at Universal marvelling at the trees and they weren’t even real. I love quirky vegetation 🙂 I’m planning a road trip in the USA for next year, I think this will make the list!!

  8. YES – you’ve convinced me! I’ve heard great things, but never heard that there is a rock shaped like a skull (so cool!). Glad to hear that it can be done in a day, too!

  9. Joshua Tree is somewhere I have ALWAYS wanted to go but I’ve nevermade it over to the West coast of US. It’s definitely somewhere I will be heading as soon as I eventually visit! Thanks for the tips!

  10. I love Josh! I’ve been visiting for almost 20 years I’ll check out Arch Rock on my next trip. For an easi hike with fun little scrambles, check out Hidden Valley.

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