Best day trip from Los Angeles: Joshua Tree National Park – Travel Guide

Hey guys, remember when we said we would be back? That time has come. Today we’re here to show you what we saw on a quick one-day road trip to Joshua Tree.

Joshua Tree National Park is a short 220km drive away from Downtown Los Angeles. If you get trough LA traffic without losing too much time, it shouldn’t take you more than 2,5 hours to get to the park.

So, what’s the park about?

Joshua Tree is a desert park famous for, you guessed it, the Joshua Tree. The funky trees you see on the first picture in the gallery above. Apart from those trees, you will find various shrubbery, cacti and most of all, rocks. A lot of rocks. Boulders as well. You can also get an amazing view of the Coachella (yes, that Coachella) Valley. The park is accessible by car, which we highly suggest you use. Like most national parks, Joshua Tree is rather large. Unless you fancy walking 30km in desert heat, drive around and get out at whatever place you find interesting. We were stupid enough to drink beer while we were there, I wouldn’t recommend following in our footsteps. Drink water to save yourself a pounding headache on the way back.

Top things to see and do

We’ve seen a couple of things, but we wish we got to see more. Joshua Tree park is far too big for a single day trip, but you can make an amazing trip out of it nonetheless. We’ve selected 4 things you should do to make the best of your trip.

Keys View
Keys View

Keys View is the spot where you can get sweeping views of the Coachella Valley and the mountains. The road leading to the viewpoint is an excellent place for some yellow-painted road instagram shots. Head here during golden hour for the best pictures. But that obviously can be said for any of the spots. Make a planning in advance!

Quail Springs

In my opinion, Qual Springs is the spot to do some basic rock climbing before kicking it up a notch. This place is relatively close to the west entrance of the park, so you can use it as an introduction to what’s to come.

Cholla Cactus

A spot we’ve personally not visited, but from what we’ve seen and heard it’s the place to be. These cacti are dangerous in the sense that they tend to stick to you as soon as you get close to them. They’re not easily removed, so tread lightly.


Perhaps the best thing about deserts is that there’s no light pollution. Cities like LA don’t get any stars as a result of all the road lights and the fact that the city never sleeps. Joshua Tree is an excellent opportunity to take in all the stars. If you plan to do this, make sure you are prepared for colder temperatures. It won’t get as cold as other deserts get, but temperatures still fall.

All in all, Joshua Tree national park is an amazing place to visit, and you shouldn’t miss out on it. If you’re in LA (or San Diego) for more than a few days, you have to go here!

We hope you enjoy the trip!


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