What Is the Entrance Fee for Joshua Tree National Park?

What Is the Entrance Fee for Joshua Tree National Park?

Are you ready to embark on a thrilling adventure in one of the most mesmerizing national parks in the United States? Well, get your gear ready because we’re about to unveil the entrance fee for Joshua Tree National Park! This breathtaking desert wonderland is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering endless opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, stargazing, and so much more. Whether you’re a nature lover, a thrill-seeker, or simply seeking serenity, Joshua Tree National Park promises to take your breath away. So, tighten your shoelaces, pack your sense of wonder, and let’s dive into the magical world of Joshua Tree – but first, find out what it will cost to enter this gateway of adventure!

History of Joshua Tree National Park

The Joshua Tree National Park is a popular national park located in southeastern California, United States. It covers an area of approximately 790,636 acres and was established as a national monument in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was later designated as a national park by the US Congress in 1994. However, the history of this iconic park dates back thousands of years.

Native American History

The land that is now Joshua Tree National Park was inhabited by various Native American tribes for many centuries before European settlers arrived. The most prominent among these were the Cahuilla, Chemehuevi, Mojave, and Serrano tribes. These tribes valued the land for its resources and used it for hunting, gathering, and spiritual ceremonies.

In fact, the name “Joshua Tree” is said to have originated from the Joshua trees that were deemed sacred by these Native American tribes. The trees were named after the biblical figure Joshua as their outstretched arms reminded the tribes of him leading them to the promised land.

Native American History

European Settlement

The first Europeans to explore the area were Spanish missionaries in the late 1700s. They encountered the Native American tribes and established missions in nearby areas, bringing with them diseases that greatly impacted the native population.

In the late 1800s, ranchers and miners began settling in the region, leading to conflicts with the Native Americans who had already been living there. This eventually led to the relocation of the Native American tribes and allowed for further European settlement.

Modern History

In the early 1900s, a man named William F. Keys claimed land within what is now Joshua Tree National Park and established a ranch there. However, in 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established Joshua Tree as a national monument, leading to Keys being evicted from his land.

In 1994, Joshua Tree was designated as a national park by the US Congress. Today, it is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, rock climbers, and nature lovers alike. It continues to be an important ecological and geological area with its unique desert landscape and diverse flora and fauna.

Conservation Efforts

The establishment of Joshua Tree National Park as a protected area has allowed for its conservation and preservation. The park is home to a variety of plants and animals, including the iconic Joshua trees, desert bighorn sheep, and coyotes.

In recent years, due to climate change and human activity, the park has faced challenges such as wildfires and illegal off-roading. As a result, conservation efforts have been put in place, including prescribed burns to prevent large wildfires and the implementation of designated off-road vehicle areas.

Joshua Tree National Park continues to be a beloved and protected area, attracting millions of visitors each year. Through conservation efforts and education, it will hopefully continue to thrive for generations to come. So next time you visit this incredible park, take a moment to appreciate its rich history and the efforts being made to preserve it [1].

Conservation Efforts

Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park

Explore Indian Cove Nature Trail

  • This is a 0.6-mile easy loop trail that takes you through the beautiful desert landscape of Joshua Tree National Park.
  • The trail features informational signs about the local vegetation, wildlife, and cultural history.
  • It also offers great views of the surrounding mountains and rock formations.
  • Be sure to keep an eye out for bighorn sheep, lizards, and other desert animals along the way!
  • This is a great trail for all ages and skill levels, and it’s open year-round.

Rock Climb at Echo Cove

  • Echo Cove is a popular spot for rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park.
  • The area offers a variety of routes for all levels, from beginner to advanced.
  • Be sure to bring your own gear and climb at your own risk, as there are no permanent anchors or bolts in the park.
  • But with stunning views and challenging climbs, it’s definitely worth the effort for experienced climbers.

Camp Under a Desert Sky

  • Joshua Tree National Park is a great place to camp and experience the desert at night.
  • The park offers nine campgrounds, all with different amenities and levels of accessibility.
  • Whether you prefer tent camping or RV camping, there’s something for everyone in Joshua Tree.
  • Be sure to make reservations in advance, as these campsites can fill up quickly during peak season.
  • And don’t forget to stargaze at night – the lack of light pollution in the desert makes for incredible views of the night sky.

Hike Among Giant Boulders on Arch Rock Trail

  • Arch Rock Trail is a short, 0.5-mile loop that takes you through a maze of giant boulders and ends at an impressive natural arch.
  • The trail is suitable for all ages and offers great photo opportunities throughout.
  • Be sure to watch your step as you navigate the rocks, and keep an eye out for lizards, birds, and other desert wildlife.

Visit the Cholla Cactus Garden

  • The Cholla Cactus Garden is a unique spot in Joshua Tree National Park that showcases thousands of cholla cacti.
  • The easy, quarter-mile loop trail takes you through the garden and offers stunning views of these spiky plants against the desert landscape.
  • Be sure to keep a safe distance from the cacti, as their spines can detach and cause irritation.
  • This is a must-see spot in the park, especially during sunrise or sunset when the light creates beautiful shadows on the cacti.

Visit the Cholla Cactus Garden

Walk Among Cacti in Cholla Cactus Garden

  • Another great spot to experience the beauty of cacti in Joshua Tree is at the Cholla Cactus Garden.
  • The garden features thousands of cholla cacti and offers a quarter-mile loop trail for visitors to walk among them.
  • Be sure to keep your distance from the cacti, as their spiky needles can cause irritation if touched.
  • The garden is especially beautiful during sunrise and sunset, when the light creates stunning shadows on the cacti.

Book a Guided Adventure

  • For those looking for a more structured and educational experience in Joshua Tree, there are several guided adventure companies that offer tours and activities in the park.
  • From jeep tours to rock climbing lessons to photography workshops, there’s something for every interest.
  • Guided adventures can be a great way to learn more about the park’s history, wildlife, and geology while also getting an expert’s perspective on the best spots in the park.
  • Be sure to do your research and book a reputable company for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Relax and Rewind at the Pioneertown Motel

  • For a unique and quaint place to stay near Joshua Tree, check out the Pioneertown Motel in nearby Pioneertown.
  • The motel was originally built as a movie set for Western films in the 1940s and has since been transformed into a cozy and rustic accommodation.
  • Complete with vintage furnishings and an on-site restaurant/bar, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of exploring the park.
  • Plus, it’s located just a short drive from the park entrance.

Kick Back to Live Music at Pappy & Harriet’s

  • If you’re looking for some evening entertainment after a day in the park, head to Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown.
  • This iconic roadhouse has been around since 1982 and features live music from local and touring bands on most nights of the week.
  • In addition to great music, they also serve up delicious food and drinks in a cozy, desert setting.
  • Be sure to check their event schedule and make reservations in advance – this popular spot can get crowded on weekends.
  • If you’re interested in checking out some local art, head to the 29 Palms Art Gallery just outside of Joshua Tree National Park.
  • The gallery features a diverse collection of artworks by local artists, including paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and more.
  • You can also attend workshops and classes at the gallery to learn about different art techniques and create your own masterpiece.
  • Plus, purchasing artwork is a great way to support the local community. Overall, there are endless things to do in Joshua Tree National Park that cater to all interests and abilities.
  • Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or a relaxing getaway, this park has something for everyone.

Experience Sunset at Keys View

  • For a stunning sunset experience, head to Keys View in Joshua Tree National Park.
  • This panoramic viewpoint offers breathtaking views of the Coachella Valley and surrounding mountains.
  • On a clear day, you can even see all the way to Mexico!
  • Be sure to bring a camera and arrive early to secure a spot – this popular spot can get crowded during peak season. Overall, Joshua Tree National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventurers alike.
  • The unique desert landscape, diverse wildlife, and endless opportunities for outdoor activities make it a true gem in Southern California [2].

Experience Sunset at Keys View

What Is the Entrance Fee for Joshua Tree National Park?

The entrance fee for Joshua Tree National Park is $30 per vehicle, valid for 7 days. This includes all passengers in the vehicle. For individuals entering on foot or by bicycle, the fee is $15 per person, also valid for 7 days.

However, there are several exemptions and discounts available:

  • Children aged 15 and under can enter the park for free.
  • Active duty military personnel and their dependents can enter for free with a valid military ID.
  • Senior citizens aged 62 and over can purchase a lifetime pass for $80, which grants them access to all national parks and federal recreational lands.
  • Pass holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass can also enter for free.

This pass costs $80 and is valid for one year from the month of purchase. In addition, there are also fee-free days throughout the year where entrance fees are waived for all visitors. These usually include major holidays such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, National Public Lands Day, and Veterans Day.

It’s important to note that these entrance fees only cover entry into the park. Additional fees may apply for camping, special tours, and activities within the park. These can be paid at the respective locations or in advance through reservation systems.

The entrance fee for Joshua Tree National Park helps fund various projects and initiatives within the park such as maintenance of facilities, trails, and conservation efforts. By paying this fee, visitors are contributing to the preservation and protection of this beautiful national treasure for future generations to enjoy. So, the next time you plan a trip to Joshua Tree National Park, make sure to factor in the entrance fee and support the park’s efforts while experiencing its natural wonders firsthand [3].


Does it cost money to get into Joshua Tree National Park?

It depends on the mode of transportation you use to enter the park. If you are traveling by foot, bicycle or motorcycle, the fees are as follows:

  • $15 for individuals (valid for 7 days)
  • $25 for motorcycles (valid for 7 days)

If you are entering the park with a private vehicle, the fees are as follows:

  • $30 per vehicle (valid for 7 days)
  • $25 per motorcycle (valid for 7 days)

What are the operating hours of Joshua Tree National Park?

The park is open 24 hours a day, year-round, providing ample opportunities for visitors to explore its natural beauty and recreational offerings. However, it’s important to note that certain areas and facilities within the park may have varying operating hours. For instance, visitor centers serve as valuable resources for information and may have specific opening and closing times. Additionally, campgrounds may have check-in and check-out times to ensure a smooth and enjoyable camping experience. To ensure you have the most up-to-date information, it is advisable to check the official website of the park for detailed and accurate operating hours of specific areas and facilities.

Are there any entrance fees for Joshua Tree National Park?

Yes, as mentioned above, there are entrance fees based on the mode of transportation used to enter the park. These fees go towards maintaining and improving the park for visitors to enjoy. Additionally, the park offers a wide range of amenities and services to enhance the visitor experience. From well-maintained trails and picnic areas to educational programs and guided tours, there is something for everyone. Moreover, the park hosts seasonal events and activities that cater to different interests and age groups, providing even more opportunities for exploration and enjoyment. While some of these events and activities may require additional fees, they are designed to offer unique and memorable experiences. For detailed information about the fees and upcoming events, please visit the official website.

What is there to do in Joshua Tree National Park?

There are plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy in Joshua Tree National Park. Some popular activities include hiking, camping, rock climbing, stargazing, and wildlife viewing. The park also offers ranger-led programs and tours for those who want to learn more about the park’s history, geology, and wildlife. Additionally, there are various special events and activities throughout the year that cater to different interests and age groups. No matter what you choose to do, be sure to take in the stunning scenery and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Joshua Tree National Park.

Useful Video: Joshua Tree National Park Tips: 9 Things to Know

Conclusion Paragraph

So, Joshua Tree National Park is a great place for different outdoor activities and it is one of the most visited parks in California. The park has a diverse landscape that offers visitors the opportunity to go hiking, camping, rock climbing, stargazing and much more. With its unique Joshua trees, stunning rock formations, and rich biodiversity, it’s no wonder why this park attracts millions of visitors each year. In addition to its natural beauty, Joshua Tree National Park also has a rich history, with evidence of Native American habitation and preserved historical sites. Moreover, the fees for entrance and camping are quite reasonable, making it an affordable option for families and budget travelers.


  1. https://www.nps.gov/jotr/learn/historyculture/parkhistory.htm
  2. https://www.cruiseamerica.com/rv-adventures/rv-destinations/things-to-do-joshua-tree-national-park?keyword
  3. https://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm