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Best Joshua Tree Entrance | What You Need to Know

best joshua tree entrance
Planning a trip to Joshua Tree and wondering which Joshua Tree entrance is best? There are three different entrances to visit Joshua Tree National Park. Depending on where you’re coming from and where you’re staying will dictate which entrance is best. You’ll also want to consider your plans while you’re inside the park. Here is everything you need to know about the best Joshua Tree entrance for your visit!
woman at western town pioneertown near joshua tree

As travel remains uncertain, please keep your safety and the safety of others in mind. If you’re comfortable with traveling during this time, please do so responsibly and within the regulations as any travel is at your own risk. 

If you’re traveling at this time, here are some recommendations: 

  • Please wear a face mask. 
  • Bring hand sanitizer along with you and wash your hands on a regular basis. 
  • Check official websites before heading out on your trip to stay up-to-date on policies, closures, and the status of local businesses. 
  • Book a hotel with free cancellation in case you may need to change your plans at the last minute.

Best Joshua Tree Entrance | What You Need to Know

I was asked by Hotels.com to wrote about Joshua Tree. Since I visit a few times a year I happily agreed as I love sharing information about the park. Below is a breakdown of the three different Joshua Tree National Park entrances.

colorful welcome to joshua tree mural

Joshua Tree West Entrance

The Joshua Tree west entrance is the “main entrance” to the park and is located just minutes away from the main highway in the city of Joshua Tree. If you’re visiting from Los Angeles, San Diego, or Palm Springs, for example, you’ll likely enter through the west entrance. You’ll pass the famous Palm Springs windmills before reaching Joshua Tree.

Before reaching the park you can visit the Joshua Tree Visitor Center just off the main highway then proceed to the park’s entrance. And if you’re staying in the city of Joshua Tree this is conveniently close to some of the best restaurants in town and some cool art museums, and more!

Joshua Tree North Entrance

The north entrance is in the city of 29 Palms and is convenient for anyone who is either coming from that direction or staying in the city. The Oasis Visitor Center is on the same street as the entrance. You can stop here before entering the park for more information on hikes, activities, need to fill up your water bottle, or want to buy a souvenir.

woman at cholla cactus gardenThe Joshua Tree north entrance is a good option if you want to plan your day in Joshua Tree National Park as a loop. This is a great way to experience many of the park’s main attractions without doing much back-tracking. You’ll want to either start at the Cholla Cactus Garden or if you want to skip that you can start with a visit to Arch Rock, one of the main Joshua Tree must-sees.

Joshua Tree South Entrance

The Joshua Tree south entrance is near the Cottonwood Visitor Center and closest to the Salton Sea. There aren’t many Joshua Tree attractions that are immediately close to this entrance and even fewer hotel accommodations. However, if you’re looking for some cool Joshua Tree hikes the popular Lost Palms Oasis is in this area.

joshua trees in california desert

Hotels Near Joshua Tree National Park

Many of the places to stay near Joshua Tree National Park will either be in the city of Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, and some in Pioneertown. The Joshua Tree west entrance (main entrance) will be the closest if you’re staying in these areas. If you’re staying in 29 Palms then you’ll likely want to enter through the north entrance of the park.

I hope this helps you decide which Joshua Tree Park entrance is best for your visit. Enjoy your trip and don’t forget to check out all the best Joshua Tree photo spots, Joshua Tree hikes, and more!


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