5 Reasons To Visit Joshua Tree National Park

Nestled between two deserts and just a couple of hours drive from Los Angeles — is this immense landscape shaped by strong winds and climatic extremes.

Here is where you will find Joshua Tree National Park, a large ecosystem primarily determined by elevation. The Colorado Desert occupying the eastern half of the park and home to the beautiful cholla cactus, and the higher Mojave Desert — home to the famous Joshua trees.

So what are Joshua trees you ask? Well... they are twisted, spiky, sometimes gigantic, but mostly strange-looking trees that resemble something right out of a Dr. Seuss book. They are what make this landscape interesting and unique, unlike anything you've ever seen.


Joshua Tree National Park welcomes climbers and bouldering enthusiasts from around the world. This high desert climbing mecca is famous for its traditional-style crack, slab, and steep-face climbing. With more than 400 climbing formations and 8,000 climbing routes, Joshua Tree offers challenging climbs for all levels and abilities. It's truly a world-class climbing destination.

Get up-to-date information regarding climbing route closures.


Joshua Tree National Park is incredible during the day, but many would agree that the park comes most alive once the sun sets. The sky becomes filled with colors of pink, blue, and purple, resembling cotton candy. One can't help but to marvel and appreciate the simple things in life.


The parks most iconic symbol, so much so that it even lends its name — are the famous Joshua trees. According to legend — Mormon pioneers thought the limbs of the Joshua trees resembled the outstretched arms of Joshua leading them to the promised land. You may have to squint your eyes a little to see what they were talking about but it sounds fairly reasonable.

Also sharing the stage for strange and interesting plant life are the cholla cactus' who inhabit the southeastern section of the park. The most intense concentration of cholla cacti can be easily viewed and enjoyed by sticking to the short quarter-mile loop hike located right off of the road on the way to Cottonwood Springs.


Having some of the darkest nights in Southern California, Joshua Tree National Park offers many visitors the chance to admire the Milky Way for the first time in their lives. Far from the artificial lighting and pollutants of the city, this night sky can be enjoyed at just about any time of the year. During the winter solstice, which is the shortest day of the year and the longest night, the sun sets as early as 4:30 pm, with full dark falling by 5:00 pm.


There's nothing quite like the slow rhythm of desert life. Far from the sights and sounds of a bustling, noisy city. Joshua Tree National Park provides space for self-discovery, and refuge for the human spirit.


About The Author

In 2015, Founder of TMDE Paul Martinez left a career in sales for a life of exploring. In just a matter of months he had visited over 10 countries, 30 cities, 10 states, countless national parks, taken thousands of photographs, and did a ton of soul-searching. His search uncovered a deep passion for exploration; which he now believes to be the essence of the human spirit, and led to the birth of The Modern Day Explorer. You can follow him on his personal journey by visiting his Instagram, and hopefully continue to support TMDE by following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.