Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most popular national parks in America. It’s also a favorite destination for road trips, with plenty to see and do on both sides of the park boundary. The Mojave Desert landscape is often compared to that of Death Valley or even the African savannahs due to its similarity in appearance.

The “drive from la to joshua tree national park” is a road trip that many people have taken. The drive will take you through the desert and into the mountains, but it’s worth it.

Road Trip From Los Angeles To Joshua Tree National Park

California is famed for its diverse landscapes, towns, and national parks, so if you’re planning a vacation to the Golden State, the road journey from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park is a must-do.

It takes 2 hours to travel 130 miles from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park. The Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests, Chino Hills and Mt San Jacinto State Parks, as well as Riverside and Palm Springs, are all important landmarks.

Despite its brief duration, this road trip has a lot to unpack, so be sure to read all the way to the conclusion to discover everything about it.

What is the distance between Los Angeles and Joshua Tree National Park, and how long will the journey take?

Without stopping for breaks, the journey from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park takes little over 2 hours. This makes it an excellent day excursion if you want to get out of the city and experience a completely different environment for a few hours.

You may potentially reach to Joshua Tree National Park long before midday if you depart in the morning, either before or after the well-known Los Angeles rush hour gridlock.

Road passing through the desert in Joshua Tree National Park, with mountains in the background and blue sky above Wind your way around Joshua Tree National Park while relaxing.

Shutterstock.com/Anna Krasnopeeva

With that in mind, a preferable strategy would be to make as many stops as possible along the journey to do some sightseeing. The greater Los Angeles region is brimming with magnificent woods and tourist destinations that all deserve as much attention as Joshua Tree.

The landscape will vary along the way, from an urban metropolis to desolate territory packed with the famed rocks that visitors from all over the globe come to view.

The best part is that you can view all of these incredible sights without ever leaving the freeway. Given how short the travel is, there’s little reason not to spend some time wandering around Southern California’s most renowned sights.

The best way to go from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park is via car.

The best route from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park is an easy drive down the freeway, but it’s also jam-packed with attractions and things to see and do.

Los Angeles to Joshua Tree State Park road trip route

Although you have a few alternatives for getting out of LA, the best route is to travel Interstate 10 east via West Covina, going through Angeles National Forest to the north and Chino Hills State Park to the south.

Stop in the San Bernardino National Forest just north of Riverside, then take a diversion south to Hemet, Mt. San Jacinto State Park, and Temecula before returning to the main road.

You should get off the freeway shortly after passing Cabazon and onto Route 111 to explore Palm Springs. Return to the freeway and exit onto Route 62, which will take you through Morongo and Yucca Valleys before arriving at Joshua Tree.

California Golden Poppy and Phacelia Minor blooming in Chino Hills State Park, California Flowers bloom at California’s Chino Hills State Park.

sumikophoto/Shutterstock.com

Between Los Angeles and Joshua Tree National Park, the best locations to stop

Even while the travel from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park is not particularly lengthy, you may make it more enjoyable by stopping often and staying overnight. You won’t want to miss out on the following resorts:

Riverside’s Santa Ana River is a sight to see.

You would not think a vacation this short has to be broken into two parts, but there’s so much to do in the LA region that you’ll want to stay in a hotel for a few nights, and Riverside is one of the greatest locations to call home during this time.

Santa Ana Historic Downtown in the sunshine with palm trees in the foreground The historic downtown section of Santa Ana, California.

Shutterstock.com/Matt Gush

The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is sure to wow you with its awe-inspiring architecture, whether you’re a lone traveler or searching for a romantic retreat.

The hotel’s appearance borders on archaic, yet the comfort levels are on par with any five-star resort in California – the rooms are as warm and welcoming as they come, and you could spend hours simply admiring the artwork in the halls.

You may relax for a few hours at the world-class spa after a full supper at the wonderful restaurant. You may even receive a nice massage for an additional charge to truly get your day started.

If you want to bring home a souvenir from your vacation, the hotel offers a lovely gift store that will tempt you to keep shopping. All of the best stores and restaurants in Downtown Riverside are also within walking distance if you want to continue your shopping spree.

Palm Springs is a great city to visit.

Although it is not on the’main’ route, the city is so close to Joshua Tree that it is virtually your only choice for a resort near the park – after all, any place visited by America’s top stars must be doing something well!

A vintage car parked outside a midcentury residential home in Palm Springs In Palm Springs, use your imagination to transfer you to another period.

Shutterstock.com/Stephanie Braconnier

If you want a taste of the celebrity lifestyle, even if just for a few days, La Serena Villas will entice you with one of California’s most spectacular swimming pools.

The rooms at La Serena Villas strike the perfect blend between modern and antique, bringing Cali’s beach vibes to the outskirts of the desert while providing comfort and elegance at an affordable price.

In Palm Springs, particularly during the summer, you’re certain to break a sweat, but if you want to cool down, the beautiful pool has you covered. There are few things more peaceful than a lovely community space and a breathtaking view of the mountains from your sunbed.

The streets of Palm Springs are some of the most interesting in all of California, so get a bicycle from the hotel and ride around until you’ve seen everything.

It’s no wonder that this is one of the most costly resorts in the city, with so much to do on-site and nearby. With that in mind, if you’re going to be in Palm Springs, you may as well take advantage of the greatest service and location the city has to offer.

On a road drive from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park, there are many sights to view.

Because there is so much to see on a road trip from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park, you should plan on spending at least 3 or 4 days sightseeing.

Since there’s no need to hurry to Joshua Tree National Park, make the most of your time by seeing as many of the locations listed below:

  1. Angeles & San Bernardino National Forests – these scenic ‘twin’ forests act as the northern gateway into Los Angeles
  2. Chino Hills State Park is undoubtedly Southern California’s most beautiful picnic destination.
  3. The Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, situated near Irwindale, offers a breathtaking view of the San Gabriel Mountains.
  4. San Bernardino is a historic California city that caters to visitors of all ages and sensitivities.
  5. The California Route 66 Museum, located somewhat off-route in Victorville, is one of the most comprehensive monuments to the legendary Route 66.
  6. Riverside is known for its distinctive Mission Revival architectural style.
  7. Mt San Jacinto State Park is a beautiful park with one of Southern California’s tallest peaks.
  8. Desert Hot Springs – natural hot mineral pools where you may unwind and bathe after a long day of travelling; while you’re here, don’t miss the lovely Cabot’s Pueblo Museum.
  9. Cabazon Dinosaurs – If you’re traveling with kids or simply want to feel young again, stop at this attraction to see the world’s biggest dinosaurs (don’t be terrified, they’re not real).
  10. Integratron is a one-of-a-kind structure dedicated to time travel, science, art, and magic.
  11. Indian Canyons – breathtaking walks through canyons with towering trees
  12. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway – the world’s biggest spinning tramcar is located in this renowned city visited by celebrities.
  13. If you’re seeking to go thrifting, the Desert Hills Cabazon Outlets are well-known in the area for their exceptionally low costs.
  14. Kelso Depot – If you have the opportunity to go out to Mojave National Preserve and are looking for a creepy experience, this ancient, abandoned railroad depot is a must-see.
  15. The Salton Sea, often known as an inland sea, has a long and complicated geological history.

Sunset over the Salton Sea Sunset over the Salton Sea

Shutterstock.com/Virrage Images

When is the best time to go from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park?

The road journey from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park may be done at almost any time since it is so short. However, there are distinct advantages to performing it during some seasons versus others.

The first thing to remember is that summertime in Southern California can be quite hot; this may not be a problem if you drive straight to Joshua Tree, but if you stop often (which you should), be prepared to work up a sweat.

Summer is not a very good season for Joshua Tree because of the oppressive heat. In the summer, though, the remainder of the route’s attractions are teeming with activity, and if you don’t mind the heat, you should have no problem finding an inexpensive campground.

Snow covers the ground in Joshua Tree National Park in winter Winter at Joshua Tree National Park with snow on the ground

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The novelty of seeing snow in the desert draws tourists to Joshua Tree in the winter, so if you know it’s going to snow and want to see the park’s eponymous trees wrapped in white, a winter visit to Joshua Tree is one of the most unusual adventures you could do.

Spring or autumn are the ideal times to visit the park for a more traditional experience. In terms of people and outdoor activities, both seasons are comparable, albeit spring is definitely the nicer choice since it is when the desert flora blooms.

The “los angeles to joshua tree map” is an interactive map that shows the route from Los Angeles, California to Joshua Tree National Park.

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