Most visitor centers and the Desert Institute will be closed for the duration of the government shutdown. The Joshua Tree Visitor Center is open.
There are several entrances into the main park including dirt trails that require high clearance vehicles and even four-wheel drive. Visitors should study possible routes for their journey in advance to be prepared for any outcome. Our online shop features several maps and books to help travelers prepare for their trip. Be sure to visit the Joshua Tree National Park's Alerts & Conditions page for the latest information.
During the busier months of the year when visitation in the park is high (between October through May), it is recommended for visitors to use the East entrance through Twentynine Palms to avoid long waits at the ranger booth. It is also recommended to stop by the Oasis Visitor Center where travelers can pay park fees in advance before entering the park.
One of the main gateways into the park, the West entrance sees many visitors during the busy season (between October through May). Expect delays or use one of the alternative entrances into the park. Visit the Joshua Tree Visitor Center to pay for park fees in advance to help ease any potential congestion and get the latest information on road conditions.
The South entrance is located nearby Chiriaco Summit off of Interstate 10 and is considered much more remote than the other main entrances. There are no services available for several miles. It is recommended to fill up with plenty of gas, food, and water beforehand. Visit the Cottonwood Visitor Center just inside the park to pay for park fees and obtain information from the knowledgeable staff.
The Black Rock Campground area features camping, hiking, and riding trails for equestrians. It is also one of the only campgrounds where visitors can reserve a campsite in advance. Visit the Black Rock Nature Center to pay campground fees, entrance fees, and to get information on hiking in the area.
The Indian Cove area is a geological marvel made up of monzogranite rock features, camping, and the trailhead for the Boy Scout Trail. This is also one of the few campgrounds where campsites can be reserved. The Indian Cove area is also a perfect location for stargazing. Be sure to stop by the ranger station on the way in.
The Fortynine Palms Oasis area is a unique hiking location with parking for the trail head. The trail leads to a gorgeous spring fed oasis with palm trees amongst other incredible flora and fauna. It is recommended that travelers visit any of the visitor centers or ranger stations to get the latest information on trail conditions.