Joshua Tree National Park Travel Guide

USA  #17 in Best Places to Visit in California

Courtesy of Michael Whitworth / 500px/Getty Images

Getting Around Joshua Tree National Park

The best way to get around Joshua Tree National Park is by car. To reach Joshua Tree, most visitors fly into Palm Springs International Airport (PSP), which is about 50 miles east, or via Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is about 150 miles east. You can easily rent a car at either airport. There are spots where you can park and hike, but most visitors do not enter the park on foot.

Car There are two main roads through the park, Park Boulevard and Pinto Basin Road. Park Boulevard loops through the high northern section between the North Entrance in Twentynine Palms and the West Entrance in Joshua Tree. Pinto Basin Road crosses the park from top to bottom, forking away from Park Boulevard near the North Entrance and winding down to the Cottonwood Entrance off Interstate 10. The West Entrance is located 5 miles south of the junction of U.S. Highway 62 and Park Boulevard at Joshua Tree Village. The North Entrance is in Twentynine Palms, 3 miles south of the junction of U.S. Highway 62 and Utah Trail. The South Entrance near Cottonwood Spring is an access point along I-10, 25 miles east of Indio. There are unpaved roads, which are open to visitors, but you will need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to access them.
RoadRunner Shuttle Bus

Joshua Tree National Park is testing out a shuttle service geared toward hikers and campers. This free shuttle runs throughout the northern section of the park throughout the day in the fall and spring. The buses enter the park from Twentynine Palms, so park entrance fees are waived for visitors who enter the park on the bus. Schedules are posted at designated stops and a park ranger is stationed on every bus to answer questions. Stops include Hidden Valley, Ryan Mountain and Barker Dam, among others. Visit the National Park Service website to see if the program is available.

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