Where to Stay in Joshua Tree National Park: Camping, Glamping, and Nearby Lodging

Where to stay in Joshua Tree National Park? This question bugs almost every park’s visitor. Yet with a handful of campgrounds, a plethora of glamping accommodations, and an abundance of hotels and motels nearby, the places to stay in Joshua Tree National Park are endless.

Where to Stay in Joshua Tree National Park - Roads and Destinations

Joshua Tree National Park is a relatively new park. Formally established only in 1994, it quickly joined the family of California’s favorite national parks. Today, the area entices both local outdoor adventurers and frequent travelers from overseas that fall in love with this secluded region again and again.

While diverse terrain and a myriad of outdoor adventures are indeed unmatched, places to stay in Joshua Tree National Park have earned a high reputation on their own. From classic campgrounds to chic glamping spots, and hipster motels outside the park, you are spoiled for choice. 

Where to Stay in Joshua Tree National Park: Camping

The true adventurers and most avid nature enthusiasts strive to claim their stay in one of eight campgrounds within Joshua Tree National Park. Despite quite a sufficient number of campsites (500 to be exact), the area experiences a high demand and often shortage of camping spots. To ensure your stay in Joshua Tree National Park, you should reserve your spot up to six months in advance.

The situation gets even more intense during busy spring season, from February to May. If you haven’t booked a campsite in Joshua Tree in advance by then, your chances of setting up a tent here are almost equal to zero.

The majority of the camping areas are open year-round. Some campgrounds, however, close a portion of their campsites in summer. This further diminishes your chances of spending a weekend inside Joshua Tree National Park.

If you are not much of a traveler who plans everything in advance, the area has a few campgrounds that operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Yet be sure to claim your spot early. Otherwise, you may need to look for a campground outside of the park.

TIP: One final tip before jumping into the places to stay in Joshua Tree National Park. Hammocks are not allowed in the campgrounds. Disturbing vegetation by attaching lines to it is prohibited. Those who dream of swinging in a hammock in this remote area should look into glamping places to stay in and near Joshua Tree. But more on this later. 

Camping in the desert - Roads and Destinations

Where to Stay in Joshua Tree National Park: Camping with Required Reservations

Joshua Tree National Park has five campgrounds where reservation is required, especially during the busy season. 

Black Rock Campground

Located near the West Entrance to the park, the Black Rock Campground is one of the biggest camping areas. 99 sites of the campground accommodate the majority of the park’s outdoor enthusiasts. Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire ring. Restrooms and potable water are also available. This alone makes the Black Rock Campground one of the most popular places to stay in Joshua Tree National Park. On top of these rather luxurious conditions, the area has cell phone reception and internet connectivity.

Apart from it, the Black Rock Horse Camp, a separate area for horses, accommodates nearly 20 horse riders. Furthermore, those to stay in this part of Joshua Tree National Park can swing by a grocery store in the town of Yucca Valley, located just 5 miles away.

While the campground is open all year round, some campsites close between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Dates and times, however, vary year to year. 

  • Cost: $25 per night for tents, RVs, and equestrian sites
  • Elevation: 4,000 feet

Cottonwood Campground

Planning to stay near the South Entrance to Joshua Tree National Park? Reserve your spot at the Cottonwood Campground. 62 sites of the area are nestled near the Cottonwood Visitor Center. Part of the campground closes in summer. Normally loop A stays open, while loop B closes its doors for the visitors of Joshua Tree at this time.

Similar to the Black Rock Campground, this area of Joshua Tree works best for the campers who long for a more “luxurious” stay. Apart from the regular camping amenities, it offers flush toilets and potable water. No cell phone reception and internet connectivity, though.

TIP: Moreover, reserve your stay in this part of Joshua Tree National Park if you travel with other people. The campground features 3 group campsites, which prices rise to $40 per night.

  • Cost: $25 per night
  • Elevation: 3,000 feet
Where to Stay in Joshua Tree National Park - Roads and Destinations

Indian Cove Campground

The Indian Cove Campground is the second biggest place to stay in Joshua Tree National Park. The area boasts 101 campsites with pit toilets nearby. No potable water, cell phone reception, or internet connectivity should be expected here. Yet with 13 group campsites, the Indian Cove Campground is well able to accommodate large parties.

Convenient location off Highway 62, about ten miles from either the town of Joshua Tree or Twentynine Palms, adds some advantage to the campground and ensures a somewhat pleasant stay. Those who don’t want to leave the park, can find water at a small ranger station about two miles north of the area.

39 campsites, however, remain closed between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Moreover, reservation is required during the busy season, from the end of August through early June.

TIP: At any other time, early birds can try to secure their stay at this popular Joshua Tree National Park’s campground without any reservation, though. Since 92 sites are available or a first-come, first-served basis, you have more luck here than in any other campgrounds in the park. 

  • Cost: $25 per night
  • Elevation: 3,200 feet
Where to stay in Joshua Tree National Park - Roads and Destinations

Jumbo Rocks Campground

The Jumbo Rocks Campground sits in the heart of the park. With 124 campsites, it’s the largest campground that offers both individual and family sites. Similar to the majority of other camping areas in Joshua Tree National Park, expect a minimalist stay here. The area doesn’t get neither cell phone reception nor potable water. Pit toilets are available. Panoramic views of rock formations, however, are worth all the inconveniences.

TIP: The Jumbo Rocks Campground is open year-round. September to May is the busiest time to stay in this part of Joshua Tree National Park.

  • Cost: $20 per night
  • Elevation: 4,400 feet 

Ryan Campground

Reservation is also required in the Ryan Campground. Located adjacent to the California Riding and Hiking Trail, the area offers regular campsites, 4 equestrian sites (reservation is required for these), and 3 bicycle sites that operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Again, apart from pit toilets, tables, and fire grates, don’t expect any other amenities to simplify your stay in this central area of Joshua Tree National Park.

  • Cost: $20 per night for individual campsites, $15 per night for Ryan Horse Sites, $5 per night for Ryan Bicycle Sites. 
  • Elevation: 4,300 feet
Where to stay in Joshua Tree National Park - Roads and Destinations

Where to Stay in Joshua Tree National Park: First-Come, First-Served Camping

Three campgrounds allow you to plan your stay in Joshua Tree National Park at the last minute. Upon arrival, pay at a kiosk if a campsite is available. The price is usually $15 per night. You can pay only by cash or check.

The campsites fill up fast from September through mid-May. Considering this, you should plan to arrive at the campground before noon to claim one of the sites for your epic stay in Joshua Tree.

Good to Know. While the Hidden Valley Campground stays open throughout the year, the White Tank and Belle Campgrounds temporarily cease their operations during the summer months.   

Hidden Valley Campground

One of the popular camping destinations, the Hidden Valley Campground sits along Park Boulevard, a short drive from Barker Dam and the Wall Street Mill. The area offers 44 sites with pit toilets nearby. Large boulders and Joshua trees surround the area, making it a primary spot for the avid nature enthusiasts. 

  • Cost: $15 per night
  • Elevation: 4,200 feet

White Tank Campground

The White Tank Campground offers only 15 sites and some of the darkest nights to crown your stay in the northern section of Joshua Tree National Park. The area is closed from the end of May until early September.

  • Cost: $15 per night
  • Elevation: 3,800 feet

Belle Campground 

The Belle Campground is another excellent place to stay in Joshua Tree National Park for those who are interested in the starry sky. As you would expect in this secluded location, the campground has no cell phone reception. Potable water is also absent. The campers, however, are free to use pit toilets and fire grates. Similar to the White Tank Campground, the area closes in summer and resumes its operations in early September. 

  • Cost: $15 per night
  • Elevation: 3,800 feet 
Where to stay in Joshua Tree National Park - Roads and Destinations
Where to Stay in Joshua Tree National Park - Roads and Destinations

Where to Stay in Joshua Tree National Park: Glamping

Glamping transforms your camping game. Normally, you’d spend a night in a tent. When planning your glamping experience, you stay in a tent, dome, yurt, airstream, or camper van, usually located on private properties near Joshua Tree National Park. In reality, it’s still camping but with a modern or bohemian twist to it.

As demand for glamping grows, new unique places to stay overnight in the Joshua Tree National Park area regularly pop up. From off-the-grid airstreams to stargazing bubble-tents, and eccentric domes, the accommodations get more creative day by day. It seems like local land owners are in a hurry to join the ranks of splendid Airbnbs and earn extra income while hosting the park’s visitors on their properties.

Although the glamping places to stay near Joshua Tree are abundant, here are some of the sought-after lodgings.

Sound of Silence 1964 Airstream

Dreaming of time-traveling back to the sixties? Book your stay at South of Silence 1964 Airstream, located in the town of Joshua Tree. Designed to impress, this modern airstream hosts up to two guests and works as a perfect romantic weekend getaway. A large patio and two hammocks complete the modern ambience. Furthermore, surrounded by the whimsical Joshua trees, the place feels very isolated. You can’t even imagine that you stay just 10 minutes away from Joshua Tree. 

Dome in the Desert

Kathryn and Brian put their creativity to test when they designed Dome in the Desert, one of the most glamorous places to stay near Joshua Tree National Park. Combining various designs, the dome house revolves around past, present, and future. The couple used natural wood, decorative stones, antique and modern pieces to create this one-bedroom abode.

Relatively speaking, Dome in the Desert is a bohemian dome with a modern twist or the other way around depending on how you look at it. The place can host up to four guests and complete your unique stay in the Joshua Tree National Park with the epic starry sky. 

Moon Camp: An Off-Grid Joshua Tree Retreat

Moon Camp allows you to share your stay near Joshua Tree National Park with friends or family members. Up to six people can temporarily reside in this modern, airy home, nestled just five minutes from a Yucca Valley shopping center.

Surrounded by the epic Joshua trees, the place consists of the main dome house, an unorthodox shipping container guest house, and an eccentric lounge shipping container. A private outdoor space with wooden reclining chairs, two hammocks, and a fire-pit further inspire you to stay outside longer for a dramatic desert sunset. 

Where to Stay in Joshua Tree National Park - Roads and Destinations
Luxurious stay in Yucca Valley. Photo by Shane Lynes

Where to Stay in Joshua Tree National Park: West Entrance

If camping or glamping are a bit too much for you, plan your stay near Joshua Tree National Park in an old-fashioned way. With a myriad of lodgings in the nearby area, you can choose an accommodation that suits your preferences and budget. 

Pioneetown

  • Pioneertown Motel. For a unique experience just 30 minutes away from the park, spend a night in the Pioneertown Motel. Nestled in the quintessential western town of Pioneertown, the place charms with its rustic feel, Old West vibes, and plenty of opportunities to plunge into cowboy era.   

Yucca Valley

The town of Yucca Valley sits about 12 miles from Joshua Tree National Park and ensures a relaxed stay almost right near the West Entrance.

  • Super 8 by Wyndham Yucca Val/Joshua Tre Nat Pk Area. With all the eccentric glamping options available in the area, budget travelers might feel like a minority group. Fear not. Book a room at the Super 8 by Wyndham Yucca Valley and save some money while staying just a short drive away from the national park. The hotel offers all regular amenities on top of an outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi and breakfast. Simple and quiet – a place to enjoy after a busy day in the desert. 
  • Best Western Joshua Tree Hotel & Suites. A stay at the Best Western Joshua Tree Hotel & Suites comes with a slightly higher price tag. Yet this laid-back lodging with free breakfast and a seasonal outdoor pool and a hot tub is pretty affordable as well. 

Joshua Tree

Set just 5 miles away, the eccentric town of Joshua Tree is by far one of the closest places to stay near the national park. In addition to it, the majority of the so-called glamping lodgings are nestled in or near this area.

  • Mojave Sands Motel. Even regular hotels and motels offer nothing short of a glamorous stay literally minutes away from Joshua Tree National Park. The Mojave Sands Motel is one of such chic, yet affordable lodgings. Famous for its beautifully decorated modern rooms and suites, this eco-friendly retreat is the epitome of peacefulness and serenity. Minimalist furnishing and a vintage library spice up your stay and inspire to come back next time you are in the Joshua Tree National Park area. 
  • The Castle House Estate. The Castle House Estate can easily fall into the category of glamping accommodations near the park. The property boasts cozy and spacious yurts and guard towers, each of which offers excellent opportunities for stargazing. To make your stay in the Joshua Tree National Park area even more irresistible, the estate pampers its guests with a swimming pool and a hot tub. 
Camper van on Airbnb - Roads and Destinations

Where to Stay in Joshua Tree National Park: North Entrance

Twentynine Palms 

Set just a few miles away, the city of Twentynine Palms guards the North Entrance to the park. The accommodations here work best for the budget travelers. Exceptions, however, exist.  

  • Oasis Inn & Suites 29 Palms Near Joshua Tree National Park. The Oasis Inn & Suites is one of the coziest budget-friendly lodgings to stay near Joshua Tree National Park. Great location, comfortable rooms, free breakfast along with an outdoor pool and a gym – the place has everything one may need after a day hiking in the wilderness. 
Palm Desert - Roads and Destinations
Palm Desert is one of the popular places to stay near the park. Photo by Levan Badzgaradze

Where to Stay in Joshua Tree National Park: South Entrance

The towns and cities to stay near the South Entrance to Joshua Tree National Park are located mostly 30 minutes away. A whole new experience, however, is guaranteed here. Taking the lead from such a luxurious place as Palm Springs, they add a bit of luxury and entirely different style to your adventures. 

Indio 

One of the closest places to the South Entrance, Indio sits approximately 30 minutes away. The place is normally popular with the travelers, including those who visit the national park, all year round. Yet due to its location (Indio sits in the Coachella Valley), it gets extremely busy during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. 

  • Indian Palms Country Club & Resort. The Indian Palms Country Club & Resort welcomes all travelers interested in an affordable stay near Joshua Tree and good golf and tennis courts. 
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Indio. Quiet place to stay may be all you need after impactful adventures in Joshua Tree National Park. The Hampton Inn & Suites Indio is eager to assist you. Offering relaxed quarters, an outdoor pool, and a hot tub, it feels like miles away from the bustling city. In reality, the place is located within a walking distance of many stores and restaurants. 
  • Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa. A fabulous stay after a day in the wilderness of Joshua Tree is guaranteed at the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa. This upscale property has everything to please and pamper its guests. With its Mediterranean-inspired ambiance, a spa, several swimming pools, and farm-to-table cuisine, you may want to extend your trip to Joshua Tree just to stay longer at this property. 

Palm Desert

Lodgings in Palm Desert look different from the majority of other places to stay in the Joshua Tree National Park area. Despite a longer drive (approximately 45 minutes), the place is a perfect fit for the travelers wishing to wipe out desert dust at the end of the day. 

  • Marriott’s Shadow Ridge II – The Enclaves. Whether you travel solo or with family, the Marriott’s Shadow Ridge II promises a relaxed stay near Joshua Tree National Park. This gorgeous resort is famous for its modern studios, villas, and outdoor pools.
  • HOTEL PASEO, Autograph Collection. The HOTEL PASEO is a place where the desert and style meet. Located just a mile from the Palm Springs Art Museum and 5 miles from the Coachella Valley, this luxurious hotel ensures a pleasant stay especially for those who want to spice up their visit to Joshua Tree with a little bit of style and luxury. 

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