The weather is perfect, more and more people are vaccinated and there's a pent-up desire to get outside. We are getting asked a lot about Joshua Tree and it's just, well ... perfect. However, everyone appears to have the same idea! It's going to be busy this Spring.
Our customers have let us know the park has been pretty crowded since March. Families are heading out together for long overdue reunion trips, climbers are swarming over the amazing climbing spots and hikers are hitting the trails in droves. It can be difficult right now to maintain a social distance in the Park.
If you are still set on visiting (and it's still an amazing place to explore, crowds or not), here are some tips to make the experience better:
Use the North Entrance in Twentynine Palms or the South Entrance off I-10. These entrances are best equipped to process large numbers of visitors.
Purchase your entrance pass before you arrive: Joshua Tree passes
Visit on a weekday. If arriving on a weekend, get there before 8am. If you can make it to the more popular areas like Barker Dam, Hidden Valley and Lost Horse Mine, before 8 a.m. or during the week, you’re likely to have fewer people around. Sunset at Keys View is particularly chaotic and crowded, and parking is likely to become impossible there about an hour beforehand. Consider another sunset location such as Cap Rock or Ryan Mountain.
Check the park's website in advance for updated notices and info.
The Cottonwood area is good during the busy season as it's less well known, as well as having some cool mining history and sites.
Treat the desert with respect - the rangers have to rescue people daily, primarily due to dehydration. With this in mind, all of the Funki Adventure vehicles come equipped with an emergency satellite GPS beacon which is the size of a phone and fits easily in your pocket, so help is just the push of a button away. Still .... better not to use it by simply using common sense, staying within your limits and drinking lots of water.
Hikes should only take place on marked trails. Stoves and barbecues should not be set up outside of designated parking, camping or picnic areas. During the most crowded times, parking is going to be an issue, and the park could even become drive-through only.
If you’re unable to secure a camping spot in the park, look into the private campgrounds in Joshua Tree, Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley, Desert Hot Springs and Chiriaco Summit. Also, dispersed camping is available on the Bureau of Land Management land south of the park’s South Entrance and north of Interstate 10. Funki Adventures provide all of the equipment you need, as part of your rental, to comfortably camp pretty much anywhere. We provide the stuff, you create the memories.
Note that dispersed frontcountry camping is forbidden in the park. You must either register to backpack (which requires a permit from one of the 13 wilderness backpacking boards) or pay for a campsite at the designated campgrounds.
If you want, the team at Funki Adventures can build you a customized trip plan in advance, so all you need to do is show up and follow your own, private, self-guided tour. Just ask - we are happy to help.
For more information on visiting Joshua Tree, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org