Choosing where to stay in Joshua Tree completely depends on what you hope to get out of your visit.
Located in Southern California, Joshua Tree is quickly becoming a trendy California travel destination. There are so many fabulous places to stay in Joshua Tree that choosing can be a difficult task. Each area is unique and has its own list of Joshua Tree things to do.
In this article, I’m going to help you choose the best place to stay in Joshua Tree for your visit.
Table of Contents
- Best Places to Stay in Joshua Tree
- 5 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Joshua Tree
- Tips for Staying in Joshua Tree
- FAQs About Where to Stay in Joshua Tree
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Best Places to Stay in Joshua Tree
Looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Joshua Tree? Here are my top picks:
- 🏆 Best Overall Hotel – Shelter From the Warm
- 💎 Best Luxury Hotel – The Chaparrel Oasis
- 👪 Best for Families – Rockpool Ridge
- 👔 Best for Business – Into the Quiet
- 🏨 Best Boutique – Ocotillo Oasis
- 🏞️ Best Near Joshua Tree National Park – Doors of Perception
- 💵 Best Budget – Old Ranch Inn
Ok, let’s do a deep dive into the best areas and neighborhoods in Joshua Tree:
5 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree is a relatively small city with a population of only 7,400, but most visitors travel to Joshua Tree to visit the famous Joshua Tree National Park. There are 5 main neighborhoods to stay in close to the park: Joshua Tree City, 29 Palms, Yucca Valley, Palm Springs, and Palm Desert.
All are great locations that are close to the national park and other main attractions. Which one you choose depends on which is most convenient and suits your needs.
Joshua Tree City
Joshua Tree City is the best place to stay if you want to visit Joshua Tree National Park. From the city, it’s only a short drive into the park for a full day of desert fun. Joshua Tree has a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and funky vintage boutiques to occupy your time outside of the national park.
Here, you’ll find the popular Joshua Tree National Park west entrance and Joshua Tree visitor center. It is the perfect place to stay for first-time Joshua Tree visitors and will give you a full taste of all the area has to offer.
There are many local hotels and motels available like the Joshua Tree Inn and the Joshua Tree Hotel. I recommend staying in a charming rental home for more privacy and a more aesthetically pleasing accommodation.
Pros of Staying in Joshua Tree City:
- Close to Joshua Tree National Park west entrance
- Plenty of restaurant options
- Visitor center information available for first-time visitors
- The best souvenir shopping in the area
- A lot of accommodation options are available
- Desert hot springs
Cons of Staying in Joshua Tree City:
- Food and drinks are expensive
- Hotels are busy and hard to book, especially on the weekends
- Bars are crowded
📚 Joshua Tree Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Joshua Tree National Park
- ✨ Best Hotels – Desert Lily • Doors of Perception • Joshua Tree Homestead
- 🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Joshua Tree
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – Natural Sisters Cafe ($$), Crossroads Cafe ($$), Country Kitchen ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – Joshua Tree Saloon, Joshua Tree Brewery
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – Joshua Tree National Park, Joshua Tree Village
If you’re looking for where to stay in Joshua Tree to relax, then look no further than Twentynine Palms. Twentynine Palms is the best place for soaking in Joshua Tree’s natural hot springs and is away from national park crowds. It is also only a short drive away from the national park’s Twentynine Palms entrance.
Twentynine Palms offers an intimate desert experience in the remote Joshua Tree area. Visit the quaint downtown art galleries or explore the nature museum in this desert town. To make the most out of your stay in Joshua Tree, I recommend booking accommodation in Twentynine Palms with a hot tub (or on-site hot spring) and a fire pit.
Pros of Staying in Twentynine Palms:
- Fewer crowds
- Plenty of accommodation options
- Hot springs and hot tubs are more readily available
- Quiet downtown shopping area
- Near Joshua Tree town
- A short drive from Joshua Tree National Park entrance
Cons of Staying in Twentynine Palms:
- Farther from the Joshua Tree National Park entrance
- Farther from vintage stores
- Fewer places to grab a drink
📚 Twentynine Palms Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Desert Hot Springs
- ✨ Best Hotels – Ocotillo Oasis • The Chaparral Oasis • Great Vibe House
- 🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Twentynine Palms
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – John’s Place ($), The Rib Co. ($$), Thai Cafe ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – Virginian Cocktails, Cactus Sports Bar, Out There Bar
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – Joshua Tree National Park, desert hot springs
Known as the gateway to Joshua Tree National Park, Yucca Valley is a small town that welcomes visitors with its various attractions, activities, and restaurants. If hotels in Joshua Tree are sold out, you can always count on vacancies in the small Yucca Valley town.
The Valley is only 2 hours from Hollywood and can make for a great day trip from LA if you’re short on time. Popular Yucca Valley things to do include hiking the Black Rock Canyon Trail or grabbing a drink at the famous Pappy and Harriet’s Western Saloon in Pioneertown.
Yucca Valley is popular because it’s away from the park crowds and hotel prices can be more reasonable. It also has amazing mountain views and air-conditioned stores to escape the desert heat. It’s only a 5-10 minute drive to the Joshua Tree Park Boulevard entrance from town as well.
Pros of Staying in Yucca Valley:
- Beautiful desert landscapes
- Fewer crowds than in Joshua Tree
- Cheaper accommodations
- Hiking trails available
- Close to Joshua Tree National Park
- Near Joshua Tree village’s restaurants and bars
- Many restaurants to choose from
- Close to some Los Angeles neighborhoods
Cons of Staying in Yucca Valley:
- Outside of Joshua Tree attractions
- Less shopping available
- Not many bars in the area
📚 Yucca Valley Mini Guide 📚
Best Area For Many Accommodation Options
- ✨ Best Hotels – Into the Quiet • Rockpool Ridge • Shelter From the Warm
- 🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Yucca Valley
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – Kimi Grill ($$), La Casita Azul ($$), 2 Guy Pies Brick Oven Pizzaria ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – The Tiny Pony Tavern, AWE Bar
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – Desert Christ Park, Hi-Desert Nature Museum, Sky Village Outdoor Marketplace
Most people who inquire about where to stay in Joshua Tree end up choosing Palm Springs for its many attractions and booming nightlife. This Coachella Valley city has been an escape from Los Angeles for celebrities since the early 1900s and is full of luxurious things to do.
About an hour’s drive from the Joshua Tree National Park entrances, the city is known for shopping and boutique hotels (many of which have a private patio, fire pit, and hot tub). Most hotels are luxury and over $100 per night, but you can find budget options as well.
Golfing at world-famous courses is the most popular Palm Springs activity. There are many courses with gorgeous views of the San Jacinto Mountains in the background. Depending on when you visit California, make sure to plan for the weather – the temperature quickly reaches above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.
For more, see our full guide to where to stay in Palm Springs.
Pros of Staying in Palm Springs:
- One hour from Joshua Tree National Park
- Near Joshua Tree town for bars and shopping
- Luxurious hotels
- Good area for sunbathing and poolside lounging
- Top-grade golfing
- Many bar options are available
Cons of Staying in Palm Springs:
- Very hot summertime temperatures
- Hotel options can be expensive
📚 Palm Springs Mini Guide 📚
Best Area For Golfing and Shopping
- ✨ Best Hotels – Dive Palm Springs • Alcazar Palm Springs • Old Ranch Inn
- 🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Palm Springs
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – Spencer’s Restaurant ($$$), Farm ($$), The Tropicale Palm Springs ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – Seymour’s, V Lounge, Truss & Twine, Paul Bar/Food
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Agua Caliente Casino, Indian Canyon hiking trail, Thursday night farmers market, golfing in Palm Springs and nearby towns La Quinta and Palm Desert, Joshua Tree National Park
Located in the greater Palm Springs area, Palm Desert is one of the main shopping and entertainment centers near Joshua Tree.
While here, take photos of the art at El Paseo Shopping Center, explore The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, check out the McCallum Theater, head to award-winning golf courses, and traverse hiking trails.
From here, you can visit Joshua Tree National Park on a day trip while staying closer to entertainment activities and shopping.
Many Palm Desert restaurants are also in the El Paseo shopping district. You can find vegan cuisine and other international dishes. You won’t want to miss the annual Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival or the Fashion Week El Paseo, which are both held every March.
Pros of Staying in Palm Desert:
- Many restaurants and shopping opportunities are available
- Theater entertainment
- Plenty of golf courses
- Annual festivals and community events
Cons of Staying in Palm Desert:
- Far from Joshua Tree National Park
- Can be busy on the weekends
- Restaurants are expensive
- Parking is limited
- Stores are expensive
📚 Palm Desert Mini Guide 📚
Best Area For Shopping and Entertainment
- ✨ Best Hotels – Marriott’s Desert Springs Villas I • Full Moon Rising • Your Wildest Dreams
- 🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Palm Desert
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – Pacifica Seafood Restaurant ($$$), Eddie V’s Prime Seafood ($$$$), Wilma and Freida’s Cafe ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – La Fe Wine Bar, BaBaLoo Lounge, Solano’s Bar and Grill, Kitchen 86 + Bar
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – El Paseo Shopping District, Bump and Grind Trail, McCallum Theater for the Performing Arts, College of the Desert Street Fair
Tips for Staying in Joshua Tree
Consider the Weather
The weather in Joshua Tree National Park is no joke. In fact, it can get up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months.
Due to this, it’s not advisable to hike in this weather and there is a high risk of heat stroke at this time. For the best desert experience, plan your trip during the other three seasons.
Get to Joshua Tree National Park Early
Popular national parks get crowded during the day. For less crowded trails and attractions, get to the park early to better enjoy your stay in Joshua Tree National Park. You may not be able to find parking or picnic tables at attractions if you get there too late.
Avoid the National Park on the Weekend
Sure, it can be a hard thing to do if you’re taking a weekend trip from San Diego or another city, but Joshua Tree fills up on the weekends. If you can, visit from Monday through Friday to avoid the crowds.
Don’t Miss Pioneertown
Just outside of Joshua tree, Pioneertown is an old revived ghost town with two bars and hundreds of Joshua Trees. The ghost town has a western film museum, a small petting zoo, a leather store, and other vintage stores.
The bar Pappy and Harriet’s is a popular destination for bikers and music lovers. Some big-name performers at the venue include Paul McCartney and Robert Plant.
Shop for Souvenirs at Coyote Corner
Situated on Park Blvd on the way to the Joshua Tree National Park entrance, Coyote Corner is a one-stop shop for souvenirs. You can also find locally made soaps and essential oils, drinks and snacks, and beautiful jewelry at Coyote Corner.
Don’t Forget the Campgrounds
There are hundreds of places to stay both in Joshua Tree and the surrounding desert city areas.
Though I went through the indoor accommodation options in this article, if you want a more outdoorsy experience, you can also reserve a campground inside of the national park. Ryan Campground and Indian Cove Campground are popular tent camping options.
There are also three first-come, first-serve campgrounds inside the park, Hidden Valley, Belle, and White Tank campgrounds. You do not need a reservation for these sites but you must get there early to secure a spot.
🏕️ Read Next: 15 Best Places to Go Camping Near San Diego
Hike Early to View Wildlife
Most wildlife sightings happen during either dusk or dawn when the park is quiet and little critters are stirring for prey to hunt. Get up early if you want to see coyotes, jackrabbits, or bobcats during your stay in Joshua Tree.
Speaking of hiking, be sure to check out Ryan Mountain — it’s one of our top hikes in California!
Plan For Your Pet
Pets are allowed inside of the park but with restricted access. They are not allowed on the trails and must be on a leash at all times. This can be tricky when planning your trip to the park if you were planning on hiking.
Leave No Trace Inside Joshua Tree National Park
Keep nature wild. It ruins the experiences of others when there is trash around the park. Do your best to pack out all of your trash and help the national park service by picking up any litter that you see in the park.
FAQs About Where to Stay in Joshua Tree
Where should we stay in Joshua Tree?
Which part of Joshua Tree is best?
Joshua Tree National Park is the best part of Joshua Tree. The national park holds the largest concentration of Joshua trees in the world. To stay nearby, see our list of the best places to stay in Joshua Tree.
Is it worth staying in Joshua Tree?
It is worth staying in Joshua Tree. There are many bars and restaurants available in both Joshua Tree town and Joshua Tree National Park. There are also many hiking trails and natural hot springs around the area. See our list of the best places to stay in Joshua Tree.
Can you stay in Palm Springs and visit Joshua Tree?
Palm Springs is only 45-50 minutes away from Joshua Tree so you can stay there and still visit Joshua Tree National Park. When deciding where to stay in Joshua Tree, many people choose to stay in this Coachella Valley town for its luxurious hotels, shopping, and golfing.
Thanks for reading my guide to where to stay in Joshua Tree! I hope this helped you find the perfect accommodation for your trip. Before you go, check out our guide to the 9 national parks in California. Happy exploring!
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