Joshua Tree National Park

Backpacking in Joshua Tree National Park

A Joshua tree stands guard in the morning sun

Joshua Tree National Park is a mecca for desert backpackers. This southeast California park is rich in natural beauty and dry, arid land. It features portions of the Colorado and Mojave Deserts, and has a sprawling wilderness area that stretches across more than half the park. The best backpacking in Joshua Tree is found within these isolated lands, where hikers hop from one desert campsite to the next. 

Joshua Tree is also a destination for climbers. It has ample bouldering terrain, as well as a wealth of geologic oddities found nowhere else on earth. Some of the best trails in Joshua Tree National Park take hikers past large, spherical boulders that are perfect offseason stomping grounds for Yosemite National Park's many climbers.

Some visitors may be interested in the park’s fauna, especially in the famous trees that give the park its name. The Joshua tree flourishes in the arid climate of the Mojave Desert, which is also an ideal setting for stargazers searching the heavens