Ultimate Los Angeles to Joshua Tree Road Trip Itinerary

The road trip to Joshua Tree National Park and the Southern California desert region is one of our favorite road trips from Los Angeles.

The beautiful landscape of Joshua Tree is otherworldly and spectacular while the cultural attractions of Palm Springs make the trip perfect for all kinds of travelers!

Vacationing with the kids? Be sure to stop and see the dinosaurs in Cabazon on your Los Angeles to Joshua Tree road trip.

Here is an Ultimate Guide to visiting Joshua Tree National Park on an easy road trip from Los Angeles, California!

Also Read: Los Angeles to Yosemite Road Trip Itinerary

How far is Joshua tree from downtown Los Angeles?

The driving distance from Joshua Tree National Park to Los Angeles is about 130 miles.

The Los Angeles Joshua Tree drive along I-10 takes about 2 hours 30 minutes.

How many days do you need for the Los Angeles to Joshua Tree drive?

Because of the proximity, Joshua Tree visitors often plan a weekend trip or a short weekend getaway to Joshua Tree from LA.

However, the national park has several attractions from scenic drives to hiking trails and stargazing as well as camping opportunities.

The nearby Californian Desert Cities of Palm Springs, Indio, and Desert Hot Springs also have several attractions and are worth a visit.

That’s why we recommend keeping aside at least three to four days for this entire trip for California locals.

If you are a visitor to the West Coast and also want to see Los Angeles, then definitely keep aside a week for this iconic Joshua Tree LA Drive.

Also Read: Southern California Road Trip

Los Angeles to Joshua Tree Road Trip stops

If you’re flying into California, then book your tickets for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

All major international as well as domestic airlines fly to LAX including United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, and Spirit.

Once you land, get a rental car at the airport for your LA Joshua Tree drive.

Here’s are some of the must-see attractions on this road trip including the highlights of Tinseltown.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a city known for its glitz and glamour.

From world-famous theme parks to breathtaking beaches, there’s something for everyone in LA.

Looking for a relaxed day in the city? Simply people watch on Rodeo Drive or visit celebrity homes!

In downtown LA, you can explore world-class museums like the Getty Center and the California Science Center.

And don’t forget about Hollywood – take a walk down the Walk of Fame or visit one of the many movie studios.

If you’re looking for a night out on the town, there are plenty of great restaurants and bars to choose from.

Spend a few days in the city, then get your car and head out into the desert to Joshua Tree!


If you’re looking for a fun road trip stop from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree, look no further than Cabazon.

This small town is home to some amazing attractions that are sure to keep you busy all day long.

From the world’s largest dinosaur to outlet shopping and more, there’s something for everyone in Cabazon.

The most famous is the Cabazon dinosaurs!

This roadside attraction is home to dozens of life-sized dinosaur replicas, including a T. Rex that’s 27 feet tall!

Whether you’re a dino enthusiast or just looking for something fun to do on a road trip, this place is sure to wow you.

Kids especially love that they can climb on the dinosaur legs and have a picnic under their giant bellies!

Also while in Cabazon, be sure to stop at the Hadley fruit orchards grocery store and try their famous date shake!

Palm Springs

Palm Springs is a beautiful resort city located in the Coachella Valley of Riverside County, California.

This desert city is known for its mild weather, stunning mountain views, trendy restaurants and shops, and world-famous resorts.

After a day spent hiking and biking in the hot sun at Joshua Tree, the golf courses and luxury resorts of Palm Springs feel like paradise!

We recommend making Plam Springs your base for exploring Joshua Tree and the desert landscape.

Joshua Tree National Park

Drive along 1-10 till you reach the south entrance to the park at Cottonwood Springs.

At the end of the road, you will find one of California’s most underrated national parks.

It’s hard to believe that there is a place like Joshua Tree National Park just a few hours from the madness of Los Angeles!

This park is a refuge for those who want to get away from it all, and it’s easy to see why.

With its weird trees and wonderful rock formations, Joshua Tree is like no other park in the country.

Things to do in Joshua Tree

Whether you’re a nature lover or an adrenaline junkie, there’s something for everyone in Joshua Tree.

Here are some of our favorite activities to enjoy on your Los Angeles Joshua Tree Drive.

Also Read: Joshua Tree Itinerary

Enjoy hiking in Joshua Tree

Hiking in Joshua Tree National Park offers an unparalleled experience for visitors of all ages.

There are so many beautiful views along the way, like panoramic vistas of desert terrain or beautiful waterfalls.

There are many different trails of varying difficulty levels for all skill levels within the park.

Don’t forget your water and snacks as well as sunscreen and sunglasses before heading out on any hikes!

Take the scenic drive

Joshua Tree National Park is a hidden gem in the middle of the desert.

One of the best ways to explore Joshua Tree in a short time is by taking the park roads.

The park’s scenic drive offers beautiful views of the park, including Joshua Trees and other native plants.

The drive offers spectacular views of the surrounding areas as well as various wildlife such as deer and coyotes.

You can drive along the scenic route all the way to other park entrances: Twentynine Palms North Entrance and the Joshua Tree West entrance.

Marvel at the flora and fauna

The park is home to more than 1,800 species of plants, including the iconic Joshua tree.

Rangers offer a wealth of information about the natural features of the park and how best to enjoy them.

See a beautiful sunset

As the sun sets in the sky, the Joshua Tree National Park comes to life.

The brightly-colored rocks and trees stand out against the darkening backdrop, making for an amazing experience.

A visit to Joshua Tree National Park is a must-do for anyone interested in nature and outdoor recreation.

If you are looking to make an easy road trip from Los Angeles, California this year with your family or friends, Joshua Tree is an amazing choice!

The LA road trip to visit Joshua Tree National Park and explore the Southern California desert region is bound to be a memorable one.

What was your favorite part about visiting Joshua Tree National Park? Let us know by commenting below!