For one of the best California desert road trips, head to Joshua Tree National Park and admire the obscure Joshua trees, aromatic wildflowers, stellar skies, and extraordinary rock formations. With over 10 miles of hiking trails and 8,000 climbing routes to choose from, you won't be bored for a second. Set up camp in one of nine campgrounds. Keep in mind that during the summer, several campgrounds are closed due to the sweltering heat.
Jumbo Rocks Campground
Location: Twentynine Palms
Amenities: Restroom, picnic tables, and fire rings
Activities: Hiking, camping, wildlife, viewing, and climbing
Dogs allowed: Yes
Fees: $10 per night
Reservation required: Reservations are accepted September–May. Otherwise, it's on a first-come, first-served basis.
At an elevation of 4,400 feet, Jumbo Rocks Campground is Joshua Tree's biggest campground. It features 124 campsites, is equipped with picnic tables, and accommodates RVs and trailers. This kid-friendly campground is surrounded by striking rock formations, too. Make sure to bring plenty of water because water isn't available at this campground (and trust us, you'll need a lot).
Palm Springs / Joshua Tree KOA
Location: 70405 Dillon Road, Desert Hot Springs
Amenities: Free parking, public Wi-Fi, showers, restrooms, and electrical plugs,
Activities: Pool, tennis court, pool tables, putt-putt golf courses, pickleball, basketball, and hiking
Dogs allowed: Yes
Fees: $45 (average price)
Reservation required: Yes
Situated just outside of Joshua Tree National Park, not very far from the town of Palm Springs, Palm Springs / Joshua Tree KOA boasts a landscaped resort-style setting with plenty of amenities. Guests also have their pick; whether you want to come in an RV, pitch a tent, or stay in a cabin, Joshua Tree KOA has it all. Lounge by the campground's pool (open year-round) or pick a trail and start your hike—the Palm Springs Indian Canyon Trail is a great place to kick-off your adventures. The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens is situated nearby, along with putt-putt golf courses, pickleball courts, and basketball courts.
Infatuated with the desert and in need of something more extreme? Go on an adventure and traverse the trails of Death Valley National Park.