Absolute Best Time to Visit Joshua Tree

05/09/2024 | by Fieldtrip Staff Writer | Joshua Tree

Itching for a new view? Get away to Joshua Tree, which offers 365 days of stunning desert landscape. Admire the 1000 year old Joshua Trees, wander enchanted lands once lived by people of the Pinto culture thousands of years ago, and linger in the magic of hippie and counterculture rooted in this desert oasis.

The good news? You can make Joshua Tree your go to destination year-round. Contrary to popular belief, the deserts of California do see changing seasons – albeit in their own way.

Experience annual events, find out how to avoid the hottest weather, and learn more about the best time to visit Joshua Tree in this travel guide.


Visiting Joshua Tree in the Spring

Spring is the most photogenic season in Joshua Tree. It’s the time when the desert wildflowers bloom and add a touch of color to the desert landscape! It’s a gorgeous backdrop to our Joshua Tree vacation rentals. The temperatures remain mild, between 74 and 90 degrees. It’s the perfect climate for planning lots of outdoor fun in your trip itinerary.

Springtime is the peak season for visiting Joshua Tree. The park and town are filled with hikers, rock climbers, vacation goers, and the spring break crowd. The charming boutiques in downtown Joshua Tree are lively with shoppers. Many other hikers accompany you on the Barker Dam Trail, Hidden Valley Nature Trail, and other popular hiking trails.

What to Do

Celebrate Free National Park Day in April with free admission into Joshua Tree National Park, courtesy of the National Park Service. Consider it a complimentary photoshoot location for all your group snaps. Prepare a special meal at home for everyone using local flavors. Shop fresh crops from local vendors at the Joshua Tree Certified Farmers Market held every Saturday.

Why You Should Visit Joshua Tree in the Spring

Although you might have to share the trails in spring, there are plenty of great reasons to spend your spring getaway in Joshua Tree.

A few of the top reasons include:

  • Best weather for hiking and other outdoor activities
  • Desert wildflowers are in bloom
  • A great season for outdoor shopping

Pro Tip: Make reservations in advance and call ahead at popular restaurants if you have a large group due to higher demand during the busy season.


Visiting Joshua Tree in the Summer

Joshua Tree will be your quiet oasis for a summer retreat. The desert heat makes it the least busy time in Joshua Tree National Park, so you’ll have more of nature’s beauty to yourselves. The most important thing to remember when visiting during the summer is that it gets extremely hot, with temperatures ranging from the high 60s to the high 90s.

Some parts of the park have daytime temperatures reaching over 100 degrees. Make sure to bring plenty of water and use ample sunscreen. There are plenty of things to do in Joshua Tree to stay cool and hydrated this season.

What to Do

Visit Downtown Joshua Tree to pick out matching souvenirs at the Coyote Corner gift shop and pick out an enchanted stone for good luck at the Joshua Tree Rock Shop. Fewer crowds mean you have your pick of the best restaurants in Joshua Tree for dinner.

The best time to visit Joshua Tree National Park in the summer is in the morning. Witness the sunrise from the Cholla Cactus Garden. Visit notable rock formations like Arch Rock, Heart Rock, and Skull Rock.

The cooler nighttime temperatures mean you can sit outside for hours and gaze up at the sky. Stargaze from the backyard of your Joshua Tree vacation home. Go on a night hike on the Cap Rock Trail to see stars twinkling in the sky behind the quirky Joshua Trees. The Perseid Meteor Show also happens every year between mid-July and August.

Why You Should Visit Joshua Tree in the Summer

While so many places see peak tourist season in the summer, Joshua Tree offers a quieter escape than coastal getaways.

A few of the top reason you might want to plan your trip for the summer include:

  • Fewer crowds in shops and restaurants
  • Stargazing is at its finest


Visiting Joshua Tree in the Fall

Fall is a divided season in Joshua Tree. Early fall still has hot weather with highs near 100 degrees. October and November are the best months during this season to visit. The weather starts cooling for outdoor activities and porch lounging. You can expect daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s.

What to Do

The cooler temperatures start in October to resume outdoor activities like hiking. The moderate hike to the Ryan Mountain Summit is excellent for team-building and for group photos with panoramic views.

Rest up after a day of hiking by visiting the nearby Pioneertown. All your photos will give ‘main character energy’ at this former Western film set. Check it out on our list of the best things to do in Joshua Tree.

Visiting Joshua Tree during the fall has its perks: desert festivals! Experience the desert zen at Bhakti Fest. Treat your group to a day of yoga and dancing at this sacred music festival held in September.

Discover why Joshua Tree National Park is an official International Dark Sky Park at the Night Sky Festival. You can see the Milky Way with your naked eyes! Jam to live performances from more than 30 artists during the Joshua Tree Music Festival in October.

Why You Should Visit Joshua Tree in the Fall

Although some days might still be AC days, there’s a lot to love about Joshua Tree in the fall. If you’re on the fence whether this is the right season for your visit, consider:

  • Late fall has some of the most comfortable weather of the year
  • Exciting desert festivals
  • Like spring, another great hiking season


Visiting Joshua Tree in the Winter

Did you know that it snows in the High desert? While you won’t experience any snow storms in Southern California, snow-blanketed summits in higher elevations are always a surprise for first time visitors.

The Mojave Desert has a mild climate during this season, with winter temperatures in the 60s. Don’t forget to pack jackets because it can cool to the 30s at night! It’s the perfect time to fire up the fire pit and gather round for group bonding at your vacation rental.

What to Do

While winter gives way to much cooler temperatures, it is quickly becoming a favorite season for visitors to rock climb, hike, and enjoy other park activities.

Detour from the park trails to other attractions like the World Famous Crochet Museum and the outdoor sculpture garden at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center. Learn more about the park at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center, which has exhibitions and an excellent souvenir shop.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day isn’t just a day out of the office—it’s also a free park entrance day. Now, there’s no excuse not to visit the national park.

Why You Should Visit Joshua Tree in the Winter

Although you might be tempted to head to the mountains in the winter, you shouldn’t overlook a desert escape.

We love the winter in Joshua Tree because:

  • Mild temperatures, abundant sunshine
  • Winter landscape views (sometimes a dusting of snow!)
  • Fewer crowds


Best Time to Visit Joshua Tree: The Verdict

It’s always a good time at Alta House

Joshua Tree is an exciting destination with serene vistas, fun outdoor adventures, and a charming town with plenty of unique nooks and crannies. And that’s year-round.

But, if we had to choose the best time to visit Joshua Tree, we’d say you can’t go wrong with spring and late fall. The mild desert climate during these months is ideal for spending time outdoors.

When it comes to more specific timing, more than three million people visit Joshua Tree every year. The weekends are always more crowded compared to the weekdays.

We’re excited to host your group on an unforgettable trip to Joshua Tree. Fieldtrip offers Joshua Tree accommodations year-round, from summer getaways to winter retreats.

Book a Fieldtrip dream getaway today!