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32 Fun & Best Things to Do in Joshua Tree, California

Joshua Tree National Park is in California.

Wondering if Joshua Tree is a popular place to visit?

Known for its desert beauty and outdoor activities, Joshua Tree attracts visitors from around the world with its breathtaking views, as well as local attractions.

While at the park, you can have some outdoor fun with your family, visit museums, and get to know the local community.

Take a guided tour of the park or go on a horseback ride before sampling mouthwatering barbecue and shopping for a unique gift or souvenir.

Additionally, Joshua Tree is not only known for its yearly music festival but also offers up a number of live venues that host local talents you can listen to year-round.

To help plan your getaway to the desert, you will find a list below of the best things to do in Joshua Tree.

Prior to visiting Joshua Tree, you should also keep in mind that admission to the park is $30.00 per vehicle, providing 7 days of free access to most of the trails and attractions.

Also, please be aware that most trails are not pet-friendly unless otherwise designated and that campsites charge additional overnight fees.

Things to Do in Joshua Tree:

1. Cholla Cactus Garden

Fox_lei | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★

Entry Ticket: Free with park admission

Address: 74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

  • 20-minute walk
  • Parking area located past Wilson Canyon

Located along Pinto Basin Road, you’ll find the Cholla Cactus Garden.

Because of the Pinto Basin, an abundance of water creates a dense number of cacti, making the spot one of the best things to do in Joshua Tree.

Subsequently, the area is a one-of-a-kind attraction that is a breathtaking place to explore.

Nicknamed “teddy bear cactus” because of their cute appearance, the cholla will attach very easily to the slightest touch, so be careful.

During your walk along the nature trail, you will discover both tiny and man-size cholla.

Many of the cacti also have the unusual feature of sporting golden spines and dark stems created by the desert wind.

Nestled in the transition area between the Colorado and Mojave Desert, the area is an unusual spot where rare plants prosper.

2. Take a Tour of Keys Ranch

keys ranch, Joshua Tree

Dominic Gentilcore PhD | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $10.00, Children: $5.00, Ages 5 and Under: Free

Address: Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

  • Book in advance
  • Tours held between October and May
  • Allow 1 ½ hours

Built in 1910, Keys Ranch was the hub for pioneer ranchers, miners, and homesteaders.

Take a guided tour of the ranch and discover the story of the Keys family, not to mention their ingenuity in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

During the tour, your ranger guide will regale you with the colorful stories of the ranch while you visit numerous historic buildings.

See the original schoolhouse, workshop, and ranch house, as well as numerous artifacts.

On the property are trucks and cars, in addition to mining equipment, that were all part of the ranch’s story.

Immerse yourself in the hardships and victories of living in the remote desert as you get to know Bill and Frances Key, along with their five children.

3. Barker Dam

barker dam, Joshua Tree

Colin Putnam | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Free with park admission

Address: Joshua Tree Parkway, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

  • 1.1-mile trail loop
  • Water in dam dependent on season

Built by cattlemen in 1900, Barker Dam is a gathering spot for much of Joshua Tree’s wildlife.

Currently, the dam has a wonderful loop trail that allows visitors to view the dam and explore the area.

With the backdrop of San Gorgonio Mountain, the trail is a magical place filled with native plants.

You can view Joshua Trees, Yucca, pines, and more as you catch sight of wildlife.

See reptiles basking in the sun, desert bighorn traversing boulders, and a variety of birds.

Along the way, you will discover interpretive exhibits that provide the history of the dam, as well as information about the plants and wildlife.

Additionally, petroglyphs on the site convey the story of past desert residents from 2,000 years ago.

Are you wondering if Barker Dam is a good place to visit with kids?

The easy walk, diverse plants and animals, and boulders to climb on make the trail around the dam a great place for your children to experience nature and spark their interest in the desert.

4. Visit the Town of Joshua Tree

Town of Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree

Dominic Gentilcore PhD | Shutterstock

Address: San Bernardino County, CA

  • Located on California State Route 62
  • Unincorporated
  • Population of approximately 7,000

Do you want to meet the local community that calls Joshua Tree home?

Head to the town of Joshua Tree, and you will discover a charming and quirky spot with a number of attractions.

The town itself is a quaint place that reflects the desert area’s history, as well as the vibe of the 1960s.

Visit locally owned shops that sell everything from hand-made jewelry to health foods, as well as sweets and healing products.

Stop for a massage or Reiki treatment before perusing the diverse artwork on display at galleries.

Additionally, you can stop by the Joshua Tree Saloon for a drink and some live music or visit the Beatnik Lounge and meet the fascinating folks that regularly hang out at the community center. 

If you’re looking for some lodging, the town also offers classic roadside motels that are unique and comfortable.

5. Joshua Tree Farmers’ Market

joshua tree farmers’ market, Joshua Tree

Albert Campbell | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 2311, 61705 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

  • Open Saturday, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • Open year-round

If you happen to be in the town of Joshua Tree on a Saturday, be sure to visit the Joshua Tree Farmers’ Market.

Among the fun places to visit in Joshua Tree, the market is a great place to meet the local community, not to mention peruse fresh produce that includes vegetables, fruits, flowers, and much more.

Listen to live music as you stroll through stalls that boast vibrant tomatoes, glasswork, beaded accessories, and coffee, as well as canned goods, jewelry, and art.

Snack on a fresh apricot as you choose some artisan cheese or ripe strawberries to buy.

Find gifts, such as clothing and health and beauty items, in addition to prepared food that will tide you over as you talk to the locals.

6. Visit Pioneertown

Pioneertown, Joshua Tree

Flystock | Shutterstock

Rating: 4★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: Pioneertown, CA

  • Unincorporated
  • Population of approximately 400

Located only 12 miles from Joshua Tree, Pioneertown is great for anyone looking for great things to do in Joshua Tree with kids.

Created in 1946 as a film set for movies, the town is now a tourist attraction with a number of fun activities.

Watch the Mane Street Stampede, enjoying the wild west show while outlaws and cowboys perform a shootout.

Moreover, you’ll want to stop by the General Store and peruse the charming shop.

While there, you will find souvenirs and gifts that include jewelry, vintage gems, books, and clothing.

Your kids will love the Yogi Goat Farm, where they can get up close and pet the friendly furry animals.

For some outdoor exploration, head to Pioneertown Mountains Preserve.

During your trek on one of the six trails, you’ll be able to explore canyons, do some boulder scrambling, and gets pics of amazing cacti.

7. Pappy & Harriet’s

Pappy & Harriet’s, Joshua Tree

BrianPIrwin | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Free, Starting at $25.00 for live shows

Address: 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown, CA 92268

  • Open Thursday through Monday
  • Site of several western films

Are you searching for a fun night with friends while in Joshua Tree?

While in Pioneertown, stop by Pappy & Harriet’s, a bar and grill that offers much more than food.

Dance the night away to live bands that keep the roadhouse lively and festive.

A variety of music genres grace the stage at Pappy & Harriet’s, giving you the opportunity to listen to class rock ‘n roll, indie rock, and country music.

While you take a break from the dance floor, sample mouthwatering barbecue, such as wood-smoked ribs and pulled pork.

Try a bison burger, catfish sandwich, or vegetarian chili.

Additionally, the restaurant also serves some fantastic signature cocktails.

Sip a Highway Queen, Dusty Boot, or Rosy Boa.

Moreover, if you have your four-legged friend with you, just let the host know, and you’ll be led to outdoor seating.

8. Arch Rock Nature Trail

Arch Rock Nature Trail, Joshua Tree

Ken18 | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Free with park admission, Campsite: $15.00

Address: Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

  • Allow 1 ½ hours
  • Trailheads at White Tank Campground and Pinto Basin Road

Arch Rock Nature Trail is a great option for anyone who wants an easy and family-friendly hike.

Particularly, you and your kids will love Arch Rock itself, an unusual arch that is a spectacular sight anda  popular place to get a picture.

In addition to the Arch Rock, you can climb over the boulder-strewn area, catching sight of lizards and desert birds.

If you are walking the trail during the summer, be aware that there is no shade, so bring lots of water, wear sunscreen, and don a hat.

The trail is also a fantastic spot for experiencing the different aspects of the desert landscape.

Traverse rocky surfaces, hard-packed dirt, and sandy areas while taking in the smooth rock formations.

At the end of your trek, you also have the opportunity to camp at the nearby White Tank Campground.

9. Cottonwood Spring

Cottonwood Spring, Joshua Tree

Marco Toni | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Free with park admission, Campsite: $20.00

Address: Lost Palms Oasis Trail, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

  • 62 campsites available
  • 1.5-mile trail

Considered one of the most beautiful spots in Joshua Tree, Cottonwood Spring was home to the Cahuilla people for centuries.

Currently, the spot is an oasis that attracts visitors year-round with lush giant palms that are clustered in the area.

Because of a spring created by earthquake activity, the vibrant trees in the area flourish, creating a once-in-a-lifetime view.

Additionally, there is a moderately difficult loop trail that will take you past spectacular wildflowers in the Spring and allow you to view wildlife during every season.

Particularly, you can see big horn sheep and a wide variety of birds who call Cottonwood Spring home.

If you plan on camping, the campsite at Cottonwood Spring is one of the best.

While you’ll still have basic camping to enjoy the peaceful desert night, the campsites also include amenities such as fire grates, tables, and water.

10. World Famous Crochet Museum

World Famous Crochet Museum, Joshua Tree

@Source | Allie Bartelski

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 61855 CA-62, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

  • Open 24/7
  • Formerly a drive-thru photo stand

One of the top free places to enjoy in Joshua Tree, the World Famous Crochet Museum, is a must-see.

Want to see a great roadside attraction in Joshua Tree?

This spot is a tiny but treasured gem.

Open day and night, you may come across this museum while no one else is there so that you can peruse the quirky displays on your own.

Visit the Chicken Wing and view the handmade plethora of crochet chickens before getting a picture of Big Bird and numerous poodles, as well as Bert and Ernie.

Meet Bunny, the crochet alligator, who is the designated curator of the museum, and let yourself be immersed in the whimsical world of crochet.

11. Take a Horseback Tour with Knob Hill Ranch

Horseback Tour with Knob Hill Ranch, Joshua Tree

@Knob Hill Ranch

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Starting at $135.00

Address: 57840 Cortez Drive, Yucca Valley, CA 92284

  • Book in advance
  • Length of tour varies depending on type

Would you like to travel through Joshua Tree on horseback?

With a tour provided by Knob Hill Ranch, you can do just that.

Head out into the beauty of the national park with a guide who will ensure you have a pleasant, safe, and memorable experience.

Even if you are new to riding, you will find a tour perfect for you and your skill level.

In particular, you can take a leisurely ride that provides views of the Yucca Valley at sunrise or sunset.

Take a longer scenic ride into the Black Rock Canyon area and traverse mountainous regions that are easy enough for both beginners and intermediate riders.

Journey through valleys and hills that wind along ridges overlooking Joshua Tree, providing spectacular views as well as diverse terrain.

If you’d like to get some great pictures of Coachella Valley and Palm Desert, a ride through the wash of Black Rock Canyon that leads to plateaus will be perfect for your excursion.

For advanced riders, the amazing tour to Eureka Peak is a more challenging but awe-inspiring ride.

Take in views of the Salton Sea, Yucca Valley, and Joshua Tree, not to mention the Mexican border.

During the Eureka Peak Tour, you will have a break for food and drinks and optional slope challenges.

12. Joshua Tree Excursions

Joshua Tree Excursions, Joshua Tree

Denise Barlock | Shutterstock

Rating: 5★

Entry Ticket: Varies depending on activity

Address: 61325 Twentynine Palms, CA 92252

  • Book in advance
  • Length of tour varies depending on type
  • Park admission included

If horses aren’t you’re thing, or you are looking for some more adventurous things to do in Joshua Tree, book a tour with Joshua Tree Excursions.

For a relaxed morning, take an informative sightseeing tour.

While on the tour, you can sit back in an air-conditioned shuttle as your guide shares their knowledge with you.

Stop at picturesque locations, such as the Cholla Cactus Garden, Arch Rock, and Key’s View, as well as Skull Rock and Ohlsen Ranch.

Are you looking for adventurous activities in Joshua Tree?

Go on a hike and climb tour and explore the desert rocks not everyone gets to see.

What’s more, even if you are a beginner, your guides will make sure you have a fantastic and safe time.

For a romantic surprise, take your significant other on a guided private sunset hike that includes dinner, as well as a Night Sky Presentation.

13. Joshua Tree Music Festival

Joshua Tree Music Festival, Joshua Tree

@Joshua Tree Music Festival

Rating: 4.7 ★

Entry Ticket: Varies depending on seating and advanced purchase

Address: 2601 Sunfair Road, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

  • Book tickets in advance
  • Camping is first-come-first-serve
  • No swimming in lake

Attracting 2 million visitors, the Joshua Tree Music Festival is a must-do if you are in the area during early October.

With a family-friendly atmosphere, as well as a laid-back vibe that encompasses a desert lifestyle, the yearly music festival is by far one of the most fun activities to do in Joshua Tree.

Dance and sing along with exceptional performers from around the world while immersed in the sense of community and happiness.

For four full days, the festival offers a full lineup of amazing bands, singers, and musicians.

Take a break and relax in the beer garden, grab some food from one of the many vendors, or take your children to Kidsville for some fun family time.

Additionally, the festival is host to artisan vendors, an art gallery, and a photo booth, as well as lounges and a small lake.

If you are planning to stay for the entire festival or even one night, a campground and RV site is on hand.

Enjoy hot showers and filtered water, in addition to ATMs and free WIFI.

14. Joshua Tree Cultural Center

Joshua Tree Cultural Center, Joshua Tree

@Joshua Tree National Park

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 6533 Freedom Way, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

  • Open daily, 8:30 – 5:00 pm
  • Donations encouraged

The Joshua Tree Cultural Center should be at the top of your list of places to stop while in the area.

Get your trip started the right way by perusing the bookstore that offers numerous informative and fascinating subjects about the park for both adults and children, as well as the museum.

While touring the museum, you will learn about the history and culture of Native American communities through rotating exhibits.

Additionally, the shop offers the perfect souvenir and gift options that also contribute to the center’s continuation.

15. Lost Horse Mine

Lost Horse Mine, Joshua Tree

Autumn Sky Photography | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Free with park admission

Address: Lost Horse Mine Spur, CA

  • Located off of Keys View Road

One of the most prosperous desert mines of California, Lost Horse Mine, is a fascinating place to visit.

The mine was able to produce an astounding 10,000 ounces of gold as well as 16,000 ounces of silver, between 1894 and 1931.

Presently, you can hike the Lost Horse Mine Loop and take in spectacular views from the summit of Lost Horse Mountian.

If you prefer not to do the long hike along the trail, you can still view the mine itself, as it is located near the parking area.

Although surrounded by a fence, the preserved mine is an impressive sight to see.

Take your time walking around the structure, as it is worth the visit despite its slightly dilapidated condition.

16. Oasis of Mara

Oasis of Mara, Joshua Tree

Sandra Foyt | Shutterstock

Rating: 4★

Entry Ticket: Free with park admission

Address: 74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

  • Informative plaques
  • Pet-friendly

The Serrano, an indigenous people of California, created the Oasis of Mara by planting 29 palm trees at the spot visitors now flock to.

As legend has it, a medicine man instructed them where to plant the palms, which led to providing food, housing, and tool for life.

Presently, the oasis is home to numerous native animals, such as beetles and orioles.

Over 140,000 visitors make their way to the area to view the fan palms and walk along the half-mile trail loop.

The oasis feels like a hidden gem off the beaten path, with the shade of the trees contrasting against the stark desert landscape.

Both you and your kids will enjoy taking a respite and watching rabbits, quail, lizards, and squirrels scurry across the area.

17. Indian Cove Campground

Indian Cove Campground, Joshua Tree

JAVS | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★

Entry Ticket: Starting at $25.00

Address: Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

  • No electric or water hookups
  • Drinking water and fire pit
  • Pet-friendly

Wondering where a great camping spot is in Joshua Tree?

What Indian Cove Campground doesn’t have in amenities, it makes up for with sheer beauty.

Experience the desert at its best while staying at the site, with campsites situated on flat surfaces between towering boulders.

During the morning and evening, the boulders turn soft and lovely hues in the light.

Additionally, the light from your campfire will create fascinating shadows reflected by the unusually shaped rocks.

In addition to its beauty, the campground is popular with rock climbers because of the many routes nearby.

Moreover, you can walk along the interpretive nature trail and spot the wildlife that calls the area home.

18. 29 Palms Art Gallery

29 Palms Art Gallery, Joshua Tree

@Souce | Josie Kim Parker

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 74055 Cottonwood Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

  • Open Friday through Saturday, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Allow 1 hour

See the art of Joshua Tree locals at 29 Palms Art Gallery.

While at the gallery, you will see amazing landscape paintings, photographs, sculptures, and crafts on display.

View pieces that showcase the lives of Native people, as well as the natural beauty of the desert.

During your visit to the gallery, be sure to find out about upcoming events held throughout the year, such as craft fairs and art walks.

Are you looking for a creative activity for you or your kids in Joshua Tree?

Join a day class and learn how to draw something whimsical with your children, or experiment with mixed media.

Lastly, visit the gift shop and find a breathtaking piece of turquoise jewelry or original art piece to take home.

19. Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center

Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center, Joshua Tree

@Skysthelimit29

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Free 

Address: 9697 Utah Trail, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

  • Allow 2 hours for night sky programs
  • Programs begin 45 minutes after sunset

If you are looking for educational and fun things to do in Joshua Tree with family, head to Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center.

With free night sky programs available to the public, the observatory is a fantastic way to view the stars hanging over the desert.

During the night sky program, you can wander between telescopes, viewing different objects in the sky.

At each telescope, an astronomer will be available to explain what you see, as well as answer any questions.

Additionally, you can stop by the campus on Saturday mornings and set up a solar scope for viewing or take a tour of the Orrery.

While viewing the Orrery, you will be able to see a true-to-scale model of the solar system.

Also, you can set up your own telescope and ask for help from a docent if needed.

20. Key’s View

Key’s View, Joshua Tree

Alisa_Ch | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★

Entry Ticket: Free with park admission

Address: Riverside County, CA

  • Pet-friendly
  • 20-minute drive from Park Blvd.

Curious where you can find one of the best views in Joshua Tree?

Take the 20-minute drive to Key’s View, and you will be awestruck by the breathtaking view.

Found on the crest of the Little San Bernardino Mountains, Key’s View offers panoramic views of Coachella Valley, as well as the San Andreas Fault and Signal Mountain.

Additionally, the lookout provides views of the Salton Sea and the Santa Rosa Mountains.

Get fantastic photos of the wide-open sky stretching over the desert and mountains, in addition to Joshua Trees and other native plants.

21. Ryan Ranch

Ryan Ranch, Joshua Tree

Noah Sauve | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.2★

Entry Ticket: Free with park admission, Campsite: $20.00

Address: Twentynine Palms, CA

  • Trailheads from Ryan Campground and Park Blvd.
  • Approximately 30-minute hike

Located next to Ryan Mountain, Ryan Ranch was built in 1898 and is a testament to the mining pioneers of the California desert.

Visit the ruins of the large adobe structure erected by Jepp and Tom Ryan so long ago and tour what remains of the house.

The two trails that lead to the ruins are also worth the short trek, not to mention the other artifacts you will see in the area.

Graves, a covered well, and antique machinery, as well as petroglyphs, surround the adobe.

While at the ranch, you will also find an informative plaque telling the history of the ranch and how the climate affected its preservation.

Get some fantastic photos of the adobe walls that remain at sunset, capturing the orange hue and glow as evening settles over the desert.

Additionally, you can stay the night at nearby Ryan Campground, returning after touring the ranch.

22. The Integratron

The Integratron, Joshua Tree

@Coachella Valley

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Free, Public sound bath: $50.00

Address: 2477 Belfield Boulevard, Landers, CA

  • Book in advance
  • Private sound baths available
  • No one under the age of 6
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing

Are you looking for unusual activities near Joshua Tree?

Head to The Integratron, a unique historical landmark only 10 miles from Joshua Tree.

Built in 1954, the building has a strange and fascinating history.

Erected by George Van Tassel, the domed structure was purported to be an electrostatic generator that would provide rejuvenation and aid in time travel.

Moreover, the location of the building was chosen because of its intersection of geomagnetic forces.

While visiting The Integratron, you will have the opportunity to experience a private or public sound bath.

The 60-minute sonic healing session includes a historical introduction of the dome and a sound chamber, as well as ambient music.

Afterward, take a stroll through the outdoor courtyard and relax on a hammock or couch.

Lastly, stop by the shop and pick up a souvenir, crystals, jewelry, or a tee shirt.

23. Hi-Desert Nature Museum

Hi-Desert Nature Museum, Joshua Tree

@Hi-Desert Nature Museum

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 57090 Twentynine Palms Highway, Yucca Valley, CA 92284

  • Open Wednesday through Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Kids’ Corner

Dedicated to educating both the local community and visitors about the culture and heritage of the area, the Hi-Desert Nature Museum is among the best educational things to do in Joshua Tree.

Tour the natural history exhibits and view dioramas that showcase native animals and plants.

Particularly, you can view mountain lions, coyotes, jackrabbits, and more.

Peruse gems and minerals from around the world, inspect displays of unusual insects, and view a variety of skulls from the desert.

Afterward, head to the cultural history area and learn about Native American culture, early settlers, and mining in the desert region.

Additionally, the museum offers a digital exhibit about Giant Rock, which is located in the Morongo Basin.

Learn about the treasured landmark through stories, images, and videos.

Your kids will also love the small zoo at the museum.

While there, you can get up close and view snakes, reptiles, amphibians, and much more.

Furthermore, the museum offers events throughout the year to the public, allowing visitors to hear guest lecturers, listen to music, and attend fairs.

24. Simi Dabah Sculpture Garden

Simi Dabah sculpture ranch, Joshua Tree

@Source | Eileen Stern

Rating: 4.7

Entry Ticket: Free, donations encouraged

Address: 5255 Sunfair Road, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

  • Can be viewed along Sunfair Road or by appointment
  • Many sculptures donated to nonprofit organizations

Curious about what type of art you’ll find while in Joshua Tree?

Along with the many art galleries scattered throughout the area, Simi Dabah Sculpture Garden offers an art experience like no other.

Covering 8 acres of property, the sculpture garden is a striking and fascinating place to visit.

While there, you will discover nearly 700 sculptures created by Simi Dabah with scrap materials.

What’s more, his works reflect a wide spectrum of design and are environmentally friendly.

You will find small sculptures for tabletops, massive pieces that reach 20 feet, and a natural patina on many of the works.

Moreover, you can purchase any sculpture that you fall in love with, your money going directly to fund nonprofit organizations.

25. Glass Outhouse Art Gallery

Glass Outhouse Art Gallery, Joshua Tree

@Source | Christine L. Owens

Rating: 4.8★

Entry Ticket: Free, donations encouraged

Address: 77575 Twentynine Palms Highway, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

  • Open Tuesday through Sunday, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Allow 1 -2 hours

Glass Outhouse Art Gallery showcases local artists in a whimsical and endearing way.

Looking for experiences in Joshua Tree that are off the beaten path?

This outdoor art gallery is in a remote part of the desert, yet still attracts both locals and tourists, as well as art collectors from around the country.

If you’re wondering what you’ll see there, the list is interesting and long.

Peruse a tiny wooden church, get your picture taken next to a giant Pepsi can, and see the glass outhouse, as well as other whimsical installations.

You can also head inside and view paintings, drawings, and photographs.

26. General Patton Memorial Museum

General Patton Memorial Museum, Joshua Tree

@Military Tanks, Ships, and Planes

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $15.00, Seniors and Veterans: $13.00, Children: 7.00, Active Military, Ages 6 and Under: Free

Address: 62510 Chiriaco Road, Chiriaco Summit, CA 92201

  • Open daily, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • Approximately 10 minutes from Joshua Tree

Located on a site chosen by the museum’s namesake, the General Patton Memorial Museum is among the best things to do in Joshua Tree.

Formerly an entrance to the Desert Training Center for World War II, the museum includes exhibits that showcase everything from natural science displays to the military service of General Patton.

Tour the Matzner Tank Pavilion and the Tank Yard, where you will see a variety of military vehicles, as well as Sherman and Pershing tanks.

View the Memorial Walls that celebrate each branch of the U.S. Military before visiting the Desert Training Center itself.

In addition to more modern warfare artifacts, you can learn about and see military designs created by Leonardo Da Vinci.

Moreover, hear the oral history of warfare and view the Metropolitan Water District map that details the 50,000 miles of area around the Colorado River Aqueduct. 

27. Joshua Tree Rock Climbing School

Joshua Tree Rock Climbing School, Joshua Tree

@Source | Sterling Wilson

Rating: 5★

Entry Ticket: Starting at $195.00

Address: 63439 Doggie Trail, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

  • Book in advance
  • Courses and seminars range from 1 to 4 days

Would you like to go rock climbing in Joshua Tree?

If you are a beginner or simply want to hone your skills while under guidance, Joshua Tree Rock Climbing School is a great option.

Take a basic rock-climbing course and increase your skill level throughout the day, as well as enjoy the beauty of Joshua Tree.

Begin with bouldering and continue on with instructions from your knowledgeable guide, eventually climbing the rocks of the area.

If you are an intermediate climber, the school offers courses that will help you refine your skills.

Particularly, you will learn about subjects such as passive protection placement and rock quality.

While with your guide, you will also be able to hone your crack climbing skills as you experience the desert landscape.

The school also offers courses for those seeking leading skills, as well as group and family outings.

28. Cabot’s Pueblo Museum

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum, Joshua Tree

@Source | Winnie Dawson

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $13.00, Seniors, Active Military, and Children: $11.00, Ages 5 and Under: Free

Address: 67616 Desert View Avenue, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240

  • Approximately 35 minutes from Joshua Tree
  • Book in advance
  • Allow 45 minutes

If you are searching for interesting things to do near and around Joshua Tree, Cabot’s Pueblo Museum is a great place to visit with family and friends.

The hand-made pueblo was built with the intention of being both a museum and residence for Cabot and Portia Yerxa.

Dating back to 1941, the massive structure is 5,000 square feet and holds 35 rooms.

While touring the pueblo, learn about the fascinating life of Cabot Yerxa and view the amazing structural details he created.

29. Hidden Valley Nature Trail

Hidden Valley Nature Trail, Joshua Tree

Cb_travel | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★

Entry Ticket: Free with park admission

Address: 74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

  • 1-mile trail
  • Allow 30 – 40 minutes

For those seeking outdoor fun things to do in Joshua Tree, Hidden Valley Nature Trail is a great way to explore with the family.

The easy loop trail is one of the most popular spots in Joshua Tree, attracting visitors with its iconic rocks and trees.

Surrounded by enormous boulders, the trail was a hideout for cattle rustlers over a century ago.

Presently, the area offers a place for families to play, scramble over the boulders, catchi sight of wildlife, and get photos of the valley from overlooking ledges.

Additionally, you will learn about the geology and history of the area with a series of informative plaques.

30. Fortynine Palms Oasis

Fortynine Palms Oasis, Joshua Tree

Picchu Productions | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Free with park admission

Address: Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

  • 3-mile trail
  • Allow 1 ½ hours
  • Closed during the summer

If you are looking for a moderately challenging area to hike, as well as awe-inspiring scenery, Fortynine Palms Oasis is a fantastic choice.

A popular spot in Joshua Tree, the lush oasis thrives against the desert mountains.

Moreover, you will be able to view a variety of wildlife, such as rabbits, lizards, and birds.

During the summer months, the oasis is closed in order to allow bighorn sheep to access the excess surface water surrounding the area.

After your hike along the trail, you will be able to view the group of palm trees that surround the spring, keeping them green.

A rare sight, the spring is a unique find in the desert and the perfect spot to relax in the shade.

31. Skull Rock Trail

Skull Rock Trail, Joshua Tree

Corey Strassberg | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Free with park admission

Address: Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

  • 1.7-mile loop trail
  • Allow 40 minutes

Skull Rock Trail is a popular and easy hike for visitors to Joshua Tree.

With native plants such as desert almond and cat’s claw acacia, as well as oak woodlands, it is a beautiful trek across the area.

Additionally, you will see yucca, flowering cactus, and California buckwheat, not to mention both sandy spots and large boulder formations.

Along the way, you will find informative plaques while you make the journey to the famous Skull Rock.

An unusual formation, Skull Rock is a great find that both you and your kids will love.

View from below and at an angle, the naming of the rock becomes obvious.

Before leaving, get a photo of the large skull-like formation that appears to be peeking out from behind a smaller set of boulders.

32. Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum

Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum, Joshua Tree

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Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 62975 Blair Lane, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

  • Private tours available
  • Allow 1 – 2 hours

View the exceptional art of Noah Purifoy at the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum.

While there, you will be able to view the prolific artist’s work against the stark desert landscape.

Take a self-guided tour or be guided by a docent as you learn about Purifoy and see amazing art installations.

The folk art is charming, whimsical, and inspiring, as well as a testament to ingenuity.

Created from discarded “junk,” each assembled work seems to tell a story while engaging the viewer.

Exploring other parts of California? Why not check out some of fun things to do in Malibu, best things to do in San Diego and enjoy the adventure of what to do in San Francisco!