Between two and three million people visit Joshua Tree National Park each year, and in 2020, it was the 10th most visited US national park, and for good reason!
The beautiful surroundings are full of unique desert geology, iconic plantlife, and incredible climbing and hiking opportunities. Plus, at less than a three-hour drive from Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas, Joshua Tree makes a popular weekend getaway for Americans and international travelers.
The park is open all year round, but most people visit in spring or fall, avoiding the scorching summer days and freezing winter nights. As a result, accommodation fills up pretty fast in the shoulder seasons. So, if you’re planning to visit during this time, don’t ponder on where to stay in Joshua Tree for too long, or you may miss out on the top hotels and inns.
To help you with your trip planning, we’ll break down where to stay near Joshua Tree National Park and reveal the best accommodation available in each area.
Best Areas to Stay in Joshua Tree
When deciding where to stay in Joshua Tree, you should note that there are no hotels within the national park, only campgrounds. So, if camping is not your thing, you can check out the small towns of Twentynine Palms, Joshua Tree, and Yucca Valley, which are all just north of the park. These areas give the quickest access to Joshua Tree attractions. You may also want to consider Desert Hot Springs and Palm Springs on the western side.
- Twentynine Palms: Best for convenience
- Joshua Tree Town: Best for culture
- Yucca Valley: Best for families
- Desert Hot Springs: Best for relaxation
- Palm Springs: Best for dining and entertainment
- Joshua Tree Camping: Best for location & budget
Best Places to Stay in Joshua Tree
These handpicked Joshua Tree hotels and inns are located in the most popular areas to access the national park and range from budget-friendly to luxurious.
But first: You know I got you covered with a Joshua Tree itinerary and even more California national park travel guides!
Best area to stay in for convenience
The park’s north entrance and Oasis visitor center are located in Twentynine Palms, so this town is naturally most popular among Joshua Tree visitors, especially first-timers. As a result, there’s no shortage of Joshua Tree accommodation here, spanning all price ranges.
What’s more, despite being a small community, there are plenty of restaurants and shops in Twentynine Palms. It’s also pretty quirky, with unique roadside art attractions and the Glass Outhouse Art Gallery. However, the best thing about this town is that most of the top Joshua Tree attractions are a 15 to 30-minute drive away.
Top Picks for Twentynine Palms
Luxury: Fairfield Inn & Suites
Fairfield Inn & Suites is a modern 3-star hotel, offering spacious king and queen-sized rooms with lounge areas, workspaces, and sleek bathrooms. The hotel also has many special extras, like luxurious toiletries, a mini-fridge, and a microwave.
Onsite, there is a large outdoor pool with plenty of sun loungers, a poolside BBQ, whirlpool, gym, laundry services, and even a 24-hour minimarket. Plus, you’ll get to tuck into a delicious buffet breakfast each morning, fuelling you for an action-packed day.
Mid-Range: Sunnyvale Garden Suites
Sunnyvale Garden Suites is a highly-rated aparthotel with excellent facilities for an affordable price. The hotel has a small outdoor area with a hot tub and ping pong table, and there is also an on-site gym and children’s playground.
The spacious rooms feature a private bathroom with a shower, a fully equipped kitchen, and a patio with BBQ facilities. Plus, all suites have lounge and dining areas and flat-screen TVs, creating a homely and welcoming feel.
Budget: Motel 6-Twentynine Palms
Motel 6 is a fab low-budget choice in Twentynine Palms, offering clean and comfortable rooms with private bathrooms. All rooms have air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, cable TVs and desks, and the deluxe rooms feature microwaves and fridges, too. There’s also an onsite outdoor pool to refresh after a long hike in Joshua Tree, laundry facilities to clean your dusty clothes, and a 24-hour front desk.
Joshua Tree Town
Best area to stay in for culture
Joshua Tree Town is another small community outside the northwestern entrance with a very laid-back, artsy, and hipster vibe. Here you will find vegan restaurants, yoga studios, and thrift and craft stores, making it the perfect town to stay in if art, culture, and wellness are your cup of tea. Plus, like Twentynine Palms, you’ll spot some quirky roadside art around here. The town connects onto Park Boulevard for quick access to the park’s sights, most of which are about a 30-minute or so drive.
Top picks for Joshua Tree Town
Luxury: Sacred Sands
Sacred Sands is a luxurious guesthouse offering unique stays in Joshua Tree and is located just a stone’s throw from the park entrance. The guesthouse offers stylish and cozy king-size rooms with incredible views of the mountains.
The best thing about this accommodation is the outdoor bathtub on the private patio, allowing you to soak your sore muscles with a glass of wine and a stunning desert view. Your personal outdoor space also features a massage bed, outdoor shower, and sun loungers, an idyllic haven for couples!
Mid-Range: Joshua Tree Ranch House
Joshua Tree Ranch House is located in the heart of town and 500m from the visitor center, making it the perfect base for early starts and late nights in the park. The motel has a large outdoor pool with a sun terrace, and there is free private parking for all guests. The studio rooms all have a cozy wooden interior, comfy bed, soft lighting, and a small kitchen with a dining area.
Budget: Casa De Frank
The Casa De Frank homestay offers modern and eco-friendly accommodation for an excellent price. It’s one of the best homestays in Joshua Tree for young couples or friends, traveling on a budget as all rooms feature private bathrooms and kitchens along with stylish decor. Plus, the homestay has BBQ facilities, a shared lounge, and free private parking.
Best area to stay in for families
Yucca Valley is a short drive west of Joshua Tree town with a bigger community and more amenities like big stores and a large selection of cafes and restaurants. You’ll even find all your favorite fast food, such as McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, making it a top choice among families.
From Yucca Valley, you’ll reach several Joshua Tree sights and hiking trails in around 30 minutes, and the rest in 45 to 60 minutes. So, although it’s a little bit further than Twentynine Palms and Joshua Tree, there are no uncomfortably long car journeys.
Top picks for Yucca Valley
Luxury: Desert Gold
The Desert Gold 4-bedroom pool villa offers one of the most lavish Joshua Tree stays with a stunning outdoor pool and hot tub and a spacious and stylish house. In addition, the estate is full of lovely thoughtful extras that you don’t get in many Joshua Tree hotels. These include a coffee machine, high-quality tea bags, board games, and even guitars. Plus, the inviting lounge has a welcoming fireplace and cozy soft furnishings to make you feel right at home.
Mid-range: Travelodge Inn & Suites by Wyndham
An inn that provides all of your basic needs and more, the Yucca Valley Travelodge is a great spot for families, couples, and solo travelers alike. With quite a stunning backdrop for an inn, you’ll be able to relax by the pool while soothing sore muscles and if you opt for a room with a kitchenette, you’ll be able to cook and eat in your room for those looking for a more budget-conscious option. But there is a restaurant on-site serving Japanese cuisine for lunch and dinner.
Budget: Super 8 by Wyndham
For families wondering where to stay in Joshua Tree National Park without breaking the bank, Super 8 by Wyndham is an ideal option. This affordable hotel has family rooms with two queen or king-size beds. The motel provides a great continental breakfast, allowing you to grab and go if you have an early start. There’s an outdoor pool onsite, too, along with 24-hour reception and free parking.
Desert Hot Springs
Best area to stay in for relaxation
Desert Hot Springs is a town on the western side of the park that is perfect for couples (or anyone) looking for relaxation. The town’s main highlight is undoubtedly its natural hot springs, some of which are free, and others located at the top-quality spas here.
Desert Hot Springs is considerably further away from the park than the northern towns. There is no entrance on the west side, so it takes 50 minutes to reach the Northern gate, making most attractions over one hour away. Even so, if you’re looking for a part hiking vacation and part spa break, this is the perfect town for you.
Top picks for Desert Hot Springs
Luxury: Azure Palm Hot Springs
The upscale Azure Palm Hot Springs Resort has a fabulous range of wellness facilities, including a hot spring bath, jacuzzi, and sauna. In addition, there is a large outdoor pool overlooking the mountains and an on-site coffee shop.
Many suites have lush spa baths with incredible views, and others feature a private balcony. The decor is incredibly stylish, and there are lovely amenities like spa-quality toiletries and coffee-making facilities.
Mid-Range: El Morocco Inn & Spa
El Morocco is not your average bed and breakfast; this 4-star inn has an on-site spa, outdoor pool, and bar. The lavishly designed rooms have Moroccan-style furnishings, and some have balconies or courtyards overlooking the pool. Daily breakfast is included, and every night, the poolside bar offers happy hour deals.
Budget: The O Spa + Resort
For the area, The O Spa + Resort is what you can expect for an average price, so while this may not be the most budget-conscious option, I couldn’t resist including it! It’s an adults-only resort and is quite trendy. In the rooms, you can expect modern rooms with luxe, cozy fabrics that make them equally chic as they are comfortable. But the amenities are full of fun, with an indoor and outdoor pool, floaties are abundant. A top choice for a group looking for a fun girls’ weekend away.
Best area to stay in for dining and entertainment
Next to Desert Hot Springs, you’ll find the city of Palm Springs, with a wide array of excellent accommodation options, including many luxury resorts. It’s a perfect choice for anyone wondering where to stay near Joshua Tree to combine a city break with a day trip to the park.
Palm Springs is undoubtedly the best choice for dining and entertainment, and it’s pretty much the only town around with thriving nightlife. Because there’s so much to do here, many tourists in Palm Springs spend most of their time in the city and just one or two days in the national park.
Top picks for Palm Springs
Luxury: Sparrows Lodge
The adults-only 4-star resort, Sparrows Lodge, has unique poolside suites in a highly tranquil setting. The resort is kitted out with stylish decor, and there are fab facilities like an outdoor pool, jacuzzi, bar, and even a fire pit. The on-site restaurant Barn Kitchen also whips up super tasty gourmet meals with top-quality produce.
Mid-Range: The Oasis Resort
The expansive Oasis Resort is a highly rated choice, boasting an impressive 8 outdoor pools and 5 tennis courts. Oasis stands apart from most other Joshua Tree hotels with a pool, yet it won’t cost you a fortune to stay here. You can choose between an air-conditioned studio or apartment, all of which have a full kitchen and private balcony.
Budget: Adara Palm Springs
The Adara Palm Springs is a great value-for-money Joshua Tree motel, featuring an outdoor pool and hot tub. All the non-smoking rooms have an air-con, fridge, microwave, and coffee maker. Plus, the motel feels super secure as there are security gates and fob access to the pool and other facilities.
Joshua Tree Campgrounds
Like any national park, there is camping here too! Most of the 500 campsites in the park are by reservation which must be booked before entering the park as cell service is non-existent. You can book online at recreation.gov up to 6 months in advance. Most campgrounds are open year-round, but parts of some close in the summer. The following are the campsites that required reservations.
Both RV’s and tents, as well as horses, can camp here. It’s a large campsite with 99 spots and is only 5 miles from the nearby Yucca Valley. There are flush toilets, a dump station, and even cell phone reception is available here!
Located about 30 miles from the closest town of Indio, Cottonwood Campground is a smaller area that requires reservations during the busy season (September to May). Loop B usually closes in the summer while loop A becomes a first-come-first-serve area. Flush toilets, a dump station, and potable water are available here. Lastly, this campsite is tents only.
Indian Cove Campground is another large campground and one that also welcomes groups. Located between Joshua Tree Village and Twentynine Palms, here you’ll have access to vault toilets and water about 2 miles north of the campground. This is also a tent-only campground.
Open year-round, Jumbo Rocks’ name gives it away as this area has great views of rock formations. Minimal is available here with only vault toilets available. This campsite is centrally located in the park and is for tents only.
Open year-round and also with minimal amenities (vault toilets only), Ryan campsite is open for tents and has 4 equestrian sites. It’s located close to the California Riding and Hiking Trail and is a small campground.
Belle, Hidden Valley, and White Tank campgrounds do not require reservations and are paid for at an entrance station or when a ranger comes by. All of these campgrounds can accommodate RVs, though some have length limits. No water is available and there are pit toilets but all are great for night sky viewing!