We’re often asked about our favorite places in Joshua Tree and the surrounding area. We never know quite where to begin with our recommendations – there’s a little bit of everything here. The epic, the strange, places that simply feel alien.
If one thing’s for sure, our favorite place to be in Joshua Tree is outside. While the National Park is certainly not the only place to do that, it’s an incredible place to start. With over 1200 sq. miles of rock formations, Joshua Trees, native cacti, hiking trails, and winding roads it’s a place open for endless exploration. If you enjoy hiking, a great trail to start with is North View Trail.
North View Trail / Joshua Tree National Park
6.5 miles, and takes about 3-4 hours
How to Access
West Entrance of Joshua Tree National Park, drive about 1.2 miles in and park just before mile marker 24 on the left hand side (you’ll see a small parking lot for about four cars)
Finding the Trail
The beginning of the trail is not incredibly well marked, but it’s easy to find if you know what to look for. Hike straight into the wash until you see trailhead signs. Turn right at these signs, and go a short ways until you see a sign for North View Trail at which point you will go left.
What to Bring
For a morning hike, we love to bring an old Stanley Thermos with some coffee or tea to stop half-way through and enjoy the views. There’s a shady spot about half-way through under a tree with incredible views looking North that would be a lovely spot to stop for lunch. (Just make sure not to leave any trash behind)
We would also recommend that you bring your phone, and/or a map. There are a couple spots throughout the trail where it can be easy to wonder… “is this still it?”. Luckily, this trail is not too far into the park that we still had service (with AT&T at least). We were able to check our location and know that we were still headed in the right direction.
As with most hiking in Joshua Tree, this trail is best for Spring, Fall, and Winter months. No matter the time of year, make sure to bring plenty of water.