Are you looking for a new travel destination with the same rocky mountains and stunning view as Joshua Tree? Look no further! We’ve rounded up the best places like Joshua Tree National Park, so you can explore the world without ever leaving your own backyard.
Best Alternatives to Joshua Tree National Park
1. Yosemite National Park
Next up is Yosemite National Park, arguably one of the most iconic national parks in the United States. This incredible park is home to some of the most stunning and awe-inspiring views found anywhere in California, with its soaring mountains, deep valleys, cascading waterfalls, giant sequoias, and more.
Whether you’re looking for a place to relax and take in the beauty of nature or an adventure-filled getaway, Yosemite has something for everyone. With over 1,200 miles of trails, from easy hikes to strenuous treks, you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.
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2. Death Valley National Park
For a stunning contrast to the wilds of Joshua Tree National Park, the Death Valley National Park is a must-see. Located near the Nevada border and just a few hours from Joshua Tree, this park offers an incredible variety of landscapes and activities. The treacherous terrain includes mountains, canyons, sand dunes, salt flats, and vast stretches of desert.
Visitors can explore the park’s unique features on foot, bike, or horseback or simply take in the breathtaking views. From the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, there’s no shortage of stunning spots to explore.
3. Salton Sea
Next up on our list of places similar to Joshua Tree National Park is the Salton Sea. This unique area of California is home to the Joshua Tree, Desert Tortoise, and many Palm Oases. One of the best places to explore in the Salton Sea area is Red Hill at the Red Hill Marina.
Here you can enjoy some of the most dramatic and beautiful waterfront access of the three. You can explore and climb around on, and the wind here is unbeatable.
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4. Mojave National Preserve
The Mojave National Preserve is a vast expanse of rugged terrain located in southeastern California. With its soaring mountains, cinder cone volcanoes, sand dunes, and Joshua trees, it is the perfect destination for those who want to experience the wild beauty of the Mojave Desert.
Its vast array of activities includes exploring the Rings Trail, climbing Teutonia Peak, strolling the Kelso Sand Dunes, and uncovering the many secrets that lie within this sprawling desert.
Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, scenic views, or a peaceful interlude, Mojave National Preserve has something for everyone.
5. Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
If you’re looking for a unique experience in the desert, then Big Morongo Canyon Preserve is a must-see destination. Located only 32km from Joshua Tree National Park, this preserve offers visitors an unforgettable journey through its lush trails and wildlife.
Peace in Paradise Ranch is a great place to stay while exploring the area, and comparing great deals on over 712 hotels with Expedia. Rated 4/5 stars with 103 reviews, you can rest assured that your stay at this ranch will be a pleasant one.
6. San Jacinto Mountain State Park
Next up on the list of amazing places like Joshua Tree is the San Jacinto Mountain State Park. This park is located in the San Jacinto Mountains near Palm Springs, California, and offers visitors a unique experience. With its rolling hills, granite cliffs, and spectacular views of the surrounding desert and mountain peaks, this park is an excellent option for those looking for a true desert experience.
Hiking, camping, and picnicking are just a few of the activities that can be enjoyed here. There are also horseback riding trails, rock climbing sites, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Whether you’re looking to take in the picturesque views or get a little closer to nature, San Jacinto Mountain State Park is sure to offer something for everyone that loves a good mountainous desert landscape.
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7. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
If you’re looking for places like Joshua Tree, make sure you don’t miss Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. This stunning park is the largest state park in California and is a great spot for outdoor adventure. Boasting more than a dozen wilderness areas, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has plenty of outdoor opportunities for adventurous vacationers.
While Joshua Tree is a National Park, Anza-Borrego is only a State Park and still offers plenty of incredible landscapes and attractions to explore. So, if you’re planning a road trip from San Diego to Joshua Tree, make sure to include Anza-Borrego Desert State Park on your list!
8. Calico Ghost Town
After exploring the vast deserts and national parks of California, why not take a step back in time and explore one of the most famous ghost towns in Southern California? Calico Ghost Town is one of the most well-known, being a former silver mining town that was abandoned in the early 1900s.
Located in the Mojave Desert, this eerie place is full of fascinating sights and stories. Visitors can take a tour of the town and visit its old buildings, some of which have been preserved and restored to their original condition. There are even some old-time shops and saloons to explore, giving visitors a glimpse into what life was like in this old mining town.
9. Indian Canyons
Indian Canyons is a magical destination for outdoor adventurers, offering a unique combination of lush palm groves surrounded by the hot desert right near Palm Desert. This park is particularly popular for its array of trails accessible for every skill level, from Andreas Canyon, the shortest and easiest hike in Indian Canyons, to Murray and Palm Canyons.
The most interesting feature of the park is the native California desert fan palm, Washingtonia filifera, which can live up to 90 years. With such a unique combination of palm trees and desert landscape, Indian Canyons is a must-see spot for nature lovers.
10. Algodones Dunes
The Algodones Dunes, located just south of Brawley in the south-central corner of California, are some of the biggest dune systems in the world. The ever-changing mudflats are gorgeous but the terrain is off the beaten path and not as well-known as other desert sites in California.
The fact that there are few roadways and a lack of close-by cities makes it harder to get to than most popular attractions. The biggest dunes are camping is allowed at the Northern Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area, but not by vehicle.
The only road through the area crosses the dunes, which is a violation of the Wilderness Area designation. The wilderness area is about 40 miles long and about 20 miles wide.
The area is home to several rare species, such as Peirson’s milkvetch, which has been on the endangered species list since Its flowers are purple, and it blooms from February to May.
11. Palm Springs, California
The next stop on your tour of places like Joshua Tree is the glamorous Palm Springs, California. Here you can enjoy some luxury in the desert while taking in the views of mountain ranges and canyons.
Palm Springs offers a myriad of activities and attractions, from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which takes you 8,500 feet above sea level, to the Moorten Botanical Garden & Cactarium, where you can get up close and personal with some of the area’s unique flora.
There’s also plenty to do when it comes to shopping, dining, and entertainment. After visiting Palm Springs, follow the San Andreas Fault west until you reach Pioneertown.
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12. Pioneertown, California
Located just a few miles from the town of Joshua Tree, Pioneertown is a unique destination that offers an array of attractions and activities for visitors. This former Old West movie set is now a live-in museum where visitors can experience the town as it was in the 1940s.
From the classic Western-style buildings to the vintage shops, there’s something for everyone in this unique town. There are also plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as horseback riding, hiking, and exploring the nearby mountains.
Pioneertown is an ideal destination for those who want to explore the past and experience a different side of California in the Yucca Valley.
13. Joshua Tree Town
If you are looking for an adventure similar to Joshua Tree National Park but want a town experience, then the first place you must visit is the town of Joshua Tree. This quirky and kitsch town is just a few miles away from the national park and is full of interesting art galleries, shops, and restaurants.
One of the most popular attractions in town is the Hidden Valley Nature Trail & Day Use Area.
This beautiful area of Joshua Tree is home to a variety of plants and animals, making it the perfect place for both nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. There are also plenty of trails to explore in the area. With its unique atmosphere and stunning scenery, Joshua Tree Town is definitely worth a visit.
What is similar to Joshua Tree?
Mojave Trails National Monument is a great alternative to Joshua Tree National Park. It is twice the size and covers 1.6 million acres. It is connected to the San Bernardino National Forest, Redwood National Park and the Pioneertown Mountains Preserve. The most common plants found in the Mojave Trails are the Mojave yucca and the Joshua tree. These trees come in many different shapes and sizes, from full and bushy to spindly and open. The twisted, spiky branches of the trees are surrounded by the unique desert landscape.
Is Joshua Tree worth the hype?
Absolutely! Joshua Tree National Park offers an incredible array of scenery, wildlife, and activities that make it a must-visit destination. From the stunning Cholla Cactus Garden to the incredible hiking trails, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, with the abundance of camping and lodging options available, you can make your visit as exciting or as relaxed as you’d like. So don’t miss out on this incredible national park – plan a trip to Joshua Tree today!