Joshua Tree National Park encompasses approximately 800,000 acres of desert land just 40 miles east of the California-Nevada border. The land has been inhabited by humans for an estimated 5,000 years, filling it with a rich history as well as numerous archeological sites and historical structures. Famous for its biodiversity, Joshua Tree is home to more than 800 different plant species. Visit between the months of March and June to view the impressive wildflowers in full bloom. Many of the local species close up during the cool nights and reopen with the sunshine in the morning, so don’t be fooled by the barren appearance at twilight. Hiking trails are by far the primary attraction at Joshua Tree. If you and your family have never been to Joshua Tree before, there are a few hikes you won’t want to miss. The first is the Lost Horse Mine, a historical mine located inside the National Park. You can explore the mine itself or stroll along the 6.5 mile loop surrounding the site, where you can see other mines as well as Malpais Hill. The second must-see attraction is Carey’s Castle, a series of abandoned caverns that were once inhabited by squatters who worked in the nearby mines.
Things to do in Joshua Tree
4.5 based on 228 reviews
I prefer breakfast at home but this was a great spot to eat out. Really loved the vegan sausage and biscuit and egg sandwich. Veggie scramble also delicious. Kept us full all thru the hike up Ryan Mountain.
4.5 based on 61 reviews
A surprising find in the high desert in Joshua Tree, the coffee company is both coffee roaster and espresso bar. Enjoyed a fine latte on the patio along with a steady stream of coffee lovers. The area is kinda funky, but has an interesting vibe and should be fun at night. Check it out.
4.5 based on 455 reviews
The Crossroads Cafe is a classic American Diner, located on 29 Palms Hwy, near the main entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. We offer a wide variety of traditional diner fair to go along with unique specials that are all made from scratch and made with love. In addition, our menu is filled with great options for folks with dietary restrictions of any kind. From our savory bacon pancakes to the classic hamburger, from our fish tacos to homemade vegan chorizo & eggs, our menu has something for everyone. Happy trails and always pack water into the park!
This is our second March visit to Joshua Tree, CA, and we have enjoyed breakfast at the Crossroads Cafe every day. This is a bustling, busy spot. Weekend mornings there is a waiting list, and the food is worth the wait. The staff work incredibly hard and all have great attitudes. The food is tasty good. Try the polenta and egg breakfast and the ahi tacos at night. Yumm.
4.5 based on 217 reviews
After hiking full days in Joshua Tree National Park it was spectacular to enter the calm, friendly, relaxed atmosphere of this comfortable, casual restaurant. The friendly, accommodating staff went above and beyond to make sure we were satisfied. I would highly recommend this restaurant (we went 3 times in 6 days) and look forward to the day we can come back:) Oh, and the pizza’s and huge salads were delicious!
4 based on 380 reviews
The Joshua Tree Saloon is located on the road that leads into Joshua Tree National Park. Since there are no eating facilities in the park, we came out to grab a quick lunch at the Saloon. Had a great burger and a beer. The place was jammed at 3:00 pm! Enjoyed the quirky atmosphere and decor.
4 based on 131 reviews
We were looking forward to this restaurant, given the positive reviews, but ended up disappointed. We were initially told we’d have a five minute wait for a table, but it turned out to to be 20 minutes. That part was acceptable. What was not acceptable was the 55 minute wait from the time of ordering to the delivery of our food. We also learned, late in the game, that one of our orders, the daily special, was now unavailable because they had run out. The owner apologized as we were paying the tab and said this experience was very unusual, but in good conscience we cannot recommend this establishment. Putting aside the service issues, the food was good but not great. We had lunch - perhaps things go more smoothly at breakfast time.
4 based on 149 reviews
We were not interested in pizza but we were very ready for some spicy Indian curry after two days of more standard desert fare. The very spicy was definitely very spicy; the medium was somewhat mild. We enjoyed the lamb saag and the chicken coconut korma. If on a low carb lifestyle, just avoid the potatoes that might be in the curry. We requested no added sugar in the dishes and it was noted. The food was perfect for sharing. The service was somewhat slow but the staff was friendly and doing their best. There were lots of take out and delivery orders they had to manage along with the seated guests.
4 based on 84 reviews
After finding this olace, we were obliged to stand outside in the freezing cold, along with other customers waiting to get inside. There was no order as well as nowhere to enjoy a drink whilst waiting. The staff member had no idea how long we'd have to wait - pretty awful really. After 25 minutes of cold waiting, we were allowed to enter and shown a table. It was cramped but a neighbouring customer on an adjacent table offered us to share with them - giving us ample space. It took ages to be offered drinks, then even longer to get them. The menu offered limited predictable Thai fare and eventually our order was taken. Waiting, waiting, waiting. We appreciated they were busy, that it was Christmas week, but there was only one member of staff taking orders at this busy period. Food finally arrived - disappointing too. Out of five dishes, the Penang was the best of all - the others were left! There are few restaurants in Joshua Tree, so this situation happened a couple of times at other places before we realised that eating at home was the way forward. More restos needed.
4 based on 45 reviews
January 6, 2016 - The Park Rock Cafe is adjacent to the Joshua Tree National Park visitors center which makes it very convenient for an early lunch quiche and a take out box lunch. After listening to the morning Ranger presentation about Joshua Tree, we stopped in the Cafe. We found the atmosphere casual and welcoming; the food good; and the prices reasonable. If you need a sandwich to take into the NP, you can get it at the Cafe.
When stopping at the Joshua Tree NP, take a few moments to frequent the Cafe for a snack.
4 based on 11 reviews
Typical Subway food, but the employees are superb and so helpful. We wanted a sandwich to take to the national park for lunch, and in the morning they prepared it for us with the tomato and dressing on the side so that the sandwich did not get soggy.
A usual it was delicious several hours later when we did eat after walking.
Stop here for lunch.
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