Joshua Tree National Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

Joshua Tree National Park: Self-Driving Audio Tour

1. Joshua Tree National Park: Self-Driving Audio Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Note: This 68+mile-long tour covers the essentials of Joshua Tree in 3-4 hours. Wander through Joshua Tree National Tree park and discover its hidden secrets with a self-driving audio tour. Learn about the park's history, curiosities, and nature as you follow the app's directions to see as much as you can of the park. This self-guided driving tour begins at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center and follows the park road through this one-of-a-kind national park. As you leave civilization behind, hear about the Cahuilla tribe who once called this place home, and get an introduction to Jim McHaney, who terrorized the townsfolk with his band of ruffians. Then see the eponymous Joshua trees themselves. Get the facts on why these funky plants look like they do, and what the early Mormon pioneers thought they meant. Continue on to a hiking trail that leads you to one of the park’s strangest sights, a bunch of rocks with cryptic spiritual inscriptions on them, left by an odd recluse almost 100 years ago. As you go through the park, learn about the wildlife you might spot, from the pint-sized roadrunner to the elusive bighorn sheep. Next, visit the popular Hidden Valley Nature Trail where the infamous McHaney Gang once kept their stolen cattle while waiting to sell them off. Move on to Intersection Rock, a climbing hub that towers over the surrounding desert. Afterward, head down into Lost Horse Valley and hear the dramatic tale of how it got its name. It’s a story involving horse theft, a risky move, and a tense encounter with the McHaney Gang. Keys Point awaits beyond this valley, the most popular vista point in the park, where visitors and locals alike flock to catch the sunset. Up next, swing by the ominous Skull Rock and get a chance to visit some old, abandoned mines in Queen Valley. Then head to an observatory that’s perfect for stargazing, and end up in the Oasis Visitor Center. Your self-guided tour concludes here, just outside Twentynine Palms.

Palm Springs: San Andreas Fault Open-Air Jeep Tour

2. Palm Springs: San Andreas Fault Open-Air Jeep Tour

Board your open-air Jeep and embark upon a scenic and informative exploration of the stunning landscape of an active earthquake zone where you will travel across private property only accessible by 4WD and only open for this specific tour. This exciting 4WD adventure to the private Metate Ranch reserve on the San Andreas fault line is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for any visitor to the Coachella Valley. Discover the unique geography of this tortured landscape as you explore the skeleton of the earth. Visit a natural oasis and uncover the mysteries of the hardy plants and animals carving out an existence in the dry barren landscape.  Learn about the culture and lifestyle of the Cahuilla Indians and how they used the desert’s plants for food, medicine, tools, weapons, shelter, and more. You will have an opportunity to walk among the stone corridors and sheer granite walls of ancient canyons as you learn the fascinating history of the primal forces that shaped the valleys and surrounding landscape and the people that called this place home for millennia.

California Audioguide for Self-Drivers

3. California Audioguide for Self-Drivers

Complete your road trip around California with an audio guide featuring 169 locations and 3 hours of audio in 1 app. Listen to the recordings as you take in views at Yosemite, Mt. Whitney, and Zabriskie Point, experience the unique cultures of Silicon Valley, Santa Monica, and Hollywood, and drive down Highway 1. Feel at ease taking in the views while the app uses GPS to find your location and suggest stops. From famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge to lesser-known gems like Moss Landing, appreciate the wealth of beauty and history in California with detailed audio descriptions.   Stop and start your journey as often as you please, there’s no constraints once you download the app and activate your audio guide. If there’s a specific site you’d like to visit, manually choose audio guides from the built-in map or from a list.

California: Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle

4. California: Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! NOTE: This 600+ mile-long tour covers the essentials of California Bundle in 6 days. Traverse California with this bundle of self-driving audio guides. Learn about local history and see fascinating sights as you drive to destinations throughout the state. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Visit La Jolla in sun-kissed San Diego, and the star-studded mansion of Los Angeles. Encounter the arid landscape of the Joshua Tree National Park, and the high-tech center of Silicon Valley. See San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, and marvel at the picturesque Lake Tahoe. Traverse the Pacific Coast Highway to iconic destinations like Malibu and San Luis Obispo. Immerse yourself in the Californian way of life at Big Sur, Monterey, and 17-Mile Drive. Enjoy an experience that never expires, allowing you to take these tours whenever you choose. Make it one big road trip or spread it out over months or years: the choice is yours. The bundle includes the following tours: • Big Sur • Silicon Valley • Pacific Coast Highway (both ways) • 17 Mile Drive • La Jolla • San Francisco • Lake Tahoe • LA Filming Locations • Hollywood Homes • Joshua Tree • Sequoia & Kings Canyon • Death Valley • Yosemite National Park • Hoover Dam tour from Las Vegas • Point Reyes National Seashore

Palm Springs: Self-Driving Windmill Tour

5. Palm Springs: Self-Driving Windmill Tour

The Palm Springs windmill self-driving tour is an interactive, educational, and fun tour for friends and family. This tour will guide you along with an audio program provided through an app with clearly marked destinations throughout the first commercial wind farm in Southern California. After check-in at the Tour Center, you will see a 15-minute video before your self-driving tour. There are exhibits inside the Tour Center on wind energy. You will then be given a map and directed to where to start your tour. You will then take a journey through 10 marked stops, starting with a display yard of non-operating wind turbines. Learn about the successes and failures and visit a real generating wind turbine, where you can get up close and take pictures. Continue to a solar farm and end the tour with a stop at the old gas plant.

25+ National Parks Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle

6. 25+ National Parks Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle

Start any of these tours by downloading the app that will function as your guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Note: In this bundle, each tour is 35+ miles long and takes 2-3 hours to complete. This bundle includes: • Grand Canyon • Yellowstone • Grand Teton • Rocky Mountain • Shenandoah • Acadia • Sequoia & Kings Canyon • Joshua Tree • Arches • Bryce • Canyonlands • Capitol Reef • Zion • Grand Staircase • Monument Valley • Great Smokies • Death Valley • Olympic • Badlands • Glacier • Yosemite • Everglades • Saguaro • Petrified • Red Rock Canyon • Mt Rainier Tour • Mesa Verde Marvel at a mile-deep crack in the earth at the Grand Canyon. Tour the rim, hike eye-popping trails, and learn how this awe-inspiring landscape formed. Watch Old Faithful erupt in Yellowstone, but don’t stop there! See Grand Prismatic, observe the nation’s largest bison herd, get the truth about the Yellowstone supervolcano, and more! Travel to new heights in the Grand Teton mountain range, offering unbelievable vistas, dramatic mountain passes, and tons of history. Explore Colorado’s dramatic Rockies, from gorgeous vistas to the enormous Bear Lake. Plus, learn how this park exists thanks to some competent women. Discover why Great Smoky is the most-visited national park. Find sparkling waterfalls, verdant hiking trails, and a rich Cherokee heritage. Plus, explore little-known Civil War history at Cades Cove. Cruise through tree-filled mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah’s Skyline Drive, both offering perfect wilderness sights and plentiful wildlife and legends. Get in touch with nature at Acadia, one of the greenest places in the country. Or visit in the fall for a truly unforgettable display of autumn foliage! Visit living giants in Sequoia, home to the largest trees on Earth. Then go beyond those groves to Kings Canyon, boasting dramatic vistas for those seeking the perfect photo op. Cruise through Joshua Tree, where two deserts meet. See great desert hikes, wacky Dr. Seuss-like trees, and some of the best sunsets you’ll ever see. Discover the gravity-defying wonder of Arches, named for impossible rock formations millions of years in the making. Hear how they formed and what they meant to the tribes here. Marvel at the towering hoodoos that dot Bryce Canyon. Dive into the legends behind them, including the harrowing tale of giants turned to stone. Visit the staggering beauty of Canyonlands, home to the stunning red desert and more canyons than you can shake a stick at. Stand atop breathtaking vistas, find a piece of history at Aztec Butte, and much more. See why Mormon pioneers thought Zion was heaven on earth! Visit natural wonders from towering rock temples to emerald pools and a hiking trail. Visit the spot where Forrest Gump ended his famous run at Monument Valley! Explore this valley’s jaw-dropping mesas and spires, which made Hollywood famous.

Joshua Tree National Park: Self-Guided Driving Tour

7. Joshua Tree National Park: Self-Guided Driving Tour

Go on a fun driving tour through Joshua Tree National Park. Start your trip at Bajada Nature Trailhead and quickly visit the helpful Cottonwood Visitor Center. Enjoy the oasis at Cottonwood Spring, then drive down Pinto Basin Road, seeing Creosote Plants. Experience the desert at Pinto Basin Sand Dunes Trailhead, see the Ocotillo Patch, and visit the Cholla Cactus Garden. Check out Arch Rock and Heart Rock, walk around Split Rock Loop, and take pictures at Skull Rock. Learn history at Desert Queen Mine, see old Joshua Trees, and hike Ryan Mountain Trail. See the quiet Hall of Horrors Area, peaceful Cap Rock, and calm Barker Dam Trailhead. Don’t miss Intersection Rock, Hidden Valley Nature Trailhead, and the Boy Scout Trail. Discover Samuelson's Rock and finish your tour at the Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center. Explore nature's wonders! Centers: Cottonwood Visitor Center, Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center. Sights: Cottonwood Spring, Pinto Basin Road, Pinto Basin Sand Dunes Trailhead, Ocotillo Patch, Cholla Cactus Garden, Arch Rock, Heart Rock, Split Rock Loop, Skull Rock, Desert Queen Mine, Joshua Trees, Ryan Mountain Trail. Special Areas: Hall of Horrors Area, Cap Rock, Barker Dam Trailhead, Intersection Rock, Hidden Valley Nature Trailhead, Boy Scout Trail, Samuelson's Rock.

Joshua Tree: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

8. Joshua Tree: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

Don’t miss a thing as your favorite audio tour narrator guides you throughout Joshua Tree to not-to-be-missed points of interest, with fascinating stories, tips and directions along the way. Follow the suggested itineraries, or divide the commentary and create your own half, full or multi day sightseeing trips. Joshua Tree National Park, located in Southern California's Mojave Desert, showcases the remarkable beauty of its iconic trees and surreal rock formations. This landscape invites exploration, whether sightseeing or extending further on scenic hiking trails to get closer to desert life and panoramic vistas. Be prepared to be awestruck by the desert tranquility and raw beauty. Major Highlights: Arch Rock Barker Dam Cholla Cactus Garden Hall of Horrors Hidden Valley Keys View Skull Rock Nature Trail Split Rock Includes: Joshua Tree National Park On first glance, the landscape of Joshua Tree National Park seems harsh and dry, but punctuated with spectacular rock and boulder formations. Wandering among those granite monoliths provides some of the most simple pleasures of exploring. Looking deeper, the plants and animals somehow exist and thrive, having adapted to what is available to them. That most iconic tree is of course the Joshua Tree - for whom the park is named. With its twisted branches and distinctive silhouette, it stands as an emblem of resilience amidst the harsh desert conditions. Native to the southwestern United States, these peculiar trees can only be found in the Mojave Desert and parts of the Sonoran Desert. Most people want to see the all iconic sights and get close to the formations. You will have places like Skull Rock, Arch Rock and Hidden Valley on your must see list. Split Rock and the Hall of Horrors are fine examples of those forces that are strong enough to crack and sculpt granite. In terms of great vistas, Keys View and Barker Dam are not to be missed. There are many places to enjoy the Joshua Trees, but some very special corners are terrific for seeing the Chollo or Teddy Bear Cactus - you’ll find out why, and the distinctive ocotillo shrub, sometimes called the flaming sword or coach whip. Through time, the Native American people have adapted the necessary skills in live the Joshua Tree region and we will explore their story as we journey. In our more modern history, the park area attracted all sorts quirky characters shall we say, cattlemen who didn’t always care much for law and order, and prospectors intent on finding gold and good fortune. Later, artists and musicians have found inspiration among the Joshua Trees and the boulders. You'll hear some of those most interesting stories as we go.

Joshua Tree National Park: Self-Guided GPS Audio Tour

9. Joshua Tree National Park: Self-Guided GPS Audio Tour

Step into the mesmerizing world of Joshua Tree National Park, a desert oasis nestled in Southern California, as you embark on an unforgettable journey with Shaka Guide's Audio Tour App. Let the app be your knowledgeable and engaging guide, providing captivating commentary, interesting facts, and fascinating stories as you explore this extraordinary natural wonder. As you venture into the park, you'll be captivated by the unique landscape that unfolds before your eyes. Towering Joshua Trees, iconic symbols of the park, stand tall against the expansive desert backdrop, creating a truly surreal and otherworldly atmosphere. The app will introduce you to the significance of these remarkable trees, their cultural importance, and the delicate ecosystem they call home. With Shaka Guide's Audio Tour App, you'll uncover the park's hidden gems and discover breathtaking sights along the way. You'll be led to mesmerizing rock formations, such as Skull Rock and Arch Rock, which have been shaped by millions of years of natural forces. Through vivid descriptions and historical context, the app will transport you back in time, revealing the geological processes that shaped these majestic features. Explore the park's vast network of trails as the app directs you to awe-inspiring viewpoints, like Keys View, where you'll be treated to panoramic vistas stretching as far as the eye can see. Bask in the grandeur of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and the mesmerizing Salton Sea in the distance, while the app enriches your experience with intriguing insights about the park's diverse wildlife and its conservation efforts. Things you'll experience on the tour: • Explore unique rock formations and climb Joshua Tree's iconic granite boulders. • Hike diverse trails amidst stunning desert landscapes. • Enjoy mesmerizing stargazing opportunities in the park's dark skies. • Discover ancient petroglyphs and learn about Native American history. • Camp in designated areas and embrace the peacefulness of the desert at night. • Go birdwatching and spot a variety of desert bird species. • Enjoy picnicking amidst the Joshua Trees and scenic vistas. • Popular boulder that looks like a skull that’s melted in the desert heat. • A mine where gold ore was famously mined and stolen. • Experience world-class rock climbing on Joshua Tree's granite walls. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned explorer, Shaka Guide's Audio Tour App will enhance your adventure in Joshua Tree National Park. Immerse yourself in the park's natural beauty, delve into its rich history, and embrace the serenity of the desert as you embark on this unforgettable journey with the app as your trusted companion. Let the magic of Joshua Tree National Park come to life through the captivating storytelling and insightful commentary provided by Shaka Guide's Audio Tour App.

Las Vegas: Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon West Rim + Skywalk

10. Las Vegas: Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon West Rim + Skywalk

Depart Las Vegas for the Grand Canyon. You will adventure at the Hoover Dam before traveling through the Joshua Tree Forest on your way to the canyon. Here, you will have 3-hours to explore and you may opt to walk on the Grand Canyon Skywalk (at additional expense). This is an excellent tour for those looking for a smaller, more intimate, personalized experience. - Hoover Dam Our first stop will be at Hoover Dam, a perfect example of what people can accomplish during even the toughest of times, Hoover Dam serves more than 7 million visitors each year and is one of Nevada’s most popular tourist attractions. Hoover Dam lies at the intersection of the southeast corner of Nevada and the northwest corner of Arizona and impounds Lake Mead, which is the largest reservoir by volume in the United States when it is full. -Joshua Tree National Park Getting to the city of Dolan Springs in Arizona, heading to Grand Canyon West, we will pass through an amazing high desert forest of unique Joshua trees. The Arizona Joshua Tree Forest can be found near the west end of the Grand Canyon just east of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. -Eagle Point (Optional Skywalk) The Grand Canyon Skywalk at Eagle Point is the most popular attraction in Grand Canyon West. The glass-bottom walkway (Sky Walk) provides thrilling bird’s-eye views of the canyon, one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders. -Guano Point Guano Point is a historical point that was once the center of a valuable guano mine in the early part of the twentieth century (guano was an important component in fertilizer). Guano Point offers some of the most beautiful and wide-ranging views of the Canyon and the Colorado River. Step out to the tip of the observation point and enjoy nearly 360-degree perspectives.

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Things to do in
Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park
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Other Sightseeing Options in Joshua Tree National Park

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What people are saying about Joshua Tree National Park

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 85 reviews

Richmond was an excellent guide, he was well prepared and extremely knowledgeable. He had visual aides to help explain certain items and was able to read his audience to make sure we all had an enjoyable and interesting time and would definitely recommend him to anyone. His good sense of humour added to his charm.

Amazing! Never thought I could get to the mills sooo close! Make sure you watch the into video - it will answer many questions you may have! Download the app and use it with your headsets as it tends to stop when phone screen goes off..

This audio tour is fantastic. It automatically gave us information as we drive through the park. The information was interesting. Directions are also given. Highly recommend for first time visitors to Joshua Tree.

This audio tour was full of fascinating facts along with interesting tales of the Wild West. We learned a lot and were kept entertained. We hope to find more of these for other National parks.

Great tour with interesting facts. You can choose to do it all or just a smaller portion of the tour. No problems with audio as we did all the download prior to driving into the park.