If you’ve made it to this page that means you’re considering exploring Summer in Joshua Tree which is *hot* and requires special planning along with adequate preparation to withstand the extreme daytime temperatures. The good news is that it’s not quite as hot as it’s neighbor park to the north, Death Valley, but daytime temperatures are still known to soar into the triple digits making for downright dangerous hiking conditions.
Those visiting Joshua Tree in summer need to pack adequate water, sunscreen, clothing, and avoid long hikes during midday.
When entering Joshua Tree National Park for the first time (which was during summer) I still recall the helpful Park Ranger at the entrance station warning me about leaving any plastic items (in this case the national parks pass) on the dash as “they will absolutely melt”, she said.
Despite that, summer can be a fun time to visit Joshua Tree if you’re prepared with hot days and warm nights. Stargazing during this time is especially glorious as the milky way is very easily visible on moonless nights roaring overhead.
Things to Know Before Visiting Joshua Tree in Summer
Entrance Fees: $30 per vehicle OR if you plan to visit more National Parks within the next 12 months we suggest you go ahead and purchase the America the Beautiful Pass (which can be purchased at any national park) and gets you into all National Parks, Forests, Monuments, and more including 2,000 sites for free after a one time $79 fee.
Sunscreen: Use it. Lots of it. Especially this one which we never leave the house without because it plays nice with our dear friend, earth 🙂
Gas: Fuel up before you enter the park (even if you’re at like 3/4 of a tank) because the park is massive and you don’t want to run out of gas in the desert.
Cell Service is spotty in the park.
The Best Guide Book: James Kaiser is the proverbial bees knees in this department. We love all of his National Park guides and his Joshua Tree Guide is no exception.
The Best Map: We like this map for Joshua Tree National Park.
Water: Drink it. Lots of it. Don’t forget it in the car.
The Best Time to Visit Joshua Tree National Park is NOT during the Summer when the temperatures will literally melt your park pass on your dash… But you can still have fun! The best time to visit the park is Winter or Spring (in my opinion).
Joshua Tree Monthly Temperatures (Summer)
Monthly temperatures in Joshua Tree during the Summer are pretty brutal. High temperatures during this time of year routinely soar into the triple digits while lows stay right around the 70s. Add in the fact that the low temperatures aren’t reached till early morning makes for some especially difficult (can you say hotttt) camping conditions.
|97F / 66F
|99F / 73F
|99F / 72F
|94F / 64F
Summer Activities in Joshua Tree
Summer in Joshua Tree National Park really limits daytime activities as the soaring temperatures can create dangerous hiking conditions. Shade comes at quite the premium in this park as the Joshua trees themselves provide very little of it. Make sure to pack lots of water and limit daytime hikes as much as possible to avoid heat related illnesses.
With that being said, there are still some great Summer activities to enjoy in the park.
- Stargazing at Skull Rock (and just about anywhere)
- Exploring Cottonwood Springs Oasis (sunsets here can be spectacular)
- Spotting Bighorn Sheep at Barker Dam (in the morning)
- Driving Geology Tour Road (think air-conditioned car)
Joshua Tree National Park Photos
The Joshua Tree Video
We made a little video about Joshua Tree that happened to win an award or two (we’re pretty proud of it). If you’re visiting the park ya just gotta take 3 minutes to watch this film.