Yes, it is safe to drink the water in the area around Joshua Tree and inside Joshua Tree National Park, however you will likely want to plan to bring your own water in with you into the park. While there are nine campgrounds in the park, only a small fraction of them have water available. The U.S. National Park Service recommends drinking at least one gallon of water per day to replace hydration lost from sweat, and you’ll need to have even more for cooking and bathing.
Joshua Tree has an incredibly dry climate and extremely varied high and low temperatures between day and nighttime. Since you will likely be exploring the park and all of its natural wonders through hiking, biking, and bouldering, your strategy for staying hydrated is key. Luckily, there are a number of great camping, glamping and RV sites near Joshua Tree with potable water (listed below) and some with showers that you can use as a basecamp for exploring the park.
Many travelers drive to the National Park with glass gallon jugs to refill at potable water stations, and there is always the option of purchasing containers of water at the stores near some of the park entrances.
The quality of drinking water in Joshua Tree is roughly comparable to the rest of America. Nationwide in the U.S. the average water quality is 55, and Joshua Tree’s water quality is 48. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) measures the Watershed quality — which is closely related to drinking water quality — not the water that comes from the faucet. The EPA has a complex method of measuring watershed quality using 15 indicators such as pH, chemicals, metals and bacteria. Overall, the running water at Black Rock , Cottonwood, and Indian Cove is deemed safe to drink. (In better news, the EPA has determined that Joshua Tree’s air quality is 86, compared to the U.S. average of 58.)
Here are a few top-rated options with drinking water:
1. Stargazer Yurt at Luna Vista Ranch: Located 10 miles from the West Entrance of Joshua Tree National park, this well-appointed yurt has sinks with potable water and a gorgeous outdoor shower and bathtub.
2. DE/TOUR Joshua Tree: This fully-equipped 1970 Aljo trailer is just minutes from Joshua Tree National Park, closest to the West Entrance. The trailer sleeps two, with additional space for two campers outside. You’ll have access to basic kitchenware, showers, WiFi, and potable water.
3. 28 Palms Ranch Stargazing Yurt #1 Just 20 minutes away from the less-crowded North entrance of Joshua Tree National Park, this gorgeous hand-painted Mongolian yurt accommodates up to 4 people. The yurt has a Mongolian sink inside with running water, as well as its own private heated outdoor shower, composting toilet, BBQ grill, and fire pit.
4. Grand Tipi @ Camp Temenōs: Located on the north edge of Pioneertown Mountains Preserve, this peaceful campsite offers a king-sized bed with a view of the stars through a small opening at the top of the tipi. There is hot and cold running water for showers and cooking, plus a chiminea to enjoy a fire inside your tipi! Fresh drinking water, coffee, and tea is also provided.
5. The Watering Hole: This campsite is optimized for tent camping underneath the stars. You won’t hear the hustle and bustle of any cars, just 360-degree views of nature. This campsite is at the North entrance of the park, complete with potable water and showers.
6. Starry JT Nights Moonflower: A few miles away from the West entrance to the park near Joshua Tree village, this campsite allows you to set up your own tents and fits up to 10 guests easily. You will have access to a kitchen, picnic tables and potable water throughout your stay.
7. Auntie Berts Farm: This desert escape is a private campground that features two swimming holes nestled into a beautiful valley filled with hiking, plenty of shade, and a great view waiting at the top of every ridge. Nearby Joshua Tree National Park, it’s a great place to come home and enjoy a hot shower after exploring the park.
8. Terrace Ranch Portico: This desert cabin features a private outdoor room with a queen bed and shared common bathroom with other guests, complete with showers. Located in a remote area of Little Morongo Heights, a short drive to Joshua Tree National Park and downtown Palm Springs, it’s a beautiful place to getaway.
Now’s a great time to find the perfect spot in Joshua Tree for your next camping, glamping or RV adventure. #FindYourselfOutside (TIP: Get $10 off your first booking when you create a new account here and use the referral code JOURNAL)