What’s the Best Time of Year to Camp at Joshua Tree?

Spring and fall are the best times of the year to camp at Joshua Tree National Park and the area around Joshua Tree. The early spring months of March and April and late fall months of October and November tend to bring the ideal weather for your camping and glamping adventures in Joshua Tree’s desert environment. March and April not only have optimal temperatures, they also are the months when the wildflowers bloom (and sometimes superbloom!) throughout the desert.

Whether you choose to visit Joshua Tree in the spring and fall, or possibly in the more extreme summer and winter months, it’s essential to know what to expect and prepare accordingly. Be aware that temperatures can fluctuate widely between daytime and nighttime, as well as throughout the seasons of the year. In summertime Joshua Tree frequently reaches triple digits, while in wintertime the temperatures can dip below freezing (especially at night). Bringing enough water for hydration is crucial, particularly in the hot summer months. And if you’re planning on braving the cold during wintertime, packing a sleeping bag with a 15°F or 20°F rating is a must.

Below are the month-by-month average temperatures for Joshua Tree. Scroll to the bottom to see our top picks for campsites and glampsites (along with photos) that are great options for visits in winter, spring, summer, and fall.

Monthly temperatures for Joshua Tree camping

When planning your camping trip to Joshua Tree, here’s what you can expect for each month’s average weather including high and low temperatures.

January: On average January brings about highs of 62°F and lows of 41°F, but keep in mind that winter temperatures can drop below freezing, and it will feel much colder in the dry desert air at night. During this season, it may snow at high elevations.

February: February’s high temperatures average around 65°F with lows of 44°F. This is also the time when wildflowers begin blooming in the Joshua Tree desert areas at lower elevations.

March: As average temperatures increase to 72°F high and 48°F low, Joshua Tree National Park and the area around Joshua Tree becomes incredibly popular. March is the perfect time to visit. You will enjoy pleasant hiking and rock climbing temperatures and witness the wildflowers blooming. As you get closer to spring break season, keep in mind that the park will become more crowded.

April: During April, temperatures continue to be mild during the day (with an average high of 80°F) and crisp at night (with an average low of 54°F). The wildflowers continue to bloom, and the park gets crowded — especially on weekends.

We stayed at Joshua Tree’s Desert Pensione and captured gorgeous footage of the wildflower superbloom in the desert in March 2019.

May: May’s highs average 89°F, with average lows of 63°F. It still falls into the category of best times of the year to visit the park, just before summer temperatures gear up and make outdoor activities more uncomfortable.

June: As we head into June, average high temperatures in Joshua Tree reach 98°F and lows reach 70°F. Higher altitude wildflowers might still be blooming at this point, and the park becomes less busy and less crowded as temperatures increase.

July: July hits some high temps with 103°F average highs and 76°F average lows. This tends to be the hottest month in Joshua Tree, making any outdoor activities not only uncomfortable but dangerous due to the potential of overheating and dehydration. With a decrease in number of people visiting the area due to the excessively hot temperatures, it might be easier to get yourself a spot in the most popular first-come, first-serve campgrounds. The evening temperatures and stargazing are more positives during this time of year.

August: Joshua Tree’s August high temperatures continue to peak in the triple digits over 100°F, while nighttime lows average at 75°F. During daytime, exercise caution with outdoor activities and ensure adequate hydration.

September: During September you can expect to see temperatures begin dipping down a bit in Joshua Tree, with highs around 95°F and lows around 68°F.

October: There is a reason that October is another popular time to visit Joshua Tree! The high temperatures average about 83°F and lows average 57°F, making Autumn a very appealing time to visit the park. The temperatures are cooler in the daytime, allowing for outdoor activities, while still remaining pleasant enough in the evenings. As a bonus, fall tends to brings a smaller crowd than the springtime.

November: In Joshua Tree, November’s highs are around 69°F and lows averaging 46°F. This remains a good time to visit before the nighttime temperatures drop for winter. Keep in mind that a 46°F night in the desert air can feel much colder than you would expect. Plan to bring a high quality sleeping bag.

December: As winter begins creeping in, the Joshua Tree area sees average high temperatures of 60°F and lows of 40°F (and keep in mind that many nights will dip below freezing). Snow and ice can occur in Joshua Tree and the surrounding areas of the desert in December. Trust us, you should plan to bring a high-quality sleeping bag rated for cold weather and/or choose a glamping structure or an RVs with heating options.

We saw snow in Joshua Tree National Park and the area around Joshua Tree in December 2019. (Photo by Jess Barron)

The best campsites and glampsites in Joshua Tree for each season

Spring and fall camps and glamps

During the most popular seasons, well-known campgrounds can fill up quickly. These Hipcamps will spoil you with unique experiences and amenities such as showers.

The Bird Line is a great Joshua Tree camping option for spring, fall or summer.

1. The Bird Line: This location hosts six sites, with space for five guests per site. Gather around the provided open-air shelter and mingle with fellow campers while cooking and socializing. Toilets and showers are also on the property.

With a firepit and solar shower, Daisy Seis at Desert Daisy is an excellent choice for spring and fall camping.

2. Daisy Seis at Desert Daisy: Enjoy serene, pet- and kid-friendly, off-grid private tent camping on a 12’x12’ tent platform at Desert Daisy, with tent anchors, seven miles from Joshua Tree National Park and two miles from Joshua Tree Lake. The site includes a private fire pit, along with solar shower, toilet, and water tower with potable water if you forget to bring your own.

Just minutes away from Joshua Tree National Park, Skycamp has breathtaking desert views.

3. Skycamp: Offering panoramic desert views that will take your breath away, Skycamp is situated high on the hills of the Bartlett Mountain Range and offers stunning views of Joshua Tree National Park, just minutes away. The eclectic campsite includes shared picnic tables, charcoal grills, fire pits, outdoor (cold water) shower, and a bathroom with a flushing toilet and sink.

The View at Terrace Ranch near Joshua Tree has a jacuzzi hot tub you can soak in to warm up on cool nights.

4. The View at Terrace Ranch: Centrally located between Palm Springs, Coachella Valley and Joshua Tree National Park, all the attractions in the area are between 15-30 minutes away including the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Pappy and Harriet’s, Pioneertown, the Integratron, and all the music and art festivals. Enjoy the San Jacinto view or take a soak in the hot tub. You get a private room with a queen-sized bed, and there is a shared toilet and shower on the property.

Mountain Shadow Cabin in Joshua Tree is great for all seasons including spring and fall.

5. Mountain Shadow Cabin: This brightly colored cabin sits on five acres of desertscape. The cabin has a queen-sized bed, couch, toilet, and shower. Enjoy sitting by the fire pit and roasting s’mores under the starry Joshua Tree night sky. This hidden treasure is just a short ride away from world class hiking and climbing in Joshua Tree National Park, experiencing a sound bath at the Integratron, and watching live music at Pappy and Harriet’s.

Backyard Bohemia is an excellent campsite for spring, fall, and all seasons at Joshua Tree.

6. Backyard Bohemia: Another relaxing desert getaway between Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park, Backyard Bohemia can host up to five guests. Amenities include a full bath and wifi. In the colder months, electric blankets are provided.

The Desert Isle is a great year-round option in the Coachella Valley, near Palm Springs and Joshua Tree.

7. The Desert Isle: A private dog-friendly shade structure/windbreak with a palm frond roof and sleeping space for six people, The Desert Isle is a unique camping option with its own fire ring and a shared toilet and shower on a five-acre property called Lovelight Ranch, centrally located in the Coachella Valley. This campsite is not far from Sam’s Hot Water Spa, a chemical free hot springs soaking experience which provides the perfect ending to a day of hiking and exploring.

The Pathfinder Tipi is just 30 minutes from Joshua Tree National Park, and great for spring, fall, and summer.

8. Pathfinder Tipi at Camp Temenōs The Pathfinder Tipi at Camp Temenōs will be an unforgettable part of your Joshua Tree trip. Inside this canvas-walled tipi is a queen sized bed. The Camp Temenōs sanctuary features a heated indoor shower and outdoor kitchen so you can experience the desert in comfort night and day.

Camps and glamps that are optimal for summer in Joshua Tree

Summer evenings are the perfect time to enjoy a sleep in the desert — no additional heat is needed. Remember that the daytime temperatures can creep past 100°F, so it’s extra important to stay hydrated and protect yourself.

Wendy’s Kick It Spot campsite near Joshua Tree offers shaded areas to help get you out of the hot summer sun.

1. Wendy’s Kick It Spot: Wendy’s Kick It Spot provides three sites, with the possibility of lodging up to four guests per site. After pitching your tent or driving over your RV, take in the view and lounge around by the fire pit.

2. Starry JT Nights Moonflower: This private campsite can host up to ten guests within a few miles of the Joshua Tree National Park West entrance. Amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, port-a-potty, and running water.

3. Camp Coyote Acres: This Old Western-themed location provides three sites, each hosting up to nine guests. Enjoy a nighttime gathering by the fire pit.

Wintertime Joshua Tree camping and glamping sites

It may not be the most popular time to visit Joshua Tree, however you can definitely still enjoy the desert vibes during winter. We recommend you check the weather report, and aim to choose a glamping option with electric blankets or heating will ensure you have a cozy experience even in extremely cold nighttime weather conditions.

The Castle House Guard Towers have heat to keep you warm on cold winter nights.

1. The Castle House Guard Tower: Minutes away from Joshua Tree National Park, the Castle House spoils guests with amenities such as showers, a roof deck with incredible views, and, most importantly, heating to keep you nice and toasty during the winter months.

The Mongolian yurt at 28 Palms Ranch is beautiful and hand-painted with an indoor Mongolian sink and its own private outdoor hot shower and a propane heater to keep you warm on winter nights.

2. 28 Palms Ranch Stargazing Yurt: The spacious yurt features a Mongolian sink, heated shower, comfortable bed with Tempur-pedic mattress and a propane space heater that will keep you cozy even on the most freezing nights.

Grand Tipi at Camp Temenōs at Joshua Tree is a great option for winter and all seasons. I stayed there in the snow in December 2019! (Photo Jess Barron)

3. Grand Tipi @ Camp TemenōsLocated on the north edge of Pioneertown Mountains Preserve, just 30 minutes from the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park and minutes away from Pappy and Harriet’s, this peaceful campsite offers a king-sized bed and indoor sink and hot plate, along with a chimenea to add warmth and ambiance. Views of Joshua Trees are also directly outside the door of the tipi. There is also hot and cold running water for showers and cooking. And the kitchen area has a table where you can sit among the Joshua trees while enjoying a drink or a meal. The thoughtful Hosts provide electric blankets to help keep you warm on cold nights.

4. Joshua Tree Mountain House: This cozy, creatively decorated cabin features a wood-burning stove that allows for a comfortable temperature even during the harsh winter months. Bonus points: there is also an evaporative cooler for the summer.

Find out more about Joshua Tree

Book your next Joshua Tree camping or glamping trip now

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)

Jess Barron

Jess is Hipcamp's Head of Content and Storytelling.

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