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Joshua Tree Secrets: Unveil Ideal Months for Epic Treks

Imagine a landscape where time pauses, and adventure beckons. Joshua Tree isn't just a destination; it's a seasonless call to the wild. Discover when to answer it for the ultimate outdoor escapade.

Tobi Miles
August 6, 2022

Joshua Tree offers some of the most unique landscapes and views that you can find in the United States. The area is equally recognized for its gorgeous daytime vistas as it is for the unforgettable nighttime stargazing. So, what is the best time to visit Joshua Tree?

September and October are the best times to visit Joshua Tree to save money and escape the heat. The summer is a crowded and sometimes dangerous time to go to Joshua Tree because temperatures reach 100 degrees. You can avoid crowds during late August, but the tradeoff is that the national park closes sometimes and it can be overly hot.

Many travelers visit Joshua Tree between January and March to save money on their hotel and flight. Joshua Tree is gorgeous all year, it’s simply a matter of what kind of experience you want. Follow along as we explore the best time to visit Joshua Tree and highlight the special events.

When Should You Not go to Joshua Tree?

Mid to late summer is the worst time to go to Joshua Tree. The extreme heat can make it dangerous to spend too much time outside. Joshua Tree is all about the hiking, views, and outdoor events, but they can be difficult to handle during the summer.

Temperatures can exceed 100 degrees during July and August in many cases. This creates dangerous fire hazards and increases the risk of heat stroke. There is little to no cloud cover in Joshua Tree so it is difficult to escape the heat.

There are also occasional park closures during the summer in Joshua Tree. Park officials close the park on extremely hot days sometimes to protect visitors.

Cheapest Time to go to Joshua Tree

The cheapest time to go to Joshua Tree is between January and March. For example, you can get by with $200 per day as a solo traveler during this period in Joshua Tree. This includes hotel and food costs which are generally pricier during early winter and spring.

Daily costs soar to $290 per day or more per person during the winter and spring in Joshua Tree. You can also save more money if you book your flight 3 months before you visit Joshua Tree.

What Time of Year is the Best Weather at Joshua Tree?

January: Best Time to Visit in Winter

January is the best time to visit Joshua Tree in the winter because of the comfortable temperatures. Sure, it can get as cold as 37 degrees at night in January, but the days are perfect for hiking. Temperatures rise to 60 degrees on average during the day with clear skies each January at Joshua Tree.

January is also one of the few months of the year when it rains at Joshua Tree. You can expect up to 2 days of rain when you visit Joshua Tree in January.

  • Hiking
  • Guided Tours

Related Read: 15 Best Joshua Tree Hiking Trails

February: Best Time for a Quiet Trip

February is a fairly quiet time for Joshua Tree. Temperature range between 38 and 63 degrees throughout the month. There aren’t any special events, but it’s a great time to embark on a driving tour or enjoy a cool weather hike.

  • Driving Tours
  • Hiking
  • Stargazing

March: Best Time for Outdoor Activities

The weather finally begins to warm up during March at Joshua Tree, and you’ll encounter many hikers. Hiking, rock climbing, and guided tours are some of the most fun activities during March.

You can expect weather between 48 and 72 degrees when you visit Joshua Tree in March, and it gets warmer during the month.

Check out beautiful overlooks such as Keys View before it gets too hot in the spring and summer. March is one of the best times for a campout as well, but it can get quite cool at night.

  • Rock Climbing
  • Overlooks
  • Campout

April: Best Time to Visit in Spring

Joshua Tree moves into warm weather during April. High temperatures increase to 78 degrees during the day.

It drops down to 47 degrees at night, however, so make sure to dress accordingly if you’re in the area after dark.

  • Backcountry Night Hikes
  • Bike Rides

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Palm Springs

May: Best Time to Hike

The first Joshua Tree Music Festival of the year occurs during May, and it’s a must-attend event. Otherwise, May is all about the natural beauty in and around Joshua Tree. Check out the Fortynine Palms Oasis Trail and Jumbo Rocks for some sights you won’t soon forget.

It stays between 53 and 85 degrees during May in Joshua Tree.

  • Fortynine Palms Oasis Trail
  • Joshua Tree Music Festival
  • Jumbo Rocks

June: Best Time to Visit in the Summer

June is the best time to visit in summer before it gets too hot in July. Temperatures fluctuate between 62 and 96 degrees throughout the month. Visit Barker Dam Natural Trail for one of the best views in the area.

  • Hiking
  • Driving Tour
  • Barker Dam Natural Trail

July: Best Time for a Driving Tour

July is the hottest month of the year at Joshua Tree, and the heat thins out the crowds. Temperatures soar to 100 degrees by the afternoon at Joshua Tree throughout July.

The average low temperature is 71 degrees in July and it’s a great time for a driving tour.

  • Cottonwood Springs Oasis
  • Geology Tour Road

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Palm Springs

August: Best Time to Learn About the Area

Joshua Tree is nearly just as hot during August as it is during July. You can expect temperatures between 69 and 99 degrees during August at Joshua Tree. Daytime highs are brutal, but the temperature can drop by over 20 degrees on some nights.

  • Rolling Toned
  • Joshua Tree Outdoor Museum

September: Best Time to Visit in Autumn

September is a fairly crowded time at Joshua Tree because it isn’t too hot to keep hikers away. The only special event throughout September is Elevated Feminine Joshua Tree Retreat. September is just as good of a time to hike as it is to visit the High Desert Death Café.

Luckily, the extreme heat at Joshua Tree begins to slowly fade during September. Temperatures fluctuate between 64 and 93 degrees throughout the month. It can still be dangerous to spend too much time outdoors at Joshua Tree in September despite the slight decline in heat.

  • Elevated Feminine Joshua Tree Retreat
  • High Desert Death Cafe

October: Best Time to be Outside

The Joshua Tree Music Festival in October is one of the most fun events of the year. This campout offers the best music and gorgeous views on unique terrain. Otherwise, the Joshua Tree Soulful Retreat is the only other notable special event throughout the month.

You can look forward to temperatures between 52 and 81 degrees when you visit Joshua Tree in October.

  • Joshua Tree Music Festival
  • Joshua Tree Soulful Retreat

November: Best Time to Visit in Autumn

Temperatures between 43 and 69 degrees make it the best time to visit in autumn. The Joshua Tree Half Marathon is the perfect event for exercise-oriented travelers. There are no special events, but it’s a great chance to hike without worrying about the heat.

  • Joshua Tree Half Marathon

Related Read: 10 Best Hiking Trails in Lake Arrowhead

December: Best Time to Visit for Stargazing

December is the coolest month of the year at Joshua Tree. It’s also the best time for stargazing because the skies are clear and dark. Temperatures fluctuate between 35 and 58 degrees throughout December at Joshua Tree.

Take advantage of the cool weather to spend as much time outside as possible during December at Joshua Tree. Warm up at some natural hot springs in the area when it gets too cool outside. Embark on a hike with no interruptions or take a guided tour during the day.

  • Stargazing
  • Hot Springs
  • Guided Tour

Best Time to go to Joshua Tree With Family

Spring is the best time to go to Joshua Tree with family. April and May are the best months to visit Joshua Tree with family specifically. The comfortable temperatures make it suitable to bring your family if you have small children.

Temperatures ultimately dictate what you can do with your family at Joshua Tree based on their age. For example, you wouldn’t want to bring young children to Joshua Tree in July when it gets up to 100 degrees. That’s not a problem in the spring when daily highs fluctuate between 78 and 85 degrees.

Best Time to Visit Joshua Tree to Avoid Crowds

Late summer is the best time to visit Joshua Tree to avoid crowds. The extreme temperatures between July and August create unsafe hiking conditions on many days. You can expect temperatures up to 100 degrees during the day at Joshua Tree from mid-July through August.

The only benefit to the punishing heat is that you will find fewer people at the national park. This can make it easier to navigate the terrain, but it comes at a cost. It can be unsafe to be outside for an extended period when it’s that hot, so exercise caution if you visit Joshua Tree in the late summer.

You can also avoid crowds at Joshua Tree during December and January. The temperatures are much safer and more comfortable during the winter compared to mid-summer. Highs in the 60s during the day during early winter make hikes and exploration much more fun.

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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