Joshua Tree in 2-3 Days: A Perfect Weekend Itinerary
Sep 11, 2023 By Sean William

Have you ever considered going to Joshua Tree National Park for the weekend? You will see the stunning beauty of this park's rough and dry landscape; It has many unique and outstanding flora and creatures. Joshua Tree National Park is home to the famous Joshua Trees, beautiful rock formations, and wide-open views. Also, the park gives people a lot of chances to explore the outdoors and do fun things. You can easily spend a few days here, whether interested in stargazing under the bright desert sky, rock climbing on strange formations, or visiting the area's beautiful and historical places. All of this is possible here. Prepare your photographs and spend the weekend exploring Joshua Tree National Park's unique natural splendor.

Day One: Keys View Sunset, Barker Dam, and the Desert Queen Mine

Hidden Petroglyphs on Barker Dam Trail:

Barker Dam is the first stop for most visitors to the park, whether they came in from the north or west. If you're coming from the south, start your day in the Cholla Succulent Garden and work your way around the day's events anticlockwise.

The Barker Lake Trail is a 1.1-mile circle that can be completed in about fifty minutes. It is rated as moderately tough and is one of the most pleasurable treks in the Joshua Tree region. It is a great way to see the unique flora and fauna of the desert, including Joshua Tree's famously large boulders and spiny plants.

Many people have the misconception that the primary attraction of the path is a sandy lake that Barker Dam creates. However, closer to the dam is where you'll find a rock arch and a tiny cave. You will, however, be rewarded with ancient petroglyphs if you go off the track for about a minute and take a little diversion.

Queen of the Desert Mine:

Your last stop is to the Desert Queens Mine. Along the Hidden Valleys Nature Trail in the park is the ruined site of an ancient gold mine that operated in the 1890s. The mine was worked for its gold content. There are primarily two ways to enjoy the desert-like Queen Mine. The first choice is to walk to the end of the Desert Princess Mine Road. It's a seven-mile round journey to get to the lookout point. Hike 1.6 km round trip up the canyon and close to the mine to see more. In my opinion, this is the best thing to do in Joshua Tree.

Sunset at Keys View:

Watching the sun go down over the dunes is an absolute must, regardless of how long you plan to stay in Joshua Tree: a weekend, two days, or even three. The hues of the sunset shift depending on the atmosphere's temperature, going from warm yellows one day to blazing oranges the next; nonetheless, the sky is always stunning, no matter what colors it is painted with.

Watching the sun go down over the remarkably hilly topography of this well-known desert and gazing at an outline of Joshua's palms as they spread over the park are both possible vantage points from the Keys View lookout point. From this vantage point, it is possible to see the boundaries of the iconic San Andreas Fault.

Second Day: Hidden Valley Trail and the Hall of Horrors at Ryan Ranch

Horror Show:

There are many ways to climb rocks at Joshua Tree, so rock climbers like to go there. Whether you like top roping or bouldering, the Hall of Horrors has several cliff walls that would be great for climbing in either of those ways.

Even though Joshua Tree National Park has no permanent guides, several rock climbing guides in the area can show you around. On the other hand, mountaineers who have enough training should go out on their own.

Secret Path in the Valley:

The Hidden Valley Waypoint Nature Trail is a fast, fun park stroll. The one-kilometer walk takes an hour. These enormous boulders in the park are said to have been hiding places for famed cattle rustlers.

The trail is excellent for walking and provides a picnic spot distant from the parking lot. Big mountains obscured this region, making it tough to view. This is a great roadside lunch site in Joshua Tree, where camping is scarce.

Ryan Mountain and Ryan Ranch:

After establishing Joshua Tree National Park 96 years ago, many individuals flocked to the region to mine for gold and silver, including Ryan Ranch and Ryan Mountain. Jepp married Tom Ryan in 1898 and constructed a residence near Ryan Mountain. The building's origins may be there.

Artifacts from the same time and the collapsing adobe brick wall that was their residence are scattered across the region. People dug up items in many areas. The remnants of a windmill, other mining equipment, signs, and a covered well might give you an impression of desert mining.

Travel Itinerary: Day 3: Lost Horse Mine, Joshua Tree Saloon, and Crochet Museum

Mine for Lost Horses:

Visitors staying in the Joshua Tree area for three days must plan enough time to get to the Lost Horse Mine. Even though it's a bit longer than the other scheduled events, people who go to the park often seem to like the extra distance.

This 6.5-mile loop will take you about three hours to finish. You'll see some beautiful scenery and the Dead Horse Mine.

Saloon in the Joshua Tree:

You deserve a respite after the lengthy voyage to the Lost Horse Mine. After seeing Joshua Tree National Park's natural splendor, visit Joshua Tree, California.

The Joshua Tree Valley Saloon & Grill provides excellent meals and live music on certain days. The pub has been around since 1984, longer than the park, and its fish tacos are famous.

Famous Crochet Collection:

After seeing the Joshua Tree, head to the World Famous Crochet Museum. Go there even if you don't like clothing or art—it's beautiful. The museum's green box has knitted creatures and other items. It's unclear how museum director Shari Elf crochets.


Weekend visits to Joshua Tree National Park will be memorable. After seeing the vast and diverse landscape, walking among the famed Joshua Trees, and admiring the desert, it's time to reflect on your journey and share what you learned. After your two- or three-day trek, appreciate the serene and vast nature you observed. You may wish to arrange another Joshua Tree National Park vacation soon. You're eager to discover the park's natural beauties and mysteries.