Joshua Tree National Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

Joshua Tree National Park: Self-Driving Audio Tour

1. Joshua Tree National Park: Self-Driving Audio Tour

Wander through Joshua Tree National Tree park and discover its hidden secrets with a self-driving audio tour. Learn about the park's history, curiosities, and nature as you follow the app's directions to see as much as you can of the park. This self-guided driving tour begins at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center and follows the park road through this one-of-a-kind national park. As you leave civilization behind, hear about the Cahuilla tribe who once called this place home, and get an introduction to Jim McHaney, who terrorized the townsfolk with his band of ruffians. Then see the eponymous Joshua trees themselves. Get the facts on why these funky plants look like they do, and what the early Mormon pioneers thought they meant. Continue on to a hiking trail that leads you to one of the park’s strangest sights, a bunch of rocks with cryptic spiritual inscriptions on them, left by an odd recluse almost 100 years ago. As you go through the park, learn about the wildlife you might spot, from the pint-sized roadrunner to the elusive bighorn sheep. Next, visit the popular Hidden Valley Nature Trail where the infamous McHaney Gang once kept their stolen cattle while waiting to sell them off. Move on to Intersection Rock, a climbing hub that towers over the surrounding desert. Afterward, head down into Lost Horse Valley and hear the dramatic tale of how it got its name. It’s a story involving horse theft, a risky move, and a tense encounter with the McHaney Gang. Keys Point awaits beyond this valley, the most popular vista point in the park, where visitors and locals alike flock to catch the sunset. Up next, swing by the ominous Skull Rock and get a chance to visit some old, abandoned mines in Queen Valley. Then head to an observatory that’s perfect for stargazing, and end up in the Oasis Visitor Center. Your self-guided tour concludes here, just outside Twentynine Palms.

Palm Springs: San Andreas Fault Open-Air Jeep Tour

2. Palm Springs: San Andreas Fault Open-Air Jeep Tour

Board your open-air Jeep and embark upon a scenic and informative exploration of the stunning landscape of an active earthquake zone where you will travel across private property only accessible by 4WD and only open for this specific tour. This exciting 4WD adventure to the private Metate Ranch reserve on the San Andreas fault line is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for any visitor to the Coachella Valley. Discover the unique geography of this tortured landscape as you explore the skeleton of the earth. Visit a natural oasis and uncover the mysteries of the hardy plants and animals carving out an existence in the dry barren landscape.  Learn about the culture and lifestyle of the Cahuilla Indians and how they used the desert’s plants for food, medicine, tools, weapons, shelter, and more. You will have an opportunity to walk among the stone corridors and sheer granite walls of ancient canyons as you learn the fascinating history of the primal forces that shaped the valleys and surrounding landscape and the people that called this place home for millennia.

Joshua Tree | Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

3. Joshua Tree | Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

Joshua Tree National Park, located in Southern California's Mojave Desert, showcases the remarkable beauty of its iconic trees and surreal rock formations. This landscape invites exploration, whether sightseeing or extending further on scenic hiking trails to get closer to desert life and panoramic vistas. Be prepared to be awestruck by the desert tranquility and raw beauty. Flexible Tour: Follow the suggested itineraries, or divide the commentary and create your own half, full or multi day sightseeing trips. Major Highlights: Arch Rock Barker Dam Cholla Cactus Garden Hall of Horrors Hidden Valley Keys View Skull Rock Nature Trail Split Rock Includes: Joshua Tree National Park On first glance, the landscape of Joshua Tree National Park seems harsh and dry, but punctuated with spectacular rock and boulder formations. Wandering among those granite monoliths provides some of the most simple pleasures of exploring. Looking deeper, the plants and animals somehow exist and thrive, having adapted to what is available to them. That most iconic tree is of course the Joshua Tree - for whom the park is named. With its twisted branches and distinctive silhouette, it stands as an emblem of resilience amidst the harsh desert conditions. Native to the southwestern United States, these peculiar trees can only be found in the Mojave Desert and parts of the Sonoran Desert. Most people want to see the all iconic sights and get close to the formations. You will have places like Skull Rock, Arch Rock and Hidden Valley on your must see list. Split Rock and the Hall of Horrors are fine examples of those forces that are strong enough to crack and sculpt granite. In terms of great vistas, Keys View and Barker Dam are not to be missed. There are many places to enjoy the Joshua Trees, but some very special corners are terrific for seeing the Chollo or Teddy Bear Cactus - you’ll find out why, and the distinctive ocotillo shrub, sometimes called the flaming sword or coach whip. Through time, the Native American people have adapted the necessary skills in live the Joshua Tree region and we will explore their story as we journey. In our more modern history, the park area attracted all sorts quirky characters shall we say, cattlemen who didn’t always care much for law and order, and prospectors intent on finding gold and good fortune. Later, artists and musicians have found inspiration among the Joshua Trees and the boulders. You'll hear some of those most interesting stories as we go.

Grand Canyon West/Hoover Dam Small Group Tour +SkyWalk

4. Grand Canyon West/Hoover Dam Small Group Tour +SkyWalk

Depart Las Vegas for the Grand Canyon. You will adventure at the Hoover Dam before traveling through the Joshua Tree Forest on your way to the canyon. Here, you will have 3-hours to explore and you may opt to walk on the Grand Canyon Skywalk (at additional expense). This is an excellent tour for those looking for a smaller, more intimate, personalized experience. - Hoover Dam Our first stop will be at Hoover Dam, a perfect example of what people can accomplish during even the toughest of times, Hoover Dam serves more than 7 million visitors each year and is one of Nevada’s most popular tourist attractions. Hoover Dam lies at the intersection of the southeast corner of Nevada and the northwest corner of Arizona and impounds Lake Mead, which is the largest reservoir by volume in the United States when it is full. -Joshua Tree National Park Getting to the city of Dolan Springs in Arizona, heading to Grand Canyon West, we will pass through an amazing high desert forest of unique Joshua trees. The Arizona Joshua Tree Forest can be found near the west end of the Grand Canyon just east of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. -Eagle Point (Optional Skywalk) The Grand Canyon Skywalk at Eagle Point is the most popular attraction in Grand Canyon West. The glass-bottom walkway (Sky Walk) provides thrilling bird’s-eye views of the canyon, one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders. -Guano Point Guano Point is a historical point that was once the center of a valuable guano mine in the early part of the twentieth century (guano was an important component in fertilizer). Guano Point offers some of the most beautiful and wide-ranging views of the Canyon and the Colorado River. Step out to the tip of the observation point and enjoy nearly 360-degree perspectives.

Palm Springs: Self-Driving Windmill Tour

5. Palm Springs: Self-Driving Windmill Tour

The Palm Springs windmill self-driving tour is an interactive, educational, and fun tour for friends and family. This tour will guide you along with an audio program provided through an app with clearly marked destinations throughout the first commercial wind farm in Southern California. After check-in at the Tour Center, you will see a 15-minute video before your self-driving tour. There are exhibits inside the Tour Center on wind energy. You will then be given a map and directed to where to start your tour. You will then take a journey through 10 marked stops, starting with a display yard of non-operating wind turbines. Learn about the successes and failures and visit a real generating wind turbine, where you can get up close and take pictures. Continue to a solar farm and end the tour with a stop at the old gas plant.

Earthquake Canyon Express Downhill Bicycle Adventure

6. Earthquake Canyon Express Downhill Bicycle Adventure

Riders will be treated to a geological extravaganza on this 20-mile (32 km) tour, descending through the heart of the San Andreas Fault zone on a paved road towards the center of grape country near Mecca. There are no cross roads, no turns, and very little traffic which makes this a relaxing sightseeing adventure. Riders will see the stark beauty of the desert as they descend a total of 1200 feet over the route. The course takes riders from the transition zone between the Colorado and Mojave Desert, winds its way through the narrow canyon walls of Box Canyon and finishes with spectacular views of the Salton Sea, Mt. San Jacinto, the All-American Canal, and the agriculture of the eastern Coachella Valley. Our guide will follow behind the group in a chase vehicle to ensure they are provided support when needed. Check out California's beautiful nature on this exciting downhill biking tour.

California: Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle

7. California: Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle

Traverse California with this bundle of self-driving audio guides. Learn about local history and see fascinating sights as you drive to destinations throughout the state. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Visit La Jolla in sun-kissed San Diego, and the star-studded mansion of Los Angeles. Encounter the arid landscape of the Joshua Tree National Park, and the high-tech center of Silicon Valley. See San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, and marvel at the picturesque Lake Tahoe. Traverse the Pacific Coast Highway to iconic destinations like Malibu and San Luis Obispo. Immerse yourself in the Californian way of life at Big Sur, Monterey, and 17-Mile Drive. Enjoy an experience that never expires, allowing you to take these tours whenever you choose. Make it one big road trip or spread it out over months or years: the choice is yours. The bundle includes the following tours: • Big Sur • Silicon Valley • Pacific Coast Highway (both ways) • 17 Mile Drive • La Jolla • San Francisco • Lake Tahoe • LA Filming Locations • Hollywood Homes • Joshua Tree • Sequoia & Kings Canyon • Death Valley • Yosemite National Park • Hoover Dam tour from Las Vegas

20+ National Parks Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle

8. 20+ National Parks Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle

Start any of these tours by downloading the app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! This bundle includes: • Grand Canyon • Yellowstone • Grand Teton • Rocky Mountain • Shenandoah • Acadia • Sequoia & Kings Canyon • Joshua Tree • Arches • Bryce • Canyonlands • Capitol Reef • Zion • Grand Staircase • Monument Valley • Great Smokies (including Cades Cove & Blue Ridge Parkway) • Death Valley • Olympic • Badlands • Glacier • Yosemite • Everglades Marvel at a mile-deep crack in the earth at the Grand Canyon. Tour the rim, hike eye-popping trails, and learn how this awe-inspiring landscape formed. Watch Old Faithful erupt in Yellowstone, but don’t stop there! See Grand Prismatic, observe the nation’s largest bison herd, get the truth about the Yellowstone supervolcano, and more! Travel to new heights in the Grand Teton mountain range, offering unbelievable vistas, dramatic mountain passes, and tons of history. Explore Colorado’s dramatic Rockies, from gorgeous vistas to the enormous Bear Lake. Plus, learn how this park exists thanks to some very capable women. Discover why Great Smoky is the most-visited national park. Find sparkling waterfalls, verdant hiking trails, and a rich Cherokee heritage. Plus, explore little-known Civil War history at Cades Cove. Cruise through tree-filled mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah’s Skyline Drive, both of which offer perfect wilderness sights as well as plentiful wildlife and legends. Get in touch with nature at Acadia, one of the greenest places in the country. Or visit in the fall for a truly unforgettable display of autumn foliage! Visit living giants in Sequoia, home to the largest trees on Earth. Then go beyond those groves to Kings Canyon, boasting dramatic vistas for those seeking the perfect photo op. Cruise through Joshua Tree, where two deserts meet. See great desert hikes, wacky Dr. Seuss-like trees, and some of the best sunsets you’ll ever see. Discover the gravity-defying wonder of Arches, named for impossible rock formations millions of years in the making. Hear how they formed and what they meant to the tribes who lived here. Marvel at the towering hoodoos which dot Bryce Canyon. Dive into the legends behind them, including the harrowing tale of giants who were turned to stone. Visit the staggering beauty of Canyonlands, home to the stunning red desert and more canyons than you can shake a stick at. Stand atop breathtaking vistas, find a piece of history at Aztec Butte, and much more. Tour remnants of a pioneer town in Capitol Reef. Explore striking contrasts as you move from harsh desert to verdant orchards! See why Mormon pioneers thought Zion was heaven on earth! Visit natural wonders from towering rock temples to emerald pools and a hiking trail like no other. Unearth hidden secrets at the Grand Staircase. Visit a petrified forest, sparkling waterfalls, and sweeping vistas. Plus, learn about dino fossils found here! Visit the spot where Forrest Gump ended his famous run at Monument Valley! Explore this valley’s jaw-dropping mesas and spires which made it Hollywood famous.

Addicted2Wonder Stargazing Joshua Tree National Park Tour

9. Addicted2Wonder Stargazing Joshua Tree National Park Tour

Unveiling the Secrets of the Night Sky: Join Addicted2Wonder on a mesmerizing journey through the cosmos with our Joshua Tree Stargazing Tours. While some merely see distant suns scattered across the night sky, others perceive an intricate tapestry of warriors, animals, and sea creatures that govern their very existence. The Lakota people, for instance, gaze upon certain star patterns and declare, "There lies the heart of everything That is, and now I am home." These celestial bodies are regarded as "the holy breath of the great mystery," the woniya of Wakȟáŋ Tȟáŋka. Tonight, become a true "Wonder Junkie" as you delve into the wisdom of our ancestors, immersing yourself in a wondrous, unconventional exploration of the stars. Prepare to be enthralled by laughter, suspense, wonderment, spiritual connection, captivating stories, and the occasional "WTF is that?" moment! At Addicted2Wonder, we offer an experience that bridges the gap between ancient traditions and modern technology. Equipped with our state-of-the-art GEN3 Military Night Vision Binoculars, you'll witness the night sky as it appeared a millennium ago. The Mi'kmaq people of the Northeastern Woodlands refer to this as "etuaptmumk" or "two-eyed seeing." It encapsulates a harmonious union between our spiritual connection to the stars and our scientific understanding of the universe. By embracing this "two-eyed seeing," we can unlock the wisdom and insights that both realms have to offer. Let us clarify that our focus isn't solely on scientific facts, figures, mathematics, or dry explanations. Yes, these elements are undeniably fascinating, and exploring them can be a truly wonderful experience. However, tonight's journey is about much more. It is an exploration of the ancient ways, an invitation to enhance your personal "Yūgen" – that profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe. We encourage you to embrace the spirit of "Shamanic Stargazing," embark on a "Starlight Vision Quest," or partake in our "HOZH'Q StarCleaning" experience. At Addicted2Wonder, our Joshua Tree Stargazing Tours offer a highly interactive adventure that allows you to gaze upon the celestial lights as cultures have done for millennia. It is an opportunity to forge a connection with our place in the vast universe and the heavens above. Prepare to witness the magic that awaits us all, presented in an entertaining, easily understandable manner that will leave you longing for more. Regardless of age, this experience promises to be an unforgettable journey of discovery. Whether you desire to navigate the constellations as our ancestors did with naked eyes, embark on a new stargazing hobby, or simply find solace amidst the chaos of life, a night of stargazing awaits you. Allow us to transport you to a realm of celestial wonder and unveil the secrets of the universe. "Hozho Naasha" – may your journey be filled with harmony and beauty.

California Self-driving Audio Guide in German Language

10. California Self-driving Audio Guide in German Language

Complete your road trip around California with an audio guide featuring 169 locations and 3 hours of audio in 1 app. Listen to the recordings as you take in views at Yosemite, Mt. Whitney, and Zabriskie Point, experience the unique cultures of Silicon Valley, Santa Monica, and Hollywood, and drive down Highway 1. Feel at ease taking in the views while the app uses GPS to find your location and suggest stops. From famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge to lesser-known gems like Moss Landing, appreciate the wealth of beauty and history in California with detailed audio descriptions.   Stop and start your journey as often as you please, there’s no constraints once you download the app and activate your audio guide. If there’s a specific site you’d like to visit, manually choose audio guides from the built-in map or from a list.

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Joshua Tree National Park

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What people are saying about Joshua Tree National Park

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 85 reviews

Richmond was an excellent guide, he was well prepared and extremely knowledgeable. He had visual aides to help explain certain items and was able to read his audience to make sure we all had an enjoyable and interesting time and would definitely recommend him to anyone. His good sense of humour added to his charm.

Amazing! Never thought I could get to the mills sooo close! Make sure you watch the into video - it will answer many questions you may have! Download the app and use it with your headsets as it tends to stop when phone screen goes off..

This audio tour is fantastic. It automatically gave us information as we drive through the park. The information was interesting. Directions are also given. Highly recommend for first time visitors to Joshua Tree.

This audio tour was full of fascinating facts along with interesting tales of the Wild West. We learned a lot and were kept entertained. We hope to find more of these for other National parks.

Great tour with interesting facts. You can choose to do it all or just a smaller portion of the tour. No problems with audio as we did all the download prior to driving into the park.