$. The reason you’re here, right? Start at the Visitor Center near the West entrance (by Joshua Tree) or the North Entrance (by Twenty Nine Palms) to pick up a map and plan your trip with a Ranger. If you’re there during the height of the visitor season, March/April, it’s sometimes easier/less traffic-y to enter at the North Entrance, but again that all depends on where you’re staying and what’s actually closest to you.
Before entering the park, remember to bring water and snacks with you as it’s a National Park, and there are no restaurants once you pass the ranger check points. The desert is no joke – it gets HOT, you guys – and the Park recommends you carry at least 1 gallon of water per person per day. There’s also limited cell phone service, so make sure you get that map and pay attention to the signs where posted.
If you’re an experienced hiker and rock-climber, there are plenty of places for that throughout the park, but since I’m more of a walker and clamberer, I can’t help you! (That said, it was very cool/terrifying to watch people belaying around the rock piles.) I’ve listed our favorite JT destinations from our trip on the right, in case you are in need of direction to point yourself. Again, it’s worth saying that JT is HUGE, so when you’re planning your visit, make sure you consider how much time you want to be driving from place to place so that you don’t feel like you’re just stuck in the car all day. All of these locations can be found on the JT park map.↠