Joshua Tree National Park is home to thousands of strangely shaped yucca trees but it also encompasses a diverse landscape of huge, weathered and fractured monzogranite boulders; palm tree oases; an area of densely concentrated cholla cactus; and the meeting of two deserts, the Mojave and the Colorado, each with different and unique ecosystems.
A large part of the park is wilderness. Two entry roads, which provide access at the north end of the park, join together in the center of the park and continue south to I-10 so it’s easy to drive through in a day if you’re pressed for time. I don’t recommend that because there are many interesting places to stop and learn about the park.
Most of the parking lots have long RV spaces and the pull offs along the roads are large enough for RVs. The road to Keys View Overlook was a warning for RVs and trailers. It is not a difficult drive but the parking lot at the end is small with limited space for RVs. We did not drive on any of the dirt roads.
We stopped at only one of the three visitor centers, Oasis, which has spaces for RVs along the edge of the parking lot and a fresh water faucet for filling RV tanks. The visitor center is accessible but one of the display cases is hard to view.
Four of the trails are considered accessible - Bajada Nature Trail, Cap Rock Nature Trail, Oasis of Mara Trail and Keys View Overlook. Bajada is hard packed sand with a few spots that are loose. Cap Rock is hard packed sand but we came to a small washed out section so wheelchair users may need to have some help if this is not repaired. Oasis of Mara is paved with one slight hill that can be detoured if necessary. Keys View has an accessible overlook with two short parking spaces that is separate from the main overlook. The main overlook has an accessible view point and a very steep, paved trail to another viewpoint which can be accessed with help. Cholla Cactus Garden trail, although not marked as accessible, is hard packed sand except for one section that is very loose sand and stone. Two bridges over small washes are not flush to the ground. The trail is accessible with help or by using both the entrance and the exit and skipping the middle section.
There are eight campgrounds in the park. Two of them are suitable for RVs 25’ and under. The rest will accommodate large RVs but in a limited number of sites. We stayed at Black Rock for one night. The sites are very sloped. The accessible site has a large paved parking pad. We also stayed at very scenic Jumbo Rocks Campground. Most of the sites are just pull offs parallel to the road. The accessible site is very short and located next to a restroom. If the sites are all full, which can happen on the weekends, it’s possible to boondock on BLM land at the south entrance of the park.