Joshua Tree National Park in Joshua Tree, California is one of the most popular places to visit in the state. From the amazing rock formations to the mountain top views, there are so many things to see! My couple wanted different variations. (Tip for photographers: It’s crucial to secure a permit through the National Park Service before you plan on taking pictures there) If you plan on going on a big hike, particularly in the summer when the temperatures can get quite hot, please be adequately prepared.
Even though Joshua Tree is a place that’s meant to be explored you can’t predict what might happen. Things can happen like wildlife and unpredictable weather. After securing your permit, please be as prepared as you can for your adventure session by:
- Letting someone else know your whereabouts. For example the specific trail you’ll take your couple on and when you plan to finish.
- Bring lots of water and snacks (yes, even if it’s a short hike!)
- If you are photographing in the summer, avoid times between 10 am and 4 pm
- Read more safety tips here!
Top 10 Locations for your engagement session in Joshua Tree National Park
Below you’ll find some of my favorite spots to shoot at in Joshua Tree. Don’t forget to take the time and explore (safely) on your own! You never know what hidden gems you’ll find!
- Hidden Valley Nature Trail | This trail is easily accessible and great if you just want to leisurely explore.
- Cholla Cactus Garden | Take in the amazing cholla cactus, but don’t touch!
- Skull Rock | This one can tend to be full of people, but it’s definitely worth checking out.
- Ryan Mountain Hike | A 3 mile up and back hike that will bring amazing views.
- Keys View | One of my absolute favorites! If you go at sunset, prepare for big crowds.
- Barker Dam Nature Trail | An easy 1-mile loop that features a small lake!
- Arch Rock Nature Trail | Very popular trail, but the rock formations are worth it.
- Split Rock Loop Trail | Another easy loop with amazing rocks, great for a session.
- High View Nature Trail | Exactly what it sounds like, tons of high-up views!
- Jumbo Rocks | The perfect area to find amazing rocks, and maybe where you try out bouldering for the first time!