Let’s face it, Joshua tree is rockin’. The park draws tons of rock climbers due to the amazing climbing opportunities. Yet, that doesn’t mean the hikers (like me) and day-trippers can’t enjoy this park full of iconic rocks as well. This guide will help you find the most famous rocks in Joshua Tree. That way, you’re fully knowledgeable of all the must-see spots for your trip! Trust me, you don’t want to miss these sights and epic picture spots.
Inside the Jumbo Rocks Campground, just across from the amphitheater, are the famous Jumbo Rocks. The closest campsite is #93, which is also right across from the Skull Rock Nature Trail ends in the campground. They don’t allow parking inside the campground unless you are camping here, so you may have to walk in from the campground entrance.
Penguin Rock and Juniper Tree
Located inside of the Jumbo Rocks Campground, just above campsites #18. Be considerate of the campers here if you visit, since the spot is in the bouldering area above the campsite. Same parking note as above.
Just outside of the Jumbo Rocks Campground. There is parking on both sides of the road, which allows you to see the rock right from your car (aka no hiking required).
In the same parking lot as the Skull Rock. While facing Skull Rock, look right and up and you should see Elephant Rock. I walked up a small boulder to get this shot.
In the White Tank Campground, the “hike” begins at campsite #9. There is a dirt lot adjacent to this campsite with minimal parking, but if there are no spaces available you’ll need to park outside the campground. From the trailhead, the walk is 0.3 miles to the arch rock.
Starting at the same spot as above, once you’ve reached Arch Rock it’s easiest to find Heart Rock while standing under Arch Rock. Walk through the Arch to see the valley below. With your back toward the trailhead, look toward the mountains and slightly left. Scan the area and you should be able to see Heart Rock. This is not a well-maintained trail, so please be respectful of the surrounding plants.
Face Rock (named by Joshua Tree NPS)
Across the street from Skull Rock is the Discovery Trail, which is a 0.7 mile loop that will take you to see the Face Rock that Joshua Tree named. Honestly, as you see below, I think that there is a better one in a different part of the park, but hey who am I to argue with the nps.
Face Rock (named by me, in my humble opinion)
In the Hemingway Buttress area, is a much more “face-like” rock. Just follow the trail that begins at the right side of the turnout (with your back toward the road) and you’ll find it quickly. Plenty of parking in the paved turnout.
At the intersection of Keys View Road and Park Boulevard is cap rock, which is famous for its precarious position. There is plenty of parking since this is also a picnic area with a short nature loop to enjoy.
Not actually a rock but still worth mentioning here because I didn’t know about it beforehand and got questions about it after posting some pictures. There is plenty of parking for Ryan Ranch since there is a paved turnout near Ryan Campground.
Let Me Know…
Comment below which is your favorite of the iconic rocks! Also if there are more spots that I need to add to this list, then please let me know in the comments.
If you’re driving through Joshua Tree and just want to see the main sights, check out my other blog here.
Happy adventuring! If you visit one of these spots from my blog, please tag me in your pictures on Instagram (@resourcefulroamer).
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