How to Elope in Joshua Tree National Park in 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Planning The Your Adventure Elopement in Joshua Tree National Park // Joshua Tree Wedding Photographer

Joshua Tree National Park Elopement

Okay, okay, close your eyes and imagine this: You’re driving the badass Mercedes G-Class SUV with the windows down, wind blowing through your hair, holding your partner’s hand as they admire you from the passenger seat. The sunshine is illuminating the car, making your skin warm, and your blasting your favorite songs in the world. You feel free, wild, adventurous, and hopelessly in love. You planned the perfect elopement with your partner, after reading this incredible guide on How to Elope in Joshua Tree National Park.

Am I being too dramatic? ABSOLUTELY NOT! That’s how freaking magical the Joshua Tree and Palm Springs area is!!

Everything about Joshua Tree is honestly perfect, which means it makes sense that you’re totally looking to elope there! I would totally chose Joshua Tree too!! (Seriously though – Joshua Tree is such a magical location!)

There are a few things to plan out and consider when you’re thinking of eloping in the famous national park, but DON’T WORRY! I am here to give you all the details about planning the PERFECT elopement in Joshua Tree National Park!

Joshua Tree National Park Elopement

Step One: Decide on Your Ceremony Location!

Joshua Tree National Park is FULL of beautiful spots for your ceremony. Here are a couple of my favorite spots in Joshua Tree National Park that allow for intimate weddings of 25 people or less!

Hidden Valley Picnic Area (not allowed from March to May)
Split Rock Loop Trail
Quail Springs Picnic Area (not allowed from March to May)
Rattlesnake Picnic Area
Cap Rock Trail

Step Two: Decide on Your Wedding Date!

You’re going to want to plan your elopement around the cooler months!! Joshua Tree literally gets SCORCHING hot in the summer and I promise that it will not be fun for anyone! Try to plan for a day in October, November, March, April, or May around sunrise or sunset!

BONUS TIP: Try to aim for a week day instead of a weekend!! Joshua Tree National Park can be EXTREMELY busy on weeks and even during the week!)

How to Elope in Joshua Tree National Park

Step Three: Get Your Permits!

When it comes to eloping in Joshua Tree, you’ll need a couple of permits that are pretty easy to access! If you ever have questions, contact Jeannie Wilson!

Special Use Permit: This will be the first permit to purchase! This will make sure you can have your elopement in the national park! It is $120.00 and can be found here!

Photography Permit: If you’re having a photographer and/or videographer (which I 100000000% RECOMMEND!), you will want to purchase the photography permit ($120.00) that can be found here!

National Park Entrance Fee: When you arrive to the park, you will have to purchase the park entrance ticket which is $30 and is valid for 7 days!

Step Four: Book Yourself an Airbnb!

I highly recommend booking yourself an aesthetic Airbnb around Joshua Tree, so you can relax and enjoy your adventure together. There’s no rush! Enjoy the desert life with one of these beautiful airbnbs! (And book a photoshoot in that aesthetic Airbnb! You won’t regret it!)

Step Five: Book Your Vendors!

There are soooo many amazing vendors located around Joshua Tree and around Southern California!! But don’t worry, I’ve put together some of the BEST of the vendors for you!!!!

Jacob Yackley Films
Landon Mcleod

The Bloomin Gypsy
Levant Lane
Wildflower Design Studio
Pinyon Pine

Hair + Makeup Artists:
Veiled Vanity Artistry
Sandra Michelle Artistry
Jyz Makeup + Hair

Step Six: Get Your Marriage License!

Don’t forget to do this before your elopement at Joshua Tree! You will need a marriage license so you can become official before your ceremony. If you live in California, you can get your marriage license at your local county clerk office/courthouse! If you are from out-of-state, you can either get legally married before you leave your home state (so you’ll already be married for your elopement in California) or you can pop into the San Bernardino County Clerk Office to get your marriage license there!

San Bernardino Clerk Office – (855) 732-2575 | Appointments are required on Mondays and Fridays only; walk-ins are welcome Tuesday-Thursday from 8:00am – 11:00am and 2:00pm – 4:00pm.


WHEW! Take a deep breath. Don’t forget to just enjoy this season of your live with your soulmate. This is your elopement and you get to freaking ENJOY IT! And when it comes to the day of your elopement – take a little time to just explore Joshua Tree National Park and have a blast with your partner!! ❤️ You’re only getting married to them once!

Frequently Asked Questions about Eloping in Joshua Tree National Park

How to Elope in Joshua Tree National Park

Can You Get Married at Joshua Tree National Park?

UMMM HECK YES!!! It’s actually a super easy process, so start your planning boo!

When Should I Elope in Joshua Tree?

My recommend is at sunrise (early morning) when there will hardly be ANYONE in the park!! Joshua Tree National Park gets insanely busy as the day goes on. My second recommendation would be at sunset! Avoid midday and weekends at all costs – it can get freaking HOT and CROWDED!

What Month Should I Elope in Joshua Tree?

I would recommend anytime in March, April, May, October, or November! The summer months are BLAZING and the winter months can definitely be chilly!


How Much Is It To Get Into Joshua Tree National Park?

The cost (PER VEHICLE) is $30 and the permit is good for 7 days. If you’re using more than one vehicle, I recommend carpooling into the park!

Is There Cell Service in Joshua Tree National Park?

Heck no! There’s not much, if any, cell coverage in the park so make sure you let others know where you are meeting or meet at the RoadRunner Grab+Go Cafe before you start driving up to the park.

Where Is Joshua Tree National Park?

This national park is located in Southern California, and it is a part of the Mojave Desert!

How Do I Get to Joshua Tree National Park?

It’s easy as 123! You can fly into the Palm Springs International Airport, rent a badass car (like a Jeep Wrangler or Mercedes G-Class) and drive to Joshua Tree! It is located about only 40 to 50-minutes (37 miles or so) from Palm Springs and the drive is just stunningly beautiful! You can technically fly into LAX…. but it is L.A. and there’s going to be a ton of traffic coming from that way!

What Should I Bring to Joshua Tree?

These are a few must-have things I would pack for safety!

– LOTS and LOTS of water! It is the desert afterall!
– Sunscreen!
– Snacks + Packed Lunches in a Cooler with Ice!
– First Aid Kit!
– Comfortable + Sturdy Footwear! It is crazy easy to accidentally step on cacti and holy cow, it hurts if you don’t have the proper shoes!
– Flashlight or a Headlamp!

Remember to Practice Leave No Traces Principals!

It is soooooo important to respect this beautiful National Park, and just nature and all the beautiful things it has to offer. Joshua Tree National Park has been facing lots of vandalism and carelessness as it grows in popularity. But YOU CAN HELP THIS PARK STAY AMAZING AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

– Pack out EVERYTHING you carry in! Do not litter and leave garbage out in the park.
– Do not touch or disturb the cacti and vegetation. It is not meant to be taken out of the park!
– Respect other park visitors!
– Only park on the designated road and designated parking spots.
– Do NOT go off-roading where you shouldn’t be!
– Stay on the trails!

Fun Activities to Consider for Your Elopement in Joshua Tree National Park!

Soaking in a Private Hot Spring

Nothing beats soaking in a hot spring after an adventurous, long day!! There is even a beautiful, private hot spring around Joshua Tree you can rent just for the two of you! It’s really the perfect, intimate setting to just embrace each other and look back on your day.

Desert Jeep Tour

Booking a jeep tour, like this Palm Springs Jeep Tour, is such a fun activity to include in your special day – especially if you both love adventures!

Rock Climbing

Really want to go for an adventure?! Book a rock climbing tour with Joshua Tree Uprising!

Visiting Mount San Jacinto

You can take the Palm Springs Aerial Tram to the top of Mount San Jacinto! Once you get to the top of the mountain, there’s multiple hiking trails, two restaurants, and a museum!

Hire Chef Grecia for A Romantic Candlelit Dinner!

If you want a unique, intimate experience for dinner – hire the most amazing chef in the Joshua Tree area!! Chef Grecia will cook you both the most delicious, perfect meal! It’s the perfect way to end such a beautiful day!

Checklist For You to Save + Download!

Use this checklist and let it be your guide as you’re planning your epic and badass desert elopement in Joshua Tree National Park, after reading this guide on how to elope in Joshua Tree National Park!! (Right-click on the checklist and hit “Save Image As…” or screenshot it!)

Related Blog Posts Just For You!

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Oahu Hawaii Beach Elopement | Sara & Brandon

Samantha Burke Photographer | MN Elopement Photographer

Samantha Burke is a traveling adventurous elopement photographer for the wild and goofy soulmates that’s based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota! She’s also an educator for fellow photographers that are wanting to grow their business! Samantha is also a traveling addict that’s always looking for somewhere to travel too! Sam is also obsessed with Star Wars, Marvel, and Chai Tea! Please contact Sam if you would like to have her be your elopement photographer or if you have any questions!! She is always here to answer any questions you may have!

If you're ready to go on a wild adventure with me and get freaking married in a way that calls to your heart - let's start planning! Use the contact form here to start the process of making your dream elopement come to life! 

P.S. I cannot WAIT to hear from you!!!

are you ready to say yes to the elopement you deserve?

  1. […] RELATED | How To Elope in Joshua Tree National Park […]

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  3. Sandra says:

    Oh man, this Blogpost just made me want to elope in Joshua Tree or at least visit!!! Looks like such a breathtaking place!! Are you based close by?

    • Samantha Burke says:

      YESSSSS!! Joshua tree is so so beautiful!! I am based out of Wisconsin, but love taking trips everywhere! 😉 I’ve been to Joshua Tree and have fallen in love!

  4. Donna Smith says:

    BRB, while I go have my vow renewal in Joshua Tree, WOW. These are so stunning and all of this information is the bomb. I was able to visit there once and have been dying to go back since. It’s such a beautiful location. Thank you for sharing these photos and great deets!!

  5. This is such an amazing resource for couples looking to elope in Joshua Tree! Plus way to be straight to the point and easy to read! SoCal local photog here, so next time you’re in town would love to connect!

  6. Katrina says:

    Um okay yeah you’ve convinced me to visit Joshua Tree ASAP. This is so informative and helpful, thank you!!

  7. Josie says:

    Love this! There is so much fabulous information here thank you. And the elopement checklist is gold! Beautiful photos and great work.

  8. Carly Hill says:

    Wow, I wasn’t thinking about eloping in Joshua Tree to start with, but I sure am now!! Thanks for all these awesome tips!

  9. Leah says:

    Such a great guide. Joshua Tree is such a dreamy place for an elopement!

  10. Liv says:

    HECK YEAHHHH!!! Joshua tree is my favourite place in California!! I visited 2 years ago and am dying to go back! It’s the perfect place for an elopement and this blog post has so much before to anyone thinking of eloping there!! Thanks for sharing all your secrets!

  11. Jessica says:

    So many great tips for a Joshua Tree elopement and that checklist is perfect! You’re definitely a go-to resource to help couples have the best time eloping in Joshua Tree!

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