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 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
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!)
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!
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!
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!)
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!!!!
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!
UMMM HECK YES!!! It’s actually a super easy process, so start your planning boo!
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!
I would recommend anytime in March, April, May, October, or November! The summer months are BLAZING and the winter months can definitely be chilly!
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!
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.
This national park is located in Southern California, and it is a part of the Mojave Desert!
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!
These are a few must-have things I would pack for safety!
– LOTS and LOTS of water! It is the desert afterall!
– Snacks + Packed Lunches in a Cooler with Ice!
– A FULL TANK OF GAS!
– 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!
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!
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.
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!
Really want to go for an adventure?! Book a rock climbing tour with Joshua Tree Uprising!
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!
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!
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!)
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!