Joshua Tree National Park is a warm, inviting outdoor elopement destination with incredible desert views. If you’re planning a Joshua Tree National Park ceremony but unsure where to begin, I’ve written an elopement planning pocket guide full of tips to help you plan a stress-free Joshua Tree elopement.
Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most photographed National Parks in the United States. Located in California’s corner of the Mojave Desert, it’s home to its namesake, the Joshua Tree. The park spans over 1,200 square miles and offers a wide variety of sightseeing spots and adventurous activities. Just an hour from Palm Springs and nestled alongside Coachella Valley and Morongo Valley, Joshua Tree National Park is a popular elopement ceremony destination for couples that seek a desert chic-style ceremony with nearby modern-day luxuries.
Joshua Tree National Park is open year-round, with the peak season being March-May. From March-May, temperatures during the day are pleasant but drop in the evening. The best months to visit Joshua Tree are actually either October or February. Temperatures during these two months are still comfortable during the day but see minimal crowd levels.
Joshua Tree has a wide variety of designated elopement and intimate wedding ceremony locations across the park, such as Indian Cove Amphitheater, Hidden Valley Picnic Area, and more. A $120 wedding application is required (with the possibility of additional fees) to secure a designated ceremony location. This application should be completed no more than 30 days before the desired ceremony date. We recommend applying as far in advance as possible, as Joshua Tree is a very popular elopement destination.
Here are three of my favorite accommodations in and around Joshua Tree National Park.
A private, mid-century modern home that features a welcoming, warm interior with desert views. Morongo Modern is an intimate, elevated accommodation for couples wanting a romantic getaway outside Palm Springs and Joshua Tree.
A cozy desert cabin equipped with a fireplace, hot tub, fire pit, outdoor cold plunge cowboy bathtub, e-bikes, and more. Casa Cabin is a peaceful retreat for couples who want an immersive desert experience with modern comfort.
A unique, upscale glamping and boutique hotel with luxury amenities. AutoCamp is a relaxing stay for couples with stunning desert views in Joshua Tree.
Joshua Tree National Park does not require reservations in advance to enter the park. Upon arrival, you’ll be required to pay a $30 entrance fee per vehicle or present an annual pass.
A Special Use Park Permit and a photography permit are required to elope in Joshua Tree. Unfortunately, drone photography is not allowed. You can learn more about the cost and process of obtaining permits here. If you hire me as your elopement photographer, I will assist in obtaining all necessary permits for your elopement day!
Palm Springs International Airport is a small, easy-to-navigate airport just an hour from Joshua Tree National Park. Twelve airlines, including popular choices like Delta, United, and Southwest, serve this airport, with many also offering direct flights into Palm Springs.
If you plan on flying to California for your Joshua Tree elopement, renting a car is a must! Joshua Tree is in the desert, with Palm Springs being the closest major city to the National Park. If you’re flying into Palm Springs International Airport, rental car agencies are conveniently located on-site. Also, Turbo, a car rental app, is another great alternative for securing reliable and cost-efficient transportation.
While celebrating your Joshua Tree National Park elopement, visiting Palm Springs is a must! From world-class spas, golf courses, breweries, wineries, shopping, museums, accommodations, restaurants, and more, it’s the perfect honeymoon location to run away to after your Joshua Tree elopement.
In its warmer months, Joshua Tree can see 100-degree days and 70-degree nights. Be prepared for the temperature changes by packing and wearing layers.
Obtain your marriage license at the Palm Desert County Clerk’s Office. It’s the closest location to Joshua Tree, about 30 minutes from the National Park! The application fee is $100 and can be initiated online. To obtain the license, you must visit the Palm Desert County Clerk’s Office in person after scheduling an appointment. Be sure to attend the appointment together, and both bring a government-issued I.D. The license is valid for 90 days, and the ceremony must be conducted by a legally permitted officiant accompanied by an additional witness.
If you’re ready to celebrate your love with a Joshua Tree elopement, I’m here to help bring your ceremony dreams to life! As your photographer, I’ll help make your special day as stress-free as possible. I assist couples with things like location scouting, permits, ceremony-day timelines, and more! You can check out my Joshua Tree elopement packages here, and tell me all about your vision for your special day by filling out my contact form!
A destination wedding and elopement photographer based out of Colorado! You can usually find me with a hot cup of coffee in my hand, sporting some comfy tennis shoes, or in pursuit of my next big escape!
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