Joshua Tree National Park with our Pups

Two thousand sixteen marked the year of taking our senior chocolate labrador retriever, Ada out on numerous road trips. We kicked it off with a visit to Joshua Tree National Park out in the Southern California desert. Scenery was amazing and made us fall in love with the desert – well in the late winter and early spring. To be honest, Joshua Tree isn’t the most dog friendliest as like most National Parks in the country. However, there are paved paths for you to enjoy with your four-legged buddy.

  • Our biggest tips for visiting this national park with your furry companion(s) are to:
    Visit when the weather cools down tremendously. That means fall-spring time. We visited the area late winter. Highest temps for that time was about 68F and lows hit below 40F.
  • Dogs are allowed in the campground area
  • Make sure you leash and pick up after your dog at all times – this should go without saying.
  • Backcountry roads will offer more routes for you to hike with your dog. Link to NPS – https://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/pets.htm

Where we stayed: In the city of Joshua Tree at an AirBnb.

View more images below of where we trekked with Ada and Bessie.

Key’s View – has a nice paved trail with awesome views. On a very clear day you should be able to see the Mexico border. 

Some back road access with some great images of Ada and Bessie.

We took these images a few hours after sunset. 

Sunrise at Skull Rock

We took the first 10 miles of the Geology Rock tour before it got too rocky for us and for the dogs. If you have a car completely equipped for off-roading, we highly suggest you take this tour. Based on the images, it looks amazing.



Cholla Cactus Garden – Dogs aren’t allowed inside the garden, but there is a paved path available to walk on the outside of the garden to enjoy. 

Arch Rock can be found at the White Tank Campground. Around the campground, you can take your dogs around the area but not near the arch.

Our adorable bungalow for the weekend.

Our girls basking in the sunset.

2 Comments

  1. Did you have any trouble with your dogs at Skull Rock or any of the other spots mentioned? I am headed out with my boyfriend and another couple and we’ll be bringing our dog. I’m hoping we will still be able to enjoy time in the park without being forced to stay in the car the whole time.

    1. Hi Morgan! My wife and I split up duties at Skull Rock since we didn’t want to get cited. Skull Rock is near the camp area so you might be able to take the dog out since dogs are allowed there. Many of the spots we ventured off to had sidewalks and paved walkways so we were able to walk with the dogs to those points. As mentioned, taking the backcountry unpaved roads are the best options to hike around with your pup. We did the Geology Tour road and they had a great time. Hope this helps!

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