A few of my friends have asked me what I take when we do a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park. For the most part this stuff is no brainers but I’ve put it together so you can just open it up and refer to it. These are the basics! Feel free to add anything on top of this, just know it might not be used.
List of What to Take to Joshua Tree National Park
- Lots of water – There are no shops or facilities to get water once you get into Joshua tree so pack plenty of water for everyone!
- Lots of snacks and a packed lunch. Once again, no stores or shops. Bring Lunch, snacks and extra snacks in case you stay longer and get to dinner later than planned.
- Backpack– most of the hikes we go on are short but you’ll want the basics with you. I got a bunch of these AmazonBasics Day Pack, off Amazon because they are cheap and compact. I’m all about saving space.
- Hiking shoes /tennis shoes– You’ll want something supportive. Especially for the kiddos.
- Layers – Once that sun starts to go down the temperature drops quickly.
- Camera and car phone chargers – This portable charger is our favorite Jackery Titan. Bring backup camera batteries if you need to! I hate it when I can’t take photos because my battery died.
- Hats, sunscreen and light loose clothing
- Picnic blanket or tablecloth
- Cooler! It’s so nice to have ice on a hot day and cold drinks and snacks.
- First Aid Kit (Band-aids, Neosporin, tape, tweezers, wet wipes)
- Map– Pick one up from the visitors center.
- Flashlight– It gets really dark especially when the moon isn’t out.
- Walkie talkies– there is no cell service and the kids have so much fun with them.
- Whistle for each kid- in case they get lost while bouldering
- Spray bottles– My kids love to play with them and spray each other.
Dangers you need to look out for!
I pulled most of these directly off the NPS website so you can learn more detailed information there.
- Yucca, Cactus & Joshua Trees- all have spines you can get stuck with (tweezers are important in your first aid kit).
- Snakes, spiders, scorpians, and honeybees in the park search for water to stay cool. They’re drawn to any source of water, even your sweat. Keep water bottles closed up tight when you are drinking from them.
- Dehydration and Sunburns- Keep an eye on your kiddos and reapply sunscreen and make sure your kids are drinking plenty.
- Abandoned mines and buildings. Deer mice around here carry hantavirus. Don’t want to take that home with you.
- Flash floods- If it’s going to rain or is raining up higher in the desert the water can flow faster to your location than the actual storm so be aware of the weather nearby.
Go prepared and Have fun!