Joshua Tree Park is located southeast of L.A., near Palm Springs.
The north entrance is in Twentynine Palms,
five minutes south of the junction between Highway 62 and Utah Trail.
The main attractions are the Joshua trees and the jumbo rocks. An easy way to absorb the landscape is to drive Park Blvd from the Joshua Tree visitor center to the Twentynine Palms area. It is about 50km long.
The trail to the 49-Palm Oasis starts from the end of Canyon Rd, which is off highway 62 halfway between Indian Cove campground and Twentynine Palms. The hike is fairly short to the oasis (very popular for families). After the oasis, one can continue up the creek bed. It is a steep rocky scramble. Depending on the water that is standing in the creek bed, one can view a variety of flowers and plants. Almost at the top, there is a solitary palm.
The Rattlesnake Canyon trail can be reached via the Indian Cove campground. Coming from Los Angeles, take hwy 10 and then hwy 62 and then exit at the town of Joshua Tree, pick up a map at the Visitor Center, then go back to the main road and keep driving to Indian Cove Campground (about 15 minutes). The trailhead is east of that campground but the trail is hard to follow without a map. The visitor center should be open by 8am.
From the Indian Cove campground one can also take the 5km interpretive trail that is a good introduction to the flora and the geology of the park.
Visitor center: 760-367-5500