How to Elope in Joshua Tree National Park

How to Elope in Joshua Tree National Park | Joshua Tree Elopement & Wedding Guide

joshua tree elopement


If you are wanting to elope in Joshua Tree, you have come to the right place! One of my favorite parts of being an Elopement and Wedding Photographer is helping our couples find incredible locations and helping them to plan their adventurous wedding day. Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most breathtaking places in the world, not many locations can compare to the scenery and unique desert landscapes you will find here. If bohemian, high desert, dreamy sun drenched photos are what you are looking for on your wedding day – look no further. Joshua Tree is the perfect location to plan your destination wedding or adventurous elopement. This elopement guide will be filled with all of the information you will need to plan an epic elopement in Joshua Tree National Park!

If you are still looking for a location to elope, make sure you check out our blog on finding the perfect elopement location!

So let’s jump into planning an elopement in Joshua Tree National Park!

walking wedding



The best time of year to Elope in Joshua Tree is between the months of March to May or October to November when temperatures are lower averaging around 85 degrees. Eloping during one of these months will give you the best chance of good weather. You can absolutely do winter months as well, the bonus of a winter wedding in Joshua Tree is the chance of seeing some snow fall on the mountains and less crowds. Make sure you bring some extra warm layers because the wind does pick up around winter months and can give you a chilly surprise! Eloping at Joshua Tree during the summer is not usually recommended due to the high heat of the desert and not much coverage to allow couples to cool down. On average during summer months the desert can reach temperatures over 100 degrees so if you are set on a summer wedding, make sure you bring lots of water and consider light clothing that won’t give you too much extra heat! Joshua Tree can get very busy with tourists on weekends so to avoid crowds if possible consider eloping on a weekday or at sunrise!


In order to Elope in Joshua Tree, the national park requires a Special Park Use Permit. The Special Park Use Permit for the couple getting married that is $120 and your photographer will need a separate photo permit as well. If you decide on skipping the permit to save costs (please don’t!) there is a $500 fine in doing so if you get caught, so it is definitely best to follow the rules and keep you and your vendors covered so the wedding day is stress free!

Another thing to consider when you elope in Joshua Tree is how eco friendly this park is! A lot of wedding decor such as drones, candles, bubbles, smoke bombs, confetti are not allowed in the park. Remember to respect the national park and leave no trace!

elopement couple photos



Phoenix Sky Harbor, AZ: This airport is in Arizona for those who may be flying into the state to experience the Grand Canyon, Sedona or Superstitions along the way. PHX is roughly 225 miles from Joshua Tree (roughly 3.5 hours).

John Wayne Airport, CA: This is a great alternative for those flying into California that want to avoid the chaos of LAX. SNA is only 122 miles from Joshua Tree (roughly 2.5 hours).

Palm Springs Airport, CA: Palm Springs is the very closest airport to Joshua Tree town, and is located just 39 miles away.


Yucca Valley is a lot more limited in public transportation compared to larger cities. Renting a vehicle will be your best bet to get around the national park! There are three main entrances to Joshua Tree, you can access from the North, West and South. Make sure you take a trip prior to your wedding day to drive the roads and map out where exactly you want to go since the navigation systems in Joshua Tree can lead you off road into soft sands that may get you stuck!

joshua tree wedding


When our couples reach out to us after deciding to Elope in Joshua Tree a huge standout to them is the out of this world rock formations and Joshua Trees that make you feel like you are on another planet. Although the rock formations and Joshua Trees are a main attraction for people all over the world, don’t let that fool you! Joshua Tree National Park is actually home to hundreds of different plant, mammal and bird species. Needless to say, you will never get bored if you decide to make a trip to the national park! There are so many off the path locations that couples can choose to elope in Joshua Tree at, but I will keep it simple for this post and share a few favorites that can accommodate weddings that have larger groups where family and a few friends plan to join you for your ceremony. 

Hidden Valley Picnic Area

Turkey Flats

Split Rock

Porcupine Wash

Cap Rock

Rattlesnake Picnic Area

Quail Springs Picnic Area

Live Oak Picnic Area

For a full list of wedding ceremony locations located at Joshua Tree head to their website. Keep in mind the best spots are hidden gems that your elopement photographer will find for you!


One of my favorite parts about Joshua Tree Elopements are the amazing Airbnb’s our couples have stayed at. There is just something about the way the Joshua Tree Airbnb’s are designed that feel so cozy and intimate but insanely stylish. Booking an Airbnb helps you have a beautiful space to get ready in, take a nice bath the morning of or find a stay that includes a jacuzzi to star gaze at night, a hammock to relax in during the day, the list goes on and on. Joshua Tree Airbnb’s do book fast though so once you have determined a date that you will be getting married make sure booking your stay is one of the next steps you take! Here are some articles to check out to find your dream Airbnb for your wedding experience!

18 Epic Airbnbs in Joshua Tree for Your Desert Getaway

Joshua Tree Unique Airbnbs


Joshua Tree is best known for it’s Dr. Suess like trees, rock formations and unforgettable scenery but it is so much more. The town of Joshua Tree, around 25 minutes from the middle of the park, is so charming and something out of this world. The town of Joshua tree has tons of welcoming shops with history of the National Park, places to eat, farmers markets and vintage shops all things that we have absolutely loved taking in when we visited. Aside from enjoying the town during your wedding experience, things you can explore during your wedding are can range from taking hikes through the national parks to an adventurous experience. A few of our favorite things to recommend to our couples eloping are off road jeep tours, rock climbing, experiencing soundbath meditation and hot air balloon rides.

joshua tree stargazing photos

Joshua Tree National park is probably one of the most unique and popular places for couples wanting to say “I do” in the desert. This desert landscape is covered in unique plants and rock formations and has the most unbeatable view for stargazing. There are so many hiking trails in the park, natural history sites and stores to visit nearby the charming town of Joshua Tree. It’s a no brainer that so many couples want to plan a Joshua Tree elopement in this incredible national park!

If you are planning to Elope in Joshua Tree and need a rad photographer to help you along the way, make sure to reach out to us here! We would love to be a part of your amazing wedding experience!

joshua tree wedding photos