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Cholla Cactus Garden

534 Reviews
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Cholla Cactus Garden

534 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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Pinto Basin Road, Joshua Tree National Park, CA
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Joshua Tree National Park Driving Tour
Nature & Wildlife

Joshua Tree National Park Driving Tour

52 reviews
Explore the uncanny landscape of Joshua Tree National Park with a 4.5-hour van tour from Palm Desert, near Palm Springs. Enjoy the comfort of an air-conditioned van or SUV as you navigate soaring granite formations and groves of the park’s famously spiky trees, and capture unforgettable images of terrain that spans the Colorado and Mojave deserts. Trace a gentle trail into the rocks at Hidden Valley and Keys View, watch for the park’s reclusive wildlife, and experience the unique beauty of one America’s most remarkable national parks.
$177.67 per adult
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dougstewartfcca wrote a review Aug 2020
Foster City, California26 contributions1 helpful vote
We were a little bit disappointed in the Cholla Cactus Garden. It was a long drive out of the way from the High Desert portion of the Park, and wasn't really worth it. There were some great views driving down the mountain to the Garden, and it was interesting to see this cactus garden in the middle of nowhere. It's a 5-minute walk around the garden to see the same cactus repeatedly. I would rather have spent my time exploring other parts of the park.
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Date of experience: August 2020
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OCDane wrote a review Jun 2020
Los Angeles, California999 contributions222 helpful votes
Do NOT touch the cactus. This is an amazing place with thousands of cactus. But keep your kids and pets close. The cactus are dangerous.
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Date of experience: June 2020
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Claire M wrote a review Apr 2020
Leatherhead, United Kingdom72 contributions12 helpful votes
Nice spot to stop off during a trip to the Joshua Tree National park for a quick walk (felt a lot hotter in this area!). The cacti are pretty cool looking!
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Robby G C wrote a review Apr 2020
Toronto, Canada67,059 contributions1,629 helpful votes
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This was my best part in Joshua Tree: The Garden with Cholla Cactus. There were thousands of Cholla Cactus and ever tourist were admiring the Cholla Cactus. At the end of the Cholla Cactus, it looks like a flower. However, it is the last flower of last year, The flower is way more beautiful! I wished I could see the new flower. We were surrounded by mountains. The sun was shining and everyone was happy. This is truly a must see! Wow!
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Date of experience: January 2020
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SwissPinkPanther wrote a review Mar 2020
New York City, New York110 contributions291 helpful votes
Let me start my review by saying.... Joshua Tree National Park is a 5 star award winner !!! Like so many of the US national parks that I’ve visited I’m always so thankful that our ancestors had the foresight to protect these thousands of acres of pristine land. I was fortunate enough to tour Joshua Tree on a March day when the temperature high was 65 degrees, the skies were a vibrant blue with big puffy white clouds and scattered throughout the desert floor were a smattering of spring flowers. I doubt if I would have the same appreciation of the park if I had visited on a baking hot summer months or for that matter even during the fall months. I strongly suggest a Spring time visit. I entered Joshua Tree off of the entrance on Route 62. From Palm Springs the drive along Rt 62 took less than an hour. Not a very interesting drive. There are signs leading up to the entrance to the park but surprisingly I did not see a big sign indicating where you needed to turn.. However, the town of Joshua Tree is the first significant commercial center you enter driving along RT 62 from Palm Springs and the traffic light at this commercial center is where you make a right turn . Right as you turn off Rt 62 there is a park visitor center.on the right side..... I would suggest first driving to the entrance to the park and visit a second park center after entering. The actual entrance to the park is a few miles further down the road. When I arrived around 11 AM there were approximately 20-30 cars waiting to enter the park. I was surprised since this was a weekday in March. But given all the closures of schools and such due to the corona pandemic maybe more people decided to escape to the serenity of Joshua Tree. There was only a single kiosk where you can pay so this slowed things down. My understanding is that on weekends and during the summer there is a considerable wait to enter the park so plan accordinhly. In total I spent approximately 3 - 4 hours touring Joshua Tree. Note, I did not do any significant hiking. I was there to do photography work without having to wander to far from the road. I made about 6-7 stops during my visit. I took the road that cut through Joshua Tree from the entry on Rt 62 , the West park entrance, and exited the park close to Rt. 10. The Cholla Cactus Garden , which was my last stop for taking photographs, sits midway on the road that cuts through Joshua Tree. Clearly the most interesting park geology is on the sections of road between the Parks west entrance and the Cholla Cactus Garden. This section of the road is also the most heavily travelled. Keep in mind that the toad cutting through the park is only 2 lanes and given the numerous bends in the road there are few places for passing slow moving cars and RVs. On a crowded weekend I can only imagine how much longer the drive would take to cross the park as I did. For those visitors staying and returning to Palm Springs I would strongly suggest you take Rt 62 to the West entrance. The drive takes about an hour . You will want to arrive early unless you arrive off season, mid week like I did. If you plan to drive all the way to the Cholla Cactus Garden I would suggest that you exit the park where the park road meets Rt 10. Unlike the drive into the park where there are numerous places you will want to stop and hike or take photographs , when driving through the last half of the park....a distance of some 20 miles or so.....there is little reason to stop. Yes the landscape is stunning but the views are mainly vistas ....not something you want to leave your car to see and get close up to. The other advantage of exiting on Rt. 10 it seemed as though there were far fewer cars on the park road. Once on Rt. 10 it was under a 30-40 min drive to return to Palm Springs. Now why did I give Cholla Cactus a Garden only 4 Stars ? On one hand I was hoping to see a wider variety of cacti in the Garden. Granted it does state Cholla Cactus Garden ...none the less . If I had very limited time , 2 hrs or less, I would forgo making the drove out to the Cactus Garden. LAST BUT NOT LEAST - BEWARE of the NEEDLES of the Cholla Cactus. This cactus can be found throughout the park. In the Cholla Cactus Garden there is a big sign that warns about getting in contact with the cactus and below the sign is a first aid kit, for good reason. I wish that I had seen this sign or some warning posted earlier. Prior to reaching the Garden I saw an area of Cholla Cactus that I wanted to photograph. Of course there was no sign warning me. As I was taking a picture I backed up slowly and my leg accidentally hit the arm of a cactus. Before I knew it I had 5 tennis ball size cactus pieces, covered in sharp fine needles, attached to and penetrating my jeans. I even had two attached to my sneakers. You really can’t move when these “needle like balks” get attached to you for fear that the spines break off into your skin. Fortunately there was a stick nearby and I stood in place for a good 30 mins removing these cactus balls from my body as well as the tiny spines. So....in summary 1. To really appreciate the park, visit Joshua Tree Park in March or April when it is cooler and the spring flowers are in bloom 2. Go midweek and avoid the long line of cars entering the park. 3. Enter via the west entrance and if you have time drive completely through the park to exit on Rt 10 4. Be VERY careful where you walk so as not to encounter the painful spines of the Cholla Cactus 5. And no... there are no places to buy food or water in the park so bring your own.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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