Want to know what to wear in Joshua Tree in Summer? This guide tells you EXACTLY what to pack for Joshua Tree National Park whether you are visiting in June, July, August or September. It includes the best Joshua tree outfit inspiration for hiking in the desert heat to weather during the summer and in nearby Palm Springs.
Joshua Tree National Park is actually one of my favorite national parks to visit. With it’s close proximity to Los Angeles and Palm Springs it is an easy park to visit just for a day but it is also a great park to spend a longer weekend in. However if you are visiting Joshua Tree in summer you will have high temperatures and harsh desert conditions to contend with.
But with our Joshua Tree summer packing list we aim to take the stress out of visiting Joshua Tree in the summer. In this guide we will tell you
- What the weather is like in Joshua Tree in Summer
- What to wear in Joshua Tree in summer for hiking, driving and more and
- other travel essentials to pack for Joshua Tree in summer
Note: this packing list is not intended as a camping packing list, instead for those spending their days in the park. If you plan to camp in the national park check out this post.
Weather in Joshua Tree National Park in Summer
But before we get into what to wear and travel essentials for Joshua Tree National Park in summer, it is important to know what the weather is going to be like. Joshua Tree is located just outside of Palm Springs and Coachella Valley in the Californian desert, as such you can expect high temperatures and harsh summer conditions but how harsh?
July and August are the hottest months to visit Joshua Tree with average high temperatures of 99°F. However out in the desert with little to no shade trust me it can feel even hotter.
And while July and August are the hottest months, June and September are not much cooler with average highs of 97°F. and 94°F. respectively.
What to wear in Joshua Tree in Summer (June, July, August or September)
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So now you know about the weather, we will tell you what to wear in Joshua Tree in Summer. Traditionally when we create packing lists we normally separate them our by gender to allow for dress codes and fashion, however practicality is key to any Joshua Tree packing list so this list is universal.
Please note: if you are also planing on spending some time in Palm Springs check out our packing list with Palm Spring outfit inspiration.
But for Joshua Tree we recommend packing:
Although you are in the desert we always recommend having a top layer if you plan on fetting int he park early in the morning. Our favorite top layer is a micro fiber fleece which is easy to pack away during the day.
T shirts are my favorite base layer for Joshua Tree no matter whether you are visiting in June, July, August or September. As the weather is hot short sleeve are helpful for keeping you cool however long sleeve tees made of natural fabrics such as cotton and bamboo are a great cool pick that can also help protect your skin from the sun.
Normally for national parks I recommend wearing convertible walking trousers. However as the temperatures are so high during summer you will want shorts more than trousers.
The sun can be strong in Joshua Tree so we recommend having a hat with a wide brim or a baseball cap to protect your eyes.
Even though the temperatures are high, we prefer hiking boots over sandals in Joshua Tree. That is because there are lots of hazards and sharp objects in the park. And if you are wearing hiking boots you will also want good quality hiking socks with you which can help prevent blisters.
However if you just plan on wearking sneakers then sneaker socks may be more appropriate.
Best Shoes to wear to Joshua Tree National Park
So now you know what to wear, we turn our attention to footwear.
No matter the national park I am traveling to I always take hiking boots with me and Joshua Tree is no exception. As even in the heat I prefer boot over sandals as they offer your feet more protection.
Sneakers are the best comfortable walking shoes for any vacation and if you plan on sticking to boardwalks and more popular trailheads then you could pack sneakers instead.
I personally like boots over sandals for Joshua Tree as they offer more protection for your feet. However if you aren’t concerned for this and want to keep your feet cool then walking sandals are a great pick. My favorite brand of walking shoes are Teva.
What to pack for Joshua Tree National Park – travel essentials for summer
Any day we spend in a national park we take and pack a day pack. My favorite backpack brand is Columbia but this is a purely personal choice. For Joshua Tree in Summer you won’t need to worry about adding a rain cover to your pack.
Days are long in Joshua and cell phone reception is sporadic at best. This combined with using your phone for photos, maps and searching for signal mean your battery will drain quickly. For this reason we recommend having a fully charged power bank with you to recharge your phone during the day.
The sun is VERY strong in Joshua Tree during summertime so be sure to have lots of sun screen with a high SPF with you.
Again the sun is strong so sunglasses are an essential.
Reusable Water Bottle and Extra Water
We recommend always having a reuable water bottle for national parks but in Joshua Tree you will also want an ample supply of extra water with you.
Coffee Thermos and Mug
Your days start early in Joshua Tree to beat the crowds and the heat. To make the early start easier we recommend apcking a coffee thermos and mug.
Refreshment stops are limited in Joshua Tree so we recommend taking plenty of snacks into the park with you and potentially a packed lunch also.
First Aid Kit
Although no one wants to use a first aid kit on vacation, it is a good idea to pack a first aid kit with you on any national park vacation just in case especially if you plan on going on more remote hikes..
Whether this is a downloaded map on your phone or a physical one it is worth having a map with you that shows the trailheads you plan on taking.
A camera is a necessity for any visitor to Joshua Tree National Park.
Toilet Paper, Hand Sanitizer and a She wee
The toilets in any national park outside of the main visitor center tend to be pretty primitive. For this reason we recommend packing toilet paper, hand sanitizer and a she wee with you.
What not to pack for Joshua Tree National Park
So now you know what to pack for Joshua Tree, we will turn our attention to what not to pack.
Synthetic fabrics are not your friend in Joshua Tree in summer. Synthetic fabrics make you sweat more and this is something you definitely do not want in summer.
Drones are classified as unmanned aircrafts and are as such prohibited from being flown in the park boundaries.
Complete Joshua Packing Checklist for Summer
- T Shirts
- Hiking Boots
- Shoes – either sneakers or hiking sandals
- sun protection
- coffee thermos and mug
- resuable water bottle
- first aid kit
Further National Park Reading
And if you plan on visiting other national parks be sure to check out our other national park guides:
- Acadia Packing List
- Arches Packing List
- What to wear to Yellowstone National Park in Summer
- What to wear in Yosemite National Park in Summer
- Zion Packing List
What else would you add to this list? And if you have any questions leave them in the comments below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.