Joshua Tree is quickly becoming a popular wedding and elopement destination for couples all around the world.

If you’re interested in having a Joshua Tree wedding, you’ve come to the right place. I put together this comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about how to plan a Joshua Tree wedding.

How Many Guests Can I Have at My Joshua Tree Wedding?

The wedding venues in Joshua Tree have different maximum capacities. The largest venue they have can hold 100 people total, but this also includes people like your officiant, photographer, etc. The average amount of guests allowed at your wedding is only 18.

Keep in mind that Joshua Tree only allows a certain amount of vehicles at each venue as well. To see more information, check out the official park website here.

Joshua Tree Wedding Venues

*Joshua Tree only allows certain locations to be used for ceremonies. If you see a location not on this list, contact the park directly for further information.*

Indian Cove Amphitheater

See more: Indian Cove Amphitheater

Max capacity: 100 people, 1 car

The Indian Cove Amphitheater is Joshua Tree’s largest wedding venue, and one of my personal favorites. The ceremony site is wide open and backed by beautiful rock formations. It’s the perfect site for couples looking to have a mid-sized wedding.

Hidden Valley Picnic Area

See more: Hidden Valley Picnic Area

Max capacity: 35 people, 8 cars

Hidden Valley Picnic Area is a Joshua Tree wedding venue that’s only open from June-January. However, don’t let this deter you from looking at this venue as a possibility for your wedding. The Hidden Valley Picnic Area has open areas, Joshua Trees, and unusual rock formations.

Turkey Flats

See more: Turkey Flats

Max capacity: 35 people, 8 cars

Turkey Flats is a great Joshua Tree elopement location for the couple looking for something simple. This location is very flat and doesn’t offer a whole lot in terms of scenery except for some rolling hills and wildflowers, but that’s what makes it so unique.

Cap Rock

See more: Cap Rock

Max capacity: 25 people, 8 cars

Cap Rock is the most popular wedding venue in Joshua Tree. Many people who get married at Cap Rock get married under the giant Joshua Tree that sits at this location. There are also numerous plants, rock formations, and nearby trails.

Rattlesnake Picnic Area

See more: Rattlesnake Picnic Area

Max capacity: 20 people, 8 cars

The Rattlesnake Picnic Area is another super cool wedding venue with various areas to be explored. You can choose to have your ceremony with a background of staggering rocks, or open fields of shrubbery.

Quail Springs Picnic Area

See more: Quail Springs Picnic Area

Max capacity: 15 people, 8 cars

This is one of the more popular picnic sites within the park, as it’s the first one once you enter. However, don’t let this deter you. This area is absolutely breathtaking and features tons of Joshua Trees and stacked boulders.

Split Rock

See more: Split Rock

Max capacity: 15 people, 5 cars

Split Rock is one of the most popular wedding venues in Joshua Tree. It’s a 2 mile hike to get to the rock, and it can be a bit crowded, but it’s definitely one of my favorites. Split Rock makes the perfect ceremony location no matter where you stand.

Porcupine Wash

See more: Porcupine Wash

Max capacity: 12 people, 4 cars

Porcupine Wash is a an 8 mile hike, but there are plenty of unique ceremony sites along the way. This trail is much more open and has a variety of different wildflowers and rock formations.

Queen Valley Mine Intersection

See more: Queen Valley Mine Intersection

Max capacity: 10 people, 5 cars

If you love history, you’ll love this Joshua Tree wedding venue. What was once a gold mine is now a popular area to visit within the park. There are so many different rock formations and hills, and it’s only a 0.7 mile hike to reach the mine.

Lost Horse Parking Lot

See more: Lost Horse Parking Lot

Max capacity: 10 people, 5 cars

Lost Horse is another fascinating area within Joshua Tree. The trail is about 7 miles roundtrip and takes you to another old gold mine. Like most trails in Joshua Tree, you’ll see rock formations, open fields, and lots of Joshua Trees.

Live Oak Picnic Area

See more: Live Oak Picnic Area

Max capacity: 5 people, 3 cars

Live Oak Picnic Area is another very unique Joshua Tree wedding venue. At this area, there aren’t a ton of Joshua Trees, but there are tons of rock formations and open areas. This is personally of my favorite wedding venues within the park.

Tumbleweed Sanctuary, Garden & Labyrinth

See more: Tumbleweed Sanctuary, Garden & Labyrinth

Max capacity: 100

Tumbleweed Sanctuary, Garden & Labyrinth is the perfect wedding venue for the boho couple. It has both indoor and outdoor ceremony areas. Not only does this venue have Joshua Trees, but it also have a garden filled with lavender, rosemary, and succulents.

Nowhere California

See more: Nowhere California

Max capacity: NA, contact venue

Nowhere California is located right on the outskirts of Joshua Tree and is one of the most unique wedding venues in Joshua Tree. It’s very modern and minimalistic. Not only will you get the gorgeous desert background, but you’ll also get minibikes, arcade games, and standing tubs. This place is pretty awesome.

Joshua Tree Wedding Permit Information

The Joshua Tree permit is non-refundable and costs $120. There may be additional costs depending on the size of your wedding or location.

To get the special use permit, simple fill out the online application found here and email it to Jeannie_Wilson@nps.gov. If your application is approved, you’ll pay the permit fee online.

Airbnb in Joshua Tree National Park

Best Places to Stay in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree has some of the coolest Airbnbs I have ever seen! The options are endless when it comes to lodging in Joshua Tree. Check out some of my favorite places to stay below.

Best Airbnbs in Joshua Tree

Cactus Jax Cottage

The Roadhouse Ranch

Area 55 Futuro House

Darling Darlinda Desert Cabin

Minimalist Modern Cabin

The Joshua Tree National Park House

Best Hotels in Joshua Tree

Sacred Sands

The Lautner

Mojave Sands Motel

The Castle House Estate

The Joshua Tree Inn

Best Camping Spots in Joshua Tree

Hidden Valley Campground

Jumbo Rocks Campground

Belle Campground

White Tank Campground

Ryan Campground

Joshua Tree National Park in California, one of the best places to elope.

The Best Time of Year to Have a Joshua Tree Wedding

Fall

One of the best times to have your Joshua Tree wedding is in the fall, specifically in October and November. During this time, the crowds are minimal, the weather is nice, and the light is absolutely stunning. I highly recommend the month of November for your wedding.

Winter

Another great time to visit the park, if you don’t mind chilly temperatures, is in the winter. Winter lasts from December – February and the temperature is consistently in the mid to high 60s. However, it can drop significantly after the sun goes down. Winter is also a great month for your Joshua Tree wedding if you want to avoid the crowds. Second to summer, these 3 months bring in the least amount of visitors, making it an ideal time for any couple wanting something extremely intimate.

Spring

Spring is the most popular season amongst tourists in Joshua Tree. From March – May, the park quickly fills up with campers and visitors coming to see the beauty Joshua Tree has to offer. During this time, the weather is nice both day and at night, the wildflowers are in full bloom, and the outdoor activities are extremely enjoyable. If you’re wanting a spring wedding, I recommend choosing to get married during the middle of the week and having a sunrise ceremony to avoid the crowds.

Summer

Summer is the least popular season in Joshua Tree. With temperatures reaching over 100 degrees daily, it makes any physical activity outside extremely dangerous. While mid-day probably isn’t the best choice for your summer Joshua Tree wedding, the night is actually very enjoyable for camping. Plus, during the month of August, it’s a great time to see the annual Perseid Meteor Shower.

Starry night in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree Wedding Packages

I help plan and craft dream elopements and small weddings in Joshua Tree and California. To view all my packages, check out this page here.

Joshua Tree Wedding Package Pricing:

  • 4 hours – 1.5 days of wedding day coverage
  • A hands-on planning experience with unlimited assistance
    • personalized Joshua Tree wedding locations
    • vendor recommendations
    • permit assistance
    • customized elopement timeline
  • Online gallery with full resolution and printing rights
  • 24-48 hour sneak peaks 
  • Travel fees to anywhere in California already included
  • Starting at $3,000

Want more elopement inspiration? Check out this beach elopement at Sunset Cliffs, a Yosemite elopement guide, Los Angeles wedding venues, and more resources to help you plan your elopement!

FAQ

Can you get married at Joshua Tree?

Yes, you can get married at Joshua Tree in the provided ceremony spaces the park has listed on their website.

Is Joshua Tree crowded?

Joshua Tree is progressively becoming more and more popular. To avoid the crowds, consider visiting during the off-season.

How do you elope in Joshua Tree?

To elope in Joshua Tree, you must buy the $120 wedding permit and reserve your ceremony site within the park.

Is Joshua Tree National Park dangerous?

As long as you’re aware of your surroundings, Joshua Tree is not dangerous. There is always risk of heat stroke within the summer, but this can easily be avoided by visiting during the off-season.

NEED HELP PLANNING YOUR DREAM ELOPEMENT?

Snag your FREE elopement guide to help you plan your dream elopement in California, Alaska, or even Spain! Learn everything you need to know about how to plan a “just us” experience.

A free guide all about how to elope, created by a California elopement photographer.
A girl holding a camera and smiling.

ARE YOU READY FOR AN ELOPEMENT EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER?

I’m Brianna, a California elopement photographer who inspires, encourages, and empowers couples to push traditional boundaries and create experiences they’ll remember forever.

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