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The #1 Grand Canyon To Joshua Tree National Park Itinerary

road winding through Joshua tree national park california

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When it comes to exploring the best natural beauty on the Southwest Coast, there is plenty to uncover from The Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree National Park.

The iconic Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, is a mere 361.2 miles from Joshua Tree National Park, which is famous for its rock formations and unique Joshua tree population.

It takes about 5.5 hours to drive between the two parks, crossing state borders between Arizona and California, so it makes sense you’re going to want to stop along the way and make a national park road trip of it.

We’d recommend you plan at least 10-14 days to do a road trip from The Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree, to really make the most of the sites in this region.

In this guide, we share our highlights of these two iconic national parks, and share some ideas for what to see on the way from the Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree.

The Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree National Park Itinerary

As mentioned, the distance between The Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree is quite a long one, so we recommend breaking it up and seeing some other popular sites in the region on the way.

Above is a map of where we visited on our Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree road trip.

We stopped in Flagstaff, Sedona, Kingman, Pirate Cove, and finally Joshua Tree.

There were other places we could have stopped, which I’ll mention in more detail below.

1. Stop 1: Grand Canyon National Park South Rim

pink Hopi Point sunset Grand Canyon

Before we dive into the stops between The Grand Canon and Joshua Tree, let’s quickly talk about why you shouldn’t rush off from the Big GC.

Most people visit The Grand Canyon for the West Area, where you will find the famous Grand Canyon Skywalk.

However, there are some other sites in the national park that are worth exploring.

For example, in The Grand Canyon South Rim, there is a lovely trail called the Bright Angel Trail, which is what we did before setting off on our road trip.

girl walking on snow Grand Canyon
Bright Angel Lodge, Grand Canyon

It was lovely to visit the Grand Canyon in the winter – everything was slower and the later sunrise and early sunset times meant we could be more easeful. 

Hiking did…

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