Getting married in the high desert is it’s own unique and magical experience. We have everything you need from epic views to intimate venues and all the local vendors you can dream of. There are so many options and decisions to make; let this be your guide.
Where’s the best place for your wedding in Joshua Tree?
Yes, this is the desert, but you still have lots of options. You could choose to elope in Joshua Tree National Park or say your vows and party at a local Airbnb. Every location offers something a little different. Here’s a break down of just some of your options.
Joshua Tree National Park – All locations listed below!
You can’t get married just anywhere within the park, but you do have plenty of beautiful options, and I will break down each of those. A lot of the same rules apply no matter where you choose within JTNP, and those are as follows:
- $120 Special Park Use Permit. Find the form here by scrolling down to “Wedding and Engagement Photos”
- Photographers & caterers need to obtain separate permits (it’s up to them to do so!)
- Guests entering the park will need to already have or obtain a National Parks Pass.
- Each location has different attributes, size and vehicle limitations. See below for detailed info on each location within JTNP
- Items that ARE permitted: Arch (freestanding), Small table for guestbook, Cooler with water, Live flowers, Battery-powered candles, Runner, Rug, Cake, Champagne
- Items that are NOT permitted: Drones, Dried flowers, Bubbles, Any live animals, Confetti, Rice, Birdseed, Balloons, Smoke bombs
Now let’s talk about all the places within the park that you can get married!
CAPACITY + VEHICLE INFO
- No more than 100 people total
- Only 1 vehicle – You must shuttle your guests in and out of this location
Indian Cove has a lot of special things going for this particular location.
This is THE only spot within the park if you are having a larger wedding, though it will perfectly suit a smaller group as well.
This area feels remote and gives you a background of those towering boulders that just make your jaw drop every time you look around.
While it’s technically part of JTNP, it’s also separate from the main park, so your guests do not need to purchase the $55 day pass to enter.
Another bonus is the camping, including group camping, right there on site. Camping needs to be booked separately.
You won’t find Joshua Trees here, but plenty of other beautiful desert flora is around. Plus, like I mentioned, those rocks, and as one of my favorite local sayings goes, “Come for the trees, stay for the rocks.”
CAPACITY + VEHICLE INFO
- No more than 35 people total
- Up to 8 vehicles
Hidden Valley is a field of majestic Joshua Trees as far as the eye can see.
This is the spot for you to wander to find the perfect Joshua Tree to say your vows under, without having to do any strenuous hiking. And you can have up to 35 guests with you!
This location is central to the park, with towering rocks just down the road at Cap Rock and epic views just a short, beautiful drive up the road to Keys View.
Hidden Valley is closed February – May, so if you’re set on a Spring elopement, your next best match would be Cap Rock.
Cap Rock is really one of the spots in the park that just has it all:
- giant boulders
- field of Joshua Trees
- mountains in view
- quick, easy access for up to 25 people
- an easy .4 mile loop trail to explore but not be too serious
It’s a beauty of a spot that is central to the park, and one that will fill up fast! But pick a week day or a less popular time, and this spot can be all yours.
Rattlesnake Canyon has all the boulders you could ever want to explore.
With so much space, you can pick any little nook to tuck away in, or giant rock to stand on, and become fully absorbed in your surroundings and the magic of your ceremony.
No more than 20 guests are allowed at this location.
For 25 guests, you’d want to look in to Cap Rock. For 35, your options are limited to Turkey Flats, Hidden Valley, and Indian Cove.
With a mixture of Joshua Trees and boulders, Quail Springs is a quintessential part of the park; certainly ideal if you just want to hang around in one spot all day.
The only downside is that, along with Hidden Valley, Quail Springs is closed February through May each year.
Up to 15 guests are allowed at this location, keeping it nice and intimate for your desert elopement.
Split Rock is my first true love of JTNP. From the giant towering boulders in the parking lot, to the two mile loop trail, the amazing rock formations just don’t stop.
You could easily spend half your day (ro really, the whole day) just exploring this one trail.
You won’t find Joshua Trees here, but you won’t even miss them… these boulders are something else!
Another magical thing about this place is that you could find your epic ceremony spot in just 10 minutes, without having to walk the whole trail.
You can have up to 15 guests at your elopement at Split Rock.
Why would a place in the desert be called Live Oak, you ask?
BECAUSE LIVE OAKS GROW IN THE DESERT. (That info really excites me, hence the caps). And here you’ll see them, in all their dusty glory, hanging on to rocks and growing out of washes to grab whatever water they can.
The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive at this location is the cluster of giant boulders just ready for you to explore. Climb on up or take a walk around and explore from the ground.
A beautiful, easy to get to location, Live Oak will allow you to have up to 5 guests; a perfect, intimate elopement location. To accomodate more people, your next best matches would be Rattlesnake Canyon and Quail Springs.
Porcupine Wash & Turkey Flats
These two places are unique in that the views are not obscured by Joshua Trees or towering boulders. Instead, you face wide open, rolling hills of creosote and a beautiful mountain silhouette in the distance.
Given the wide open space, a sunrise or sunset ceremony is ideal.
Both areas are located in the southern area of the park, and closest to the Cottonwood Visitor Center, as well as hwy 10 and Palm Springs.
Here’s an idea: spend the day exploring Palm Springs, drive in to the park to see the Cholla Cactus Garden, then head down to Porcupine Wash for a guaranteed private ceremony under the open desert sky. No hiking needed to find an epic and secluded location here.
You can have up to 12 guests with you at Porcupine Wash.
For Turkey Flats, 35 is the max number of guests you can have here; this is the maximum you can have at any spot in the park, besides Indian Cove which will allow up to 100.
Queen Valley Mine
Nestled in the foothills of some rock formations, this is certainly an off-the-beaten-path location.
I have to admit, this is the one spot I don’t yet know the exact details of. One thing I do know, is that it’s off a non-paved road (NOT 4×4 required, however), and that means it’s a road less traveled and won’t be as busy as say, Split Rock would be.
It’s a spot fit for all Queens and Kings and Jokers alike, and for those who especially like to take the road less travelled.
You can have up to 10 people at your Queen Valley Mine elopement.
If you’re looking for rolling hills of Joshua Trees, here it is!
In this spot, you can easily wander to find the perfect Joshua Tree to say your vows under, without having to do any strenuous hiking.
You can have up to 10 guests with you. For a similar vibe with up to 35 guests, check out Hidden Valley, although it’s closed in the Spring.
Lost Horse is central to just about everything. Located just next to Ryan Campground, you also have the 3 mile Ryan Mountain hike nearby and Cap Rock, with its towering boulders, is also just around the corner.
Do you love Joshua Tree, but the national park isn’t quite your thing?
We still have lots of other options! With Airbnbs galore and lots of beautiful wedding venues too, here are some other wonderful places to get married in the high desert.
Mon Petit Mojave
Hey you unique, desert loving human! You want an elopement as different as you are, and you still want to be able to celebrate with your family and friends, even for the most covid cautious of the bunch.
This is THE spot for you!!
At MPM, you have so many options… a live band, the option to turn this in to a drive-in wedding where guests are safe and comfortable in their own cars (if you so choose), drink services, food trucks, charcuterie boards, as many or as few cute details and cozy rentals and you could dream up. Your dogs are welcome too!
An elopement at Mon Petit Mojave is not one you or your guests will ever forget.
For an original elopement experience, including pandemic safety, in a private corner of the Mojave Desert, you must get in touch with Jacqueline right away. Email: email@example.com and tell her I sent you.
Desert Airbnb Wedding
You want a desert Airbnb elopement and all the beauty and simplicity that comes along with it!
All your decor will be taken care of, as most of the airbnbs out here come fully decked out in whatever theme you seek: modern desert, funky colorful, upscale and private… you name it, we have it.
Seriously. UFO Airbnb? Yep.
All Airbnbs will have different parameters when it comes to a wedding; just make sure to specifically ask for what you’re wanting to do and tell them how many people will be involved.
The below link shows a timeline for an ultimate laidback Joshua Tree Elopement. You could follow this timeline to say your vows in Joshua Tree National Park, or substitute that part out and keep everything right at your Airbnb!
Joshua Tree Full Service Wedding Venues
You want to get married in the beautiful dusty desert, but not without sacrificing the conveniences of a modern wedding venue.
With everything on site, you won’t need to worry about telling your guests where to be or figuring out any parking or bathroom situations… it’s all taken care of.
Wedding venues are ideal for couples who want an elopement or small wedding that maybe isn’t *too* small, but still has an intimate feel and brilliant desert vibe.
And lucky for you, while Joshua Tree isn’t known for its plethora of wedding venues, it does have a couple of standouts that have everything you need, and more.
As of now, the top standouts are:
Ma Sa Ya Ranch
- private acres with a beautiful 2 bedroom for couple to stay over
- including a hot tub!
- starting at $2000
- E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- 5 private acres with outdoor and indoor options for 100 guests, including a large professional kitchen and luxurious accommodation options
- Unsure of exact pricing
- E-mail Events@SacredSands.com