A Travel Price Comparison for California Death Valley National Park vs. Joshua Tree National Park for Hiking, Backpackers, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Death Valley National Park and Joshua Tree National Park can help you decide which place is right for you.

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is a striking, vast, and dramatic national park. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It's also popular because of the hiking.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is a unique, fascinating, and adventurous national park. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include hiking.

Death Valley National Park and Joshua Tree National Park: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Nice resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights


Is there more to do in Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park?

Both Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley National Park have plenty of things to do for travelers. Both provide a wide variety of sights and activities for tourists. Death Valley National Park is very popular for its food, resorts, and impressive beauty, while Joshua Tree National Park attracts visitors for its hiking. Death Valley National Park is famous for being the hottest, driest, and lowest national park in the U.S. Joshua Tree National Park is famous for its unique vegetation and large boulders.

How is Death Valley National Park different from Joshua Tree National Park?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley National Park. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park?

Death Valley National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park.

Death Valley National Park offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. There are ghost towns and visitor centers with informational exhibits, but visitors spend most of their time exploring the outdoor environment.

While most people don't head to Joshua Tree National Park specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. There are a couple of museums in the area that display local art or cultural and historical items.


Is the Food Better in Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Death Valley National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

Death Valley National Park is a decent place to visit for its restaurants. However, Joshua Tree National Park is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

Death Valley National Park may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. There are restaurants at Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells, and Panamint Springs, but most visitors prefer to bring their own food so that they can enjoy picnicking in a beautiful setting.

While Joshua Tree National Park is not famous for its food, you'll find what you need there. There aren't any restaurants inside the park, so you'll want to pack your own food and eat at one of the picnic areas.

Is Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park Better for Nightlife?

Death Valley National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

Neither Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park offer decent nightlife.

People don't go to Death Valley National Park for the nightlife. Beyond stargazing and relaxing around a campfire, there is no real nightlife in the area.

Joshua Tree National Park doesn't offer many options. Stargazing and gathering around campfires are the most popular activities during the evening.

Is Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park Better for Resorts?

Death Valley National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

Death Valley National Park is a decent place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Joshua Tree National Park is not a resort destination.

You might not think of Death Valley National Park as a resort destination, but it has a few places. There are historical inns and lodges in and around the park. The privately owned Inn at Death Valley is a popular option in Furnace Creek. If you stay outside the park, you can expect long drives to get most places.

Joshua Tree National Park is not a resort destination.


Is Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park Better for Hiking?

Death Valley National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is renowned for the nearby hiking options. Also, Death Valley National Park is not as famous, but is still a good national park to visit for its hiking trails.

Many people visit Joshua Tree National Park specifically for its hiking. There are a wide range of hikes that include easy, moderate, and strenuous options. Some of the best hikes include Discovery Trail, Boy Scout Trail, and Black Rock Canyon Panorama Loop.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Death Valley National Park. Hikes will take you past desert landscapes, through canyons, and along sand dunes. The views are spectacular and the setting is other-worldly. Hiking is best between the months of November and March, as temperatures can be high other times of the year, particularly during the summer months.

Is the Shopping Better in Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park?

Death Valley National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

Neither Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park offer decent shopping options.

Death Valley National Park has some shopping areas for those that seek them out. There are a couple of general stores where you can pick up items that you may need.

Shopping in Joshua Tree National Park can be found for those interested. There is a park store where you can pick up gifts or other items.

Is Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park Better for Families?

Death Valley National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

You'll find superb kid-friendly activities in either Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park.

Death Valley National Park is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. Kids will love hiking and exploring the vast desert. There are also ghost towns and abandoned mines that will fascinate kids and adults alike. Junior programs, operated by the National Park Service, also offer interesting and educational programming for kids.

Joshua Tree National Park is a very family-friendly destination. With its giant boulders that kids can scramble on and its Dr. Seuss-like Joshua Trees, this really is nature's best playground. There are also kid-friendly hikes and Junior Ranger Programs that will both educate and entertain the kids.


Is Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park Better for Couples?

Death Valley National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

Both Death Valley National Park and Joshua Tree National Park are superb destinations to visit as a couple.

Death Valley National Park is a very popular place to visit for couples. The stunning desert landscape will take your breathe away, particularly during sunrise and sunset, when the colors are dramatic and striking. In the evening, the sky fills with stars and couples can enjoy a bit of stargazing.

Joshua Tree National Park makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples who enjoy the outdoors, adventure sports like rock climbing, and hiking through spectacular landscapes will find this to be the ultimate romantic destination.

Is Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Death Valley National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

Both Death Valley National Park and Joshua Tree National Park are amazing destinations for backpackers.

Death Valley National Park is a very popular national park to visit for backpackers. Backpackers will enjoy hiking and camping in a unique desert environment. There are several campgrounds in the area that range from primitive to developed.

Many backpackers frequent Joshua Tree National Park. There are campgrounds and hiking trails that are popular with backpackers and nature enthusiasts.

Is Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Death Valley National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

Neither Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park offer decent public transit.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Death Valley National Park. There is no public transportation within the park.

Public transit is quite limited in Joshua Tree National Park. There's no reliable public transportation in the park.


Is Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park a more walkable city?

Death Valley National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

Neither Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park are walkable places.

Death Valley National Park is not a walkable national park. This is a huge national park that requires a car to get around.

Joshua Tree National Park is not a very walkable national park. You need a car to truly explore the park.

For even more information, also check out Is Death Valley National Park Worth Visiting? and Is Joshua Tree National Park Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Joshua Tree National Park or Death Valley National Park?

How long in Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park?

It's fun to spend time in either Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park. In our opinion, Death Valley National Park has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Death Valley National Park than Joshua Tree National Park. However, 2-4 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Death Valley National Park than Joshua Tree National Park. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Death Valley National Park, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Death Valley National Park than Joshua Tree National Park. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Death Valley National Park that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.


  • How many days in Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park? Ideal Length of Stay
    Death Valley National Park 2-4 
    Joshua Tree National Park 2-4

One day in Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park?

Visitors enjoy the when visiting the dramatic national park of Death Valley National Park. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

In Joshua Tree National Park, many people enjoy the that this adventurous destination offers. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Lots of people come for the hiking. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park?

Visitors enjoy the when visiting the destination of Death Valley National Park. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend. Because of this, a weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.

In Joshua Tree National Park, many people enjoy the that this beautiful destination offers. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. Many people spend a weekend here. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities.


Five days in Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park?

Death Valley National Park is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. It offers something for everyone.

Many people enjoy the when visiting Joshua Tree National Park. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. This national park offers something for everyone.

A week in Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park?

Death Valley National Park is a popular choice for travelers. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Travelers enjoy the when visiting the beautiful national park of Joshua Tree National Park. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Lots of people come for the hiking. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America, The Best Historical Tours in United States of America, The Best 10-Day Tours in United States of America, and The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Joshua Tree National Park or Death Valley National Park?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Death Valley National Park is $87, while the average daily cost in Joshua Tree National Park is $152. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Death Valley National Park and Joshua Tree National Park in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Death Valley National Park $37
    Joshua Tree National Park $87
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Death Valley National Park $74
    Joshua Tree National Park $174
Compare Hotels in Death Valley National Park and Joshua Tree National Park

Looking for a hotel in Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Death Valley National Park


Hotels in Joshua Tree National Park


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Death Valley National Park $41
    Joshua Tree National Park $47

Is it cheaper to fly into Death Valley National Park or Joshua Tree National Park?

Prices for flights to both Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley National Park change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Death Valley National Park $20
    Joshua Tree National Park $35

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Death Valley National Park $36
    Joshua Tree National Park $27

Tours and Activities in Death Valley National Park

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Death Valley National Park are as follows:

  • Death Valley Self Guided Audio Driving Tour: $15
  • Death Valley on Mojave Desert VIP Small Group Tour from Las Vegas: $219

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Death Valley National Park $8.57
    Joshua Tree National Park $4.93


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Death Valley National Park and Joshua Tree National Park, we can see that Joshua Tree National Park is more expensive. And not only is Death Valley National Park much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Death Valley National Park would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Death Valley National Park and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Joshua Tree National Park would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Joshua Tree National Park than you might in Death Valley National Park.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Death Valley National Park Expensive? and Is Joshua Tree National Park Expensive?.


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