A Travel Price Comparison for California Joshua Tree National Park vs. Yosemite National Park for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Joshua Tree National Park or Yosemite National Park?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Joshua Tree National Park and Yosemite National Park can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Joshua Tree National Park

California's high desert has a unique landscape and has become synonymous with Joshua Tree, located in southeastern California. Joshua Tree National Park gained its namesake from its spiky, evergreen, and unusually shaped trees native to the Mojave Desert area, which only grow in arid soils on plains, slopes and mesas. Legend has it that Mormons in the 19th century came across the trees and thought they resembled Joshua from the Bible, with outstretched arms, beckoning them to the promised land. Well, they do kind of look like people.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is located in east-central California in the Sierra Nevada mountains. It's one of the most famous and popular parks in the country and is known for its breathtaking granite cliffs, dramatic waterfalls, clear streams, and giant sequoia groves. The park covers 750,000 acres, or 1,200 square miles, and includes thousands of lakes and ponds and an impressive range of biodiversity. There are 800 miles of hiking trails within the park as well. Yosemite National Park is the third most visited park within the United States with an average annual visitation of almost 4 million people.

Which city is cheaper, Yosemite National Park or Joshua Tree National Park?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Joshua Tree National Park is $122, while the average daily cost in Yosemite National Park is $104. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Joshua Tree National Park and Yosemite National Park in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around $140 for a double occupancy room in Joshua Tree National Park If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $52. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Yosemite National Park the cost is $104 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Joshua Tree National Park $70
    Yosemite National Park $52
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Joshua Tree National Park $140
    Yosemite National Park $104

Food

The price of a meal in Joshua Tree National Park can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $28 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $11 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

The average traveler spends about $32 per day in Yosemite National Park for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Joshua Tree National Park $28
    Yosemite National Park $32

Local Transportation

Joshua Tree National Park's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $37 per person, per day on transportation in Joshua Tree National Park.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $33 per day to get around in Yosemite National Park.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Joshua Tree National Park $37
    Yosemite National Park $33

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

Prices for flights to both Yosemite National Park and Joshua Tree 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Joshua Tree National Park can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $22 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $15 per person, per day in Yosemite National Park. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Joshua Tree National Park $22
    Yosemite National Park $15

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Joshua Tree National Park spend on average $3.94 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $8.46 on alcoholic beverages in Yosemite National Park per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Joshua Tree National Park $3.94
    Yosemite National Park $8.46


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Joshua Tree National Park and Yosemite National Park, we can see that Joshua Tree National Park is more expensive. And not only is Yosemite National Park much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Yosemite National Park would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Yosemite 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 Yosemite National Park.

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Joshua Tree National Park vs. Yosemite National Park Travel Comparison

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