5 Best Joshua Tree Elopement Spots
One of the hottest trends post-pandemic has been to plan an elopement over a traditional wedding day. And what location has been one of the most popular for couples on their elopement day? The answer is Joshua Tree National Park. With a stunning desert landscape and breathtaking rock formations, Joshua Tree is the perfect spot for an adventurous elopement. But before you reach out to the park for permit information and book those plane tickets to get married in Joshua Tree, you first need to decide where you want the ceremony location. This article will help guide you to some of the coolest elopement locations inside and around Joshua Tree, CA so your desert wedding is one you will never forget!
1. Joshua Tree Airbnb
Before you plan your Joshua Tree wedding, you must book your accommodations. Although some of the trendy spots such as the Joshua Tree House and Pioneertown are popular among tourists, those spots can be a little pricey. This is why we recommend you look for an Airbnb in and around Yucca Valley. Couples looking to stay in the desert will find there are a lot of stunning properties in the area available for rent that can also act as the ceremony location for real weddings. Yup! Why not get married where you stay and have the most intimate elopement experience possible!?
2. Quail Springs Picnic Area
One popular wedding or elopement spot nestled in Joshua Tree National Park is Quail Springs Picnic Area. Quail Springs has parking available and is pretty easy to find so it makes for a great spot for any Joshua Tree micro wedding (25 or fewer guests). The great thing about easily accessible spots is they make planning for micro weddings easy, but that also means they are easily accessible for hikers, campers, and random people taking engagement photos. Therefore, we highly recommend a spot such as Quail Springs Picnic area be used for a tiny wedding that is scheduled on a weekday when the park is less crowded.
3. Indian Cove Amphitheater
Elopements are awesome, but we thought it would be helpful to include one of the only Joshua Tree wedding venues capable of seating 50+ guests (in case your family gives you a hard time and insists on crashing your canyon elopement). Indian Cove Amphitheater offers plenty of outdoor seating and is the only spot that can accommodate anyone’s wedding planning for a significant number of guests. But Indian Cove is also a great spot for epic elopements given the giant rock formations that make for the perfect backdrop for your ceremony. Wedding photographers will also be able to get super creative in the location given the landscape of Indian Cove. If you plan on visiting the National Park to scout for the perfect spot to elope in Joshua Tree we highly recommend you put Indian Cove Amphitheater on your list!
4. Cap Rock
Cap Rock is a Joshua Tree elopement location that is deeper in the National Park (about 20 minutes from the visitors center). But we really like it because there is parking readily available, a nice mile hike that runs along with the rock formations (and iconic cap rock), and a number of unique spots that any Joshua Tree elopement photographer can utilize to capture stunning photos of you on your wedding day.
5. Any Spot You Love In Joshua Tree National Park
When we were creating this Joshua Tree elopement guide for the best ceremony locations we had a tough time choosing the top spots because there are so many wonderful locations. If you elope in Joshua Tree you can choose from turkey flats, porcupine wash, hidden valley picnic area, and really any spot that calls to your soul. There are many awesome locations inside the park for a dream California elopement so go for a visit. Do a little hiking at sunset. And find any spot that is perfect for your adventure elopement to say, “I Do!”.
All Photos Courtesy of Ryan Horban Photography
Frequently Asked Questions & Elopement Resources
Unfortunately, there is no perfect Joshua Tree elopement guide available for couples planning to get married in the Mojave desert. However, we can provide some information on the best vendors who service Joshua Tree and offer elopement packages. Not to mention, some answers to FAQs for couples planning weddings and elopements in the national park! Let’s dive in!
Who Are The Best Elopement Vendors Near Joshua Tree, CA?
Joshua Tree Elopement Photographer
- California Elopement Photographer Ryan Horban
- Sage Justice Photography
Joshua Tree Wedding Officiants
- Joyful Weddings & Events
- The Vow Keeper
- Married By Marie
Do I Need A Special Use Permit To Elope In Joshua Tree National Park?
Yes, you will need a special use permit to hold a wedding or elopement ceremony in Joshua Tree National Park. The National Park Service website provides information on how to obtain a special use permit, as well as details on the park’s wedding permit process. Be sure to apply for the permit well in advance of your planned elopement date.
What Is The Best Time Of Day To Elope In Joshua Tree National Park?
The best time of day to elope in Joshua Tree National Park is during golden hour, which is the hour after sunrise or the hour before sunset. The park’s unique landscapes and rock formations create beautiful lighting during this time, which is perfect for elopement photography. Additionally, the cooler temperatures during these times of day are more comfortable for both you and your guests.
How Much Does It Cost To Elope In Joshua Tree National Park?
The cost to elope in Joshua Tree National Park can vary depending on the size of your party, the services you require, and the location of your ceremony. A special use permit is required for weddings and elopements in the park, and the fee for the permit is $120. In addition to the permit fee, you should factor in the cost of obtaining a marriage license, any travel expenses associated with getting to the park, and any fees for wedding packages or services.
What Is The Leave No Trace Policy, And How Does It Apply To My Elopement In Joshua Tree National Park?
The Leave No Trace policy is a set of guidelines designed to help visitors minimize their impact on natural environments. When planning your elopement in Joshua Tree National Park, it is important to adhere to this policy by choosing ceremony sites that are already disturbed, packing out all trash, and leaving natural features undisturbed. Additionally, you should encourage your guests to follow these guidelines as well.
Our Happy Planet hopes your elopement plans come together perfectly and you have an amazing time adventuring in Joshua Tree, CA!