Yay – you’re heading to Joshua Tree! The Palm Springs – Joshua Tree area is one of my favorite spots in all of California. I always find this part of the desert equally relaxing yet inspirational.
There’s something about the sunsets here – they just hit different. Mixed with hundreds of Joshua Trees, endless starry skies and (if you’re lucky) some wildflowers, it’s the perfect playground for fashion lovers.
Want to walk around with nothing but a swimsuit and a jean jacket on? Sure, why not. Cottagecore dresses? That works. ( Just make sure to bring a jacket for those cold nights.) In this post I’ve rounded up all the Joshua Tree outfits I’ve worn in the past plus some important packing tips so you bring the right stuff on your trip.
>> Got a question about Joshua Tree that you need answered quickly? DM me on Instagram @thewhimsysoul and I’ll be happy to help!
I’ve been going to Joshua Tree yearly (if not more) for years now. As a curvy girl, I didn’t always see women who looked like me on Instagram going to Coachella or exploring Yucca Valley. In general, people also don’t seem to talk about the weird Joshau Tree weather very often.
In the winters it can snow. In the summers, it can be up to 120+ degrees. It can get so windy you almost blow away just walking to your car. Combined with not seeing my body type on Instagram, I absolutely overpacked on my first Joshua Tree trip because I had no idea what I’d actually want to wear.
So, to help you out, I made this Joshua Tree fashion lookbook full of all the outfits I’ve worn over the years plus some of the outfits my beautiful blogger babe friends have also worn down on trips with me. Ready for some major desert inspiration?
What To Pack For Joshua Tree: All My Past Joshua Tree Outfits
I borrowed this amazing jacket from my friend Alexis (@lexilongam) for our sunset trip into Joshua Tree National Park. And like – WOW, is all I can say. I absolutely need a colorful shaggy jacket like this. It pops so perfectly in the browns of the desert. I paired it with white jeans from Madewell, a white bralette (also seen here on the blog) and colorblock shoes from Madewell.
Yes, I’m wearing different hats! We had a car full of girls and I totally grabbed the wrong one at some point – ha! The white one is from Lack of Color and it has that perfect desert cool-girl vibe and goes with so many outfits.
I wore this amazing sequin jumpsuit for our visit to the Noah Purifoy center, which is a free outdoor art museum. There’s so many different metal textures happening here with the art that I chose to wear something metallic and glittery to match.
I went to the Noah Purifoy museum with my friends Bri (@designbybrianna) and Justina (@justinavanessa). These are the outfits they wore! Bri wore a bright yellow dress paired this baller jean jacket with white fringe. It’s so very “Coachella”. Justina went with a 70’s style look with tall white boots and lime green skirt + top.
Yellow is my favorite color and I love wearing it – especially in the springtime or summer months. I was in Joshua Tree for a super bloom a few years back and this cheery yellow dress popped against the colorful flowers perfectly. Sadly this exact dress is no longer made, but I found a similar one for you here!
Swimsuit // Sunglasses // Sunscreen
Don’t forget to pack a few swimsuits to Joshua Tree! Even if you are visiting in the winter, your Airbnb probably has a hot tub and let me tell you – there’s nothing quite like winding down a day of adventures by soaking in a tub and stargazing (especially when it’s cold outside but toasty in the tub!)
I’ve been into green lately and love this one-piece swimsuit (last seen here on the blog.) But if I were visiting in the summertime I would only pack bikinis as it’ll be too hot for one-pieces. These are 71 swimsuit ideas for curvy women you should check out!
Crop top bra // skirt // dainty jewelry // shoes
I need to just take a minute to tell you just how dang HOT I felt in this outfit! It simple, but all the pieces are high quality and fit me perfectly (without squeezing too much!) The top is actually a sports bra from my favorite activewear brand Girlfriend – it just doubles really well as a top, too. Which makes it a no-brainer to pack for Joshua Tree trips since you’ll probably be hiking at some point.
The skirt is from Madewell and usually, I don’t like slip-style skirts. As a curvy gal, A-frame skirts tend to fit me better but I’m so happy I took the leap with this one. It sits high on my waist and is so breezy. It would absolutely hold up against a hot desert day.
Dress // Sunglasses // Hat // Shoes // Belt
Pioneertown is a MUST stop while visiting Joshua Tree. I recommend coming for lunch so you can eat at Pappy’s and Harriets (I’m still drooling over that Mac and Cheese and cocktails). Pioneertown was built to be an Old Western movie set so everything looks like it’s 100 years old. I suggest wearing something with cowgirl hints.
I choose this red dress from Madewell with a wide brim hat. It’s very flowy to let in a breeze on warm days (or expand for all the food I just ate at Pappy’s!) Below I popped photos of my friends Justina and Lexi who styled their Pioneertown outfits slightly different. Lex went with a lime green top that looked INSANELY cool. Justina went with a red activewear set that stood out well against the backdrop. I also added a photo from my first trip to the town years ago (I went with a blue floral dress that popped out well against all the brown.)
Do You Need Hiking Boots For Joshua Tree?
YES – if you plan on doing any sort of hiking at all (even an easy hike like Hidden Valley) you need to have closed-toe boots (I have this pair.) The desert floor is viscous- tons of tiny little cacti, spikes and rocks. You can’t go walking around barefoot outside your Joshua Tree Airbnb that’s for sure.
Of all the national parks in California, Joshua Tree is the most difficult to find good hiking outfits for since it has a very different terrain. You need to be wearing good shoes when hiking to protect your feet on the trail. Speaking from first-hand experience, I accidentally brushed up against a Cholla cactus in Joshua Tree National Park while wearing sandals, and those spikes embedded themselves into my foot! It took over 2 months to get them out! Luckily I was like, 50 feet from my car so I could administer first aid, but if you’re 2 miles away, that’s a problem.
What Kind Of Beauty & Skincare Should I Pack?
This will vary a bit depending on the time of year you visit. The winters are cold here and usually pretty windy, so bring extra hydrating skincare products for the nighttime and also chapstick. In the summer, it’s hot hot hot, so bring any chaffing sticks for sure. Here’s a starter beauty packing list for Joshua Tree:
- Body + face Sunscreen (year-round!)
- Hydrating face cream (I love Olay)
- Under-eye cream
- Hydrating face mist (like TJ’s rose facial toner)
- Deodorant (I love natural brands like Corpus)
- Hand sanitizer
- Hand lotion
- Hairstyling tools
- Hair spray
- Dry Shampoo
- Makeup primer (esp important in the summer when you sweat a lot)
- Your standard makeup + plus anything fun you want to try (like neon eyeshadow)
- Hair ties for windy days
What To Pack For Joshua Tree Winter Weather?
Joshua Tree is cold in the winter. Yes, I’ll admit it, this Wisconsin-grown gal did not know the desert gets cold! Maybe I wasn’t paying attention in class well enough, but I didn’t realize the desert isn’t hot all the time until I went to the Grand Canyon in the winter only to find it snowing (and regretting my choice of only one thin sweater!)
If you are visiting in the winter (November – March) make sure to pack extra sweaters, socks and warm things. On my last trip in March, it was really windy on top of being chilly already, so come night when the sunset, it felt like I was back home in Wisconsin. Good thing our cute little Airbnb had an indoor fireplace to curl up next to with drinks with the girls.
What To Pack For Joshua Tree In The Summer?
On the flip side, Joshua Tree in the summer gets to be HOT HOT HOT. Easily over 100 degrees every year. This place boils like a furnace but luckily people don’t seem to care if you wear next to nothing. Channel your inner Coachella Girl and pack swimsuits, shorts, light dresses, sun hats and sandals. Really go wild with your desert style here.
Make sure to bring a lot of sunscreen and always keep hydrated!
If you are visiting in the spring or fall, expect a combo of the weather. Check the weather report first, but pack some warm pieces but also some lighter pieces in case it soars to the 80’s during the day.
I hope this helps you find Joshua Tree fashion inspiration and ideas for what outfits you want to wear while exploring the National Park’s trails and the cute town. Taking fashion photos around this area is always my favorite – the landscape is just so dang beautiful and makes the perfect canvas for fun Instagram photos.
Got questions? Drop a comment below or DM me on Instagram @thewhimsysoul and I’ll try and help! Have a Joshua Tree tip you want to add? Leave a comment so everyone can see.
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Fabulous blog. You’ve hit all the best sights. 5 stars. Not being picky or negative but I’ve got to say that the summer of love was 1967 not 1969 which was Woodstock. I’m using your one day itinerary to car tour my out of town friends. They’ll love it and you’ll get acknowledged. Thanks much.