Joshua Tree Elopements | Why Elope in Joshua Tree

December 1, 2021

Well, you have gone and done it! Gotten engaged to your partner and thinking of taking the leap at Joshua Tree. This is the most exhilarating time of your life, and Joshua Tree offers a variety of landscapes to explore, activities to enjoy with your favorite person, and weather to suit all tastes.

Considered California’s national treasure, Joshua Tree has landscapes for all visitors. This majestic beauty has more than 800,000 acres of desert and enormous rock formations to explore. Eloping in Joshua Tree has never been more exciting so let’s explore the wonderful world that is Joshua Tree and why it is a great place to elope.

Why Elope in Joshua Tree?

Easy answer! Because the landscape is magnificent and natural treasures at every turn, eloping in Joshua Tree is an experience you will never forget. Here are the top 3 reasons why you should choose a Joshua Tree Elopement:

  1. Landscape: As mentioned before, Joshua Tree has panoramic views or desert and rock formations, so no matter which direction you turn, the beauty of the landscape will be unforgettable. 
  2. Privacy: Who wouldn’t want privacy during their elopement? With secluded spots for you to say “I do”, you will get the privacy you deserve.
  3. Bring loved ones: Whether you are eloping alone or with your nearest and dearest, you can bring loved ones to your elopement at Joshua Tree! 

Best Time to Elope in Joshua Tree

Choosing your elopement date around a season is essential. Consider what you want to wear, the temperature you can tolerate, and the activities you plan on doing.


While one would assume summer to be the best time to elope in Joshua Tree, it can be excruciatingly hot during the day – up to 110°F. So if summer is your go-to season, then opt for a sunrise or sunset elopement. That way, you don’t get uncomfortable in the desert heat.

In addition, summers tend to attract a lot of tourists and hikers. Consider eloping between Tuesday and Thursday to ensure less foot traffic in the area you want to elope in.


Fall is a wonderful times to elope in Joshua Tree. The temperature has dropped, and the fall colors and stunning sunrise or sunset will make your eloping dreams come true. Along with a more tolerable temperature, there is significantly less foot traffic providing you with the privacy you need. 


Believe it or not, during the winter in Joshua Tree, temperatures can drop below zero in the early mornings and evenings and not a season I recommend unless you like the cold. The desert is dry, but there is little foot traffic.


Spring has it all! From cool temperatures, sprouting flora, and animals such as bobcats and squirrels making their appearance, you get a full nature experience during your hike through Joshua Tree. So say your vows among desert wildflower blooms and desert landscapes with beautiful temperatures.

Choose the Joshua Tree Location for Your Elopement

There are amazing locations you can elope in that offer seclusion privacy. You can choose from the following:

Where to Stay Near Joshua Tree

Unsure on where to stay? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of some hotels and AirBnB’s in the area:

  • Desert Air Casita in Joshua Tree Village: This modern studio apartment is well lit, cozy, and only a 10-minute drive from Joshua Tree.
  • Mars Garden: This stunning home located in Joshua Tree has 5 bedrooms, a pool table, and a pool. It’s the perfect place if you are eloping with loved ones and plan to share a space. 
  • Center Street Villas:  These stunning villas have a bright modern design with a barbeque area and hot tub to enjoy.
  • Sacred Sands: For a more rustic environment to connect with nature, opt for this guest house equipped with patio and mountain views.

What to Do in Joshua Tree for Your Elopement

What is an elopement without a mini honeymoon filled with exciting activities? If you are an adventure seeker or just love the outdoors, the Joshua Tree is the perfect place for your elopement. There are hiking trails for days. Whether you are a rookie or seasoned expert, enjoy guided hiking tours or adventure off on your own for a romantic experience. 

Take the Joshua Tree National Park Jeep Tour, sour above the hills in a hot air balloon, or have a quiet meditation session in Boulder Cave. The opportunities for adventure are endless.

Go glamping with your favorite person in the world and spend your evenings around a campfire under the stars. You can be simple and go with a night in a tent or full off-grid glamping experience but all the luxuries. 

Did I mention shopping? There are ample places to shop and explore near Joshua Tree. Visit the Joshua Tree Art Gallery and Space Cowboys Books for a western shopping experience. Then, stroll through Pioneertown and see how the cowboys lived. This gem is a must stop for all couples wanting to elope in Joshua Tree.

Joshua Tree stargazing is top notch. What better way to end your elopement day than with Milky Way photos?

Legal Mumbo Jumbo

This part can be most frustrating, but I’ll help break it down so you have everything you need for your elopement in Joshua Tree. You will need the following:

  • Permits: Firstly, you will need a ‘special events permit’ that you can apply for online through the national parks website here. It costs $120, and as your photographer, I will need a photo permit at an additional cost for the photography session. 
  • Marriage license: Apply for a marriage license at the County Clerks Office in person using your ID, and there is no waiting period. Both must be 18 years old or older, and neither of you needs to be a California resident. 
  • Witnesses: There needs to be a witness for the ceremony, but don’t worry! If you are eloping alone, I can sign the witness line.

Let’s Get Hitched

Congratulations on this exciting new adventure you are about to embark on! Eloping in Joshua Tree is an excellent choice for couples who want privacy and a “just us” experience. Whether you are eloping alone or with your closest loved ones, Joshua Tree National Park can accommodate up to 35 people for most locations.

Have the adventure of a lifetime in this California beauty. As an elopement photographer in Joshua Tree, I know all the various locations and nearby vendors for you to choose from and give couples an elopement guide to ensure the planning process is seamless! 

Get in touch, and let’s plan your big day!


How much does it cost to elope in Joshua Tree?

The average elopement in Joshua tree costs approximately $2,500, including lodging for two. 

Can you get married at Joshua Tree?

Yes! You can get married at Joshua Tree, but you will need to apply for a permit through the National Parks website, which costs $120. Another permit is required for the photographer if you will have one.

Can you elope in the desert?

Yes! You can have a beautiful elopement in the desert. Joshua Tree National Park has a wonderful desert landscape and large rock formations for the ultimate backdrop.

Do you need a marriage license to elope in Joshua Tree National Park?

Yes. You can apply for a marriage license at the County Clerks office in California. One witness is needed to get married, and both adults must be present.




© Mckayla sullivan photo 2021


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