One of the draws of Joshua Tree National Park is its accessibility. The iconic Southern California destination is just two hours from Los Angeles or three from San Diego and Phoenix, making it doable for a long weekend. Boasting 800,000 acres, there’s plenty of room to spread out, even during the park’s busier season, from October to May, when mild temperatures bring in more crowds. Come for the rock climbing, stargazing, or trail running. You’ll find ample camping both inside and out of the park, but if you’re looking to post up somewhere with a few more amenities, these stunning Airbnbs come with Mojave Desert views, Instagrammable hot tubs, and outdoor fire pits.
The Forest Bungalow
This two-bedroom 1950s-era bungalow (from $211), located down a close-to-town dirt road, has a remodeled kitchen and a fenced-in backyard. (Sorry, no pets allowed.) The structure itself is small—just 870 square feet—but you’ve got half an acre of land to roam around on. From the palatial outdoor hot tub, you can see the park’s namesake Joshua trees in the forest out back. It’s about a ten-minute drive to the west entrance of the park.
The Hill House
You’re also just minutes from the west entrance of the park at this two-bedroom mid-century home (from $326). Perched atop a hill on three acres of land, you’ll enjoy stellar views of the surrounding mountains from its wraparound porch. Spend most of your stay outside, dining at an outdoor table for six or soaking in the hot tub. But don’t miss out on some time in the garage, converted into a sleek hang-out zone and game room.
Though more expensive than similarly sized properties, you’ll get true luxury at this two-bedroom villa (from $638), located about ten minutes from Joshua Tree’s west entrance. Built in the 1960s and recently restored with a peaceful Japanese-style design, the house is situated on 3.6 acres of rugged desert landscape and beckons with a private cactus garden, an outdoor shower, a saltwater tub, and an electric-car charging station. The nearest trailhead, outside the national park, is just a five-minute walk from the front door.
The Pool House
If a swimming pool is on your list of must-haves while vacationing in the desert, then book this two-bedroom escape (from $541). It’s five minutes to the west entrance of the park, but you may never want to leave these calm environs. The whole place feels like a spa, with plush towels, a serene vibe, and lavender-scented lotions and soaps. Outside, pop in the hot tub and pool, and light up the outdoor fireplace at dusk. Inside, the big-screen projector makes for cozy movie nights.
For a couples retreat or a solo getaway, consider this newly renovated one-bedroom cabin (from $215), set on five acres of land just ten minutes from Joshua Tree’s west entrance. After a day of hiking in the park, relish sunsets in the hot tub and cook dinner in the well-stocked kitchen.
If you plan to cap your days with dinner parties, this three-bedroom custom-built pad (from $393) has you well covered. A sliding window opens up to an indoor-outdoor bar, and a massive eight-person outdoor table in the courtyard accommodates large groups or spreads. Made famous by the HGTV reality series Staycation, this pet-friendly vacation home can sleep up to eight people, is minutes from the national park, and has a hot tub.
You know you’re in the right spot when you’re soaking in a claw-foot tub in the middle of the desert. At this eclectic, affordable one-bedroom ranch home ($181), located 15 minutes from the park’s less crowded north entrance, you’ll want to do just that. Horseshoes, a hammock, and a cowboy pool—a stock tank filled with water—make for a great afternoon under the desert sun.