Yucca Valley is a town in California that is named after the yucca palm, which the Mormons called the Joshua Tree, even though the tree resembles Moses lifting up his hands, and not Joshua. However, the town itself was established by Norman Essig to provide a space for celebrities to have some privacy, while at the same time, allowing them to be close to their work. This is because, being in California, Yucca Valley is only a short distance away from Hollywood, where most of these celebrities would be filming. Other than being a retreat for film stars, Yucca Valley is also known to be the home of the Desert Christ Park and many other great spots. Due to this, there are a lot of things to do in this destination. All you have to do now is book your flight and secure your accommodations, and you’ll find a number of options from Vrbo vacation rentals to the best Airbnbs in Yucca Valley. Scroll down to find out about the best things to do in Yucca Valley, California.
This amazing tour, which is shortened from a Palm Springs tour, brings visitors to the famous Joshua Tree National Park. The Park is home to the famous Joshua trees, also known as the Yucca palm, which gave the town of Yucca Valley its name. Since this tour is shorter than the extended Palm Springs one, this allows tourists to have more time to explore the park and immerse themselves in the wonders of the Mojave Desert. As a result, this Joshua Tree tour shows tourists the best-kept wonders of the Mojave Desert.
Joshua Tree Tour from Yucca Valley
Duration: 2 hours
2. Check out iconic sculptures at the historic Desert Christ Park
For Christians of whatever denomination, from Catholic to Evangelical and non-Christians interested in religion, or those simply seeking inner peace, Desert Christ Park is THE place to visit, for it is filled with 40 Christian sculptures, from the 15 ft (4.5-meter) tall replica of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer sculptures of the Twelve and the other disciples of Jesus, and even sculptures of angels, all made from white stone. These were sculpted by an aircraft worker who advocated for world peace in his own little way. Even though world peace is still a dream that seems far, yet so near at the same time, this park filled with Christian images will indeed bring inner peace to the visitor’s heart, which is a gift which is worth more than all the money in the world.
Desert Christ Park
Address: 56200 Sunnyslope Drive Yucca Valley, CA 92284
Website: Desert Christ Park
Opening hours: 7am - 6pm (daily)
For those looking for fun things to do in Yucca Valley and an alternative experience to Joshua Tree National Park, this awesome Joshua Tree Hummer Adventure is the tour for you! This is because you get to ride a Hummer and explore a side of the Joshua Tree National Park you have not yet seen before, for you get to enter the park from routes not normally available to tourists. Also, your knowledgeable tour guides will educate you on the history of the area, from the Cahuilla Indians who roamed the area nominally claimed by Mexico, both as a Spanish Viceroyalty and an independent nation, up to the first American settlers who sparked the Mexican-American War which led to US control. As a result, this tour is exciting, and educational at the same time.
Joshua Tree Hummer Adventure from Palm Desert
Duration: 5 hours
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Like the Hummer Tour of Joshua Tree National Park, this hike experience will give you, the tourist, an experience you have never experienced before because it shows you how the Park looks like at night. The tour starts late in the afternoon, to allow you to experience the famous California sunset. Also, dinner is provided, so you will not only have a feast for the eyes but a feast for the stomach as well! Also, transport will be provided, so getting home will be no problem for you! For those who want to experience Joshua Tree National Park in a time out of the mainstream, this tour is for you and your friends.
Sunset Joshua Tree Hike with Dinner and Night Sky Presentation
Duration: 6 hours
5. Shop your heart out at the Sky Village Outdoor Marketplace
Looking for the best shopping bargains? Surely, the Sky Village Outdoor Marketplace is the place for you! This is because vendors always gather here every weekend to sell their wares. Also, Sky Village Cafe is a great place to have all-day breakfast, since they serve the finest biscuits with gravy, along with the famous Country Skillet. Coffee, donuts and Coke are served here all day as well! The famous Crystal Cave is also present in the Outdoor Marketplace, so when you are tired of shopping, you are free to explore this beautiful cave! Thus, the Sky Village Outdoor Marketplace is more than just a market, it is also a great tourist destination, where you are not only able to shop for souvenirs, but you gain fun experiences as well.
Sky Village Outdoor Marketplace
Address: 7028 Theatre Rd, Yucca Valley, CA 92284, USA
Website: Sky Village Outdoor Marketplace
Opening hours: Sat: 6am - 2pm; Sun: 7am - 2pm (closed from Mon - Fri)
Price: Free entrance
The following content is contributed by Trip101 writer, Barry
6. Delve into local history at Hi-Desert Nature Museum
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
California’s Yucca Valley is known for its stunning scenery, characterized by a fascinating desert landscape. And the best place to learn everything you need to know about the valley’s geology is at Hi-Desert Nature Museum. Having been in operation for close to 60 years, this Yucca Valley attraction seeks to educate visitors about the local desert environment. Part of this includes shedding a light on the culture of the Native Americans who call this region home. Among the displays are relics that showcase the lifestyle of the early settlers. The museum is divided into two sections: the Natural History Wing and the Cultural History Wing. If you love learning about local flora and fauna then you’ll definitely be intrigued by the Natural History section.
Hi-Desert Nature Museum
Address: 57090 Twentynine Palms Highway, Yucca Valley, CA 92284, United States
Website: Hi-Desert Nature Museum
7. Hike the High View Nature Loop Trail
If you’re looking for things to do in Yucca Valley this weekend and want to take advantage of the wonderful weather, High View Nature Loop Trail is the perfect place to visit. This 2.1-km (1.3-mi) trail is ideal for the entire family as the trek isn’t too difficult. Straddling Joshua Tree National Park, this loop trail allows you to get a wonderful view of Yucca Valley from an elevation of about 100 meters (325 feet). The hike also offers breathtaking views of San Gorgonio Mountain, and farther along, you’ll get to marvel at the Black Rock Canyon. It’s advisable to get a trail information guide at the visitor center as this will give you details of what you’ll see on the hike.
High View Nature Loop Trail
Address: Yucca Valley, CA 92284, United States
Opening hours: 6am - 9pm (daily)
8. Go on a trek along Panorama Loop Trail
Another hiking trail within Joshua Tree National Park, Panorama Loop Trail stretches for about 10 km (6.25 mi) and can be tackled by older kids. You can bundle your hike with a camping experience at Black Rock Canyon Campground, where this trail starts. Your adventure will take you through typical Joshua Tree flora, with the hilly terrain serving up a dose of excitement. Along the trail, you’ll get to Black Rock Spring and you can opt to go all the way to Warren Peak. You’ll also catch views of the San Bernadino Mountains as well as Mount San Jacinto. These views offer a beautiful backdrop to the desert landscape.
Panorama Loop Trail
Address: Yucca Valley, CA 92284, United States
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
9. Marvel at the stunning Rhythms of Life land art
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Looking for things to do near Yucca Valley? A couple of miles north of the town, there’s a strange stone arrangement that, from the ground, seems like a well-organized pile of stones. This seemingly extraterrestrial arrangement is more evident from the sky; it’s a creation of artist Andrew Rogers. Known as Rhythms of Life, these stone geoglyphs are meant to represent life and regeneration. With more than 417,305 kg (920,000 lbs), Rhythms of Life land art is expected to remain here for centuries to come, perhaps becoming a Stone Henge of sorts. To get a good view of this feature, climb the nearby hill or, if you have one at hand, use a drone for awesome aerial shots.
Rhythms of Life
Address: Black Mesa, Yucca Valley, CA 92284, United States
10. Enjoy a meal at John's Place
Enjoy a culinary treat at John’s Place, one of Yucca Valley’s most popular eateries. This casual venue is an unpretentious space that welcomes anyone from couples to families looking for a sumptuous meal. And with a downtown location, access to this restaurant is quite easy. Their menu consists of popular local meals like the buffalo burger, bacon burger, or jalapeno burger. They also serve some amazing Mexican-inspired treats like tostada, bean burritos, and carne asada quesadilla, among others. Whether you’re looking for a great breakfast joint or a place to have lunch or dinner, John’s Place is a good option when you’re in Yucca Valley.
Address: 56249 Twentynine Palms Highway, Yucca Valley, CA 92284, United States
Website: John’s Place
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 6am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 6am - 10pm
Explore the mesmerizing Yucca Valley
Yucca Valley may be very near Joshua Tree National Park, but it is much more than that, since you not only get to see the park, but you also get to explore Sky Village Outdoor Marketplace, spend some time with the Lord in Desert Christ Park, and immerse yourself in Yucca Valley culture in Joshua Tree National Park. As a result, there is plenty to do in this town, and here are the best things to do in Yucca Valley, California. All you have to do now is book the accommodations as well as your next flight so that you can take an Uber or rental car to Yucca Valley and experience these great adventures.
Frequently asked questions about the best things to do in Yucca Valley
1. What are the top attractions to visit in Yucca Valley?
If you’re traveling to Yucca Valley, some top attractions you should add to your itinerary include Hi-Desert Nature Museum, the stunning Rhythms of Life land art near Joshua Tree National Park, and Sky Village Outdoor Marketplace for some holiday shopping.
2. What are the best outdoor activities in Yucca Valley?
Yucca Valley boasts plenty of outdoor activities for you to enjoy. Pack some comfy shoes so you can explore the hiking trails at Joshua Valley National Park, including High View Nature Loop Trail and Panorama Loop Trail. If you’re not keen on hiking, book a hummer adventure tour to explore the park.
3. What are the most popular things to do with kids and family in Yucca Valley?
A popular activity in Yucca Valley that’s suitable for the whole family is an easy hiking adventure in Joshua Tree National Park, particularly High View Nature Loop Trail. This trail promises wonderful views and easy, kid-friendly routes. Teens and adults can check out Panorama Loop Trail. At the end of your hike, take your family to John’s Place for a delicious and well-deserved meal.
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