Joshua Tree National Park is located in the Mojave Desert in Southern California, centered roughly between Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego. It gets its name from the Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia, seen above) which inhabits most of the park.
Due to its remote location in the desert, Joshua Tree isn’t a popular national park. Nonetheless, it is a strikingly beautiful park due to its stark landscape.
Despite the size and remote location of the park, visiting is not difficult. It is a 2-3 hour drive from the major cities listed above. In the park there is a limited network of roads which will let you explore the park by vehicle. There are several communities north of the park which make for excellent bases: Yucca Valley, 29 Palms, and the town of Joshua Tree.
If you are doing a tour of national parks, the two closest would be Death Valley and Channel Islands.