How to obtain proper permits for a Joshua Tree National Park Wedding

Joshua Tree National park is a popular destination for weddings and elopements. With stunning views and beautiful weather, we have to agree that it serves as a perfect location! Joshua Tree does require that you get a permit to host a special event, but we are here to tell you everything you need to know about obtaining this permit!

Please note that all of the information within this blog is current as of the date it was written, but things may change. The best way to check on additional information and updates is to check out the official webpage here.

Do I really need a permit to have a wedding or elopement in Joshua Tree National Park?

YES! For weddings and elopements of any size, you will be obtaining a special use permit. If you skip this step, you risk fines (up to $500.00) and interruptions to your event that will certainly put a damper on the day. Obtaining your permit also guarantees the location you want is available.

What does a Special Use permit cover?

Special-use permits are required for and cover events such as: weddings, ceremonies, First Amendment activities, festivals, concerts, cultural programs, sporting events, and public spectator attractions, and any group of people including meet-ups, clubs, non-profits organizations, friends & family events etc.

How do I get a Special Use permit for Joshua Tree National Park?

The permitting process is nothing to be scared of. Hours for getting an in-person Special Use Permit are Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 3 pm. Permits may still be granted in advance for a Saturday or Sunday. Take note that permits are not issued on federal holidays and NPS free entrance days. Be sure to check the calendar when you are picking your date to avoid some of these blocked out dates.

To obtain the permit, simply find the application form here. Scroll down to the special use section and download the appropriate form. At the time of this blog, the person to send the permit to is t the Special Park Use Coordinator, Jeannie Wilson, who can be reached at (760) 367-5518 or

How much does a special use permit cost at Joshua Tree National Park?

At the time of this blog there is a $120.00 application fee that is non-refundable.

What locations can I have a wedding or elopement in Joshua Tree?

Currently the following locations can be booked for weddings and elopements:

Indian Cove Amphitheater; No more than 100 people total and only 1 vehicle. You must shuttle your guest in and out of this location.

Hidden Valley Picnic Area; No more than 35 people total and up to 8 vehicles.

Turkey Flats; No more than 35 people total and up to 8 vehicles.

Cap Rock; No more than 25 people total and up to 8 vehicles.

Rattlesnake Picnic Area; No more than 20 people and 8 vehicles.

Quail Springs Picnic Area; No more than 15 people and 8 vehicles.

Split Rock; No more than 15 people and 5 vehicles.

Porcupine Wash; No more than 12 people and 4 vehicles.

Queen Valley Mine Intersection; No more than 10 people and 5 vehicles.

Lost Horse Parking Lot; No more than 10 people and 5 vehicles.

Live Oak Picnic Area; No more than 5 people and 3 vehicles.

What items can I bring to a wedding or elopement in Joshua Tree National Park?

Items not permitted for a wedding


Dried flowers

Non-battery powered candles


Any live animals, including doves, butterflies, etc





Smoke Bombs

Items that are permitted for a wedding

Arch, must be free-standing

Small table for guest book

Cooler with water

Live flowers

Battery-powered candles





Where can I find more information?

The most current information can always be found on the Permits and Reservations page specific to Joshua Tree National Park.

I hope you found this information helpful for obtaining Joshua Tree wedding permits. If you want to learn more about getting married or eloping in Joshua Tree, check out the following related blog posts:

Guide to Eloping in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree Elopement

If you are ready to book your own photography coverage for an event in Joshua Tree National Park, fill out my contact form here.