Weddings and Ceremonies

a rocky mountain and joshua tree with a colorful sunset sky

Weddings, Elopements, and Commitment ceremonies may be permitted in certain areas of Joshua Tree National Park depending on location, group size, and the time of year or day. A special use permit is required for all ceremonies taking place in any area of the park. The park accepts applications that are at least 15 days prior to your request date and no more than 12 months when applying for a permit. The approved permit must be with you during your event.

How to Apply

To apply, complete a Special Use Permit Application and email it to A $120 non-refundable application fee is required for your activity to be considered. Applications may take 15 business days to review depending on the time of year. The Special Park Uses Office will send you instructions on how to make your payment online once we have received your application. Payments need to be submitted online upon receipt of the confirmation email from the park. More complex uses or activities may need more time, however, most applications will not be accepted greater than one year before your event.



Joshua Tree National Park does not permit exclusive use of any area and there will be normal visitor activity during your ceremony. Weddings are permitted for 2 hours. Within those 2 hours will be your set-up, guest arrival, ceremony, pictures, guest departure, and clean up. Plan accordingly with your time. Joshua Tree National Park will only permit one activity at a time per location. Group size, season, and time of day will determine the approval of your requested location. There are designated locations to avoid congestion in these busy locations. A map will be provided by the park with the approved locations.

Indian Cove Amphitheater No more than 100 people total and only 1 vehicle. You must hire a shuttle for your guest to this location. The park does not provide transportation. (Location not available June 1-August 31)
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.


Event Information

Weddings in National Parks are to be simple events without extravagant set ups.

Site use is on a first-requested, first-served basis. If the location requested has already been booked or is unavailable, permittee will be contacted to discuss an alternative location or preferred date.

The ceremony permit does not allow your event to prohibit other park visitors from using your chosen location nor does it guarantee you a specific site.

The ceremony permit does not override current closures. If there are closures due to wildlife, weather, or other causes, please contact our office immediately to revise the permitted ceremony location. If we know about the closure in advance, we will contact the permit holder.

Visitor use may impact your ceremony; we recommend morning or evening event times in areas with high visitation and will advise you on this throughout the permitting process.

The use of live flower bouquets and boutonnières are preferable, to ensure seeds do not fall and germinate. Dried flowers are not permitted in the park or in wedding décor you need to plan accordingly, or you will not be permitted to use the flowers; picking flowers from inside the park is prohibited.

Entrance fees into the park are not waived for either ceremony participants or guests.

Car-pooling is recommended as parking may be limited.

Please respect park resources and tread lightly.

Items that are permitted for a wedding

Items must be listed on your application for consideration. If there are none listed when we receive your application, you will not be permitted to add them later.

  • Arch - must be free-standing and is not permitted to be placed into the ground. Plan accordingly with your arch set up time.
  • Small table for guest book
  • Cooler with water
  • Live or fake flowers only
  • Battery-powered candles
  • Small Runner
  • Small Rug
  • Cake
  • Champagne

Prohibited Items/Activities

Please review our park regulations. In addition, the following items/activities often associated with weddings are prohibited:

  • The use of amplified music, microphones, or speakers.
  • The release/dispersal of living or inanimate objects (e.g. butterflies, bird seed, rice, or flower petals).
  • Unattended food items.
  • Decorations (e.g. balloons, directional signage).
  • The use of furniture at the ceremony site (consideration is given to those with special needs). Use existing picnic tables and benches where available.
  • Restricting visitor use or blocking the flow of traffic.
  • Pets are not allowed on trails, or paths. If you plan on having a pet at the ceremony this will need to be approved by the Special Park Uses Office.
  • Drones
  • All dried flowers (e.g. Pampas Grass and other dried florals)
  • Non-battery powered candles
  • Bubbles
  • Smoke Bombs
  • Sparklers and Fireworks

Marriage License Requirements

The National Park Service does not require that a marriage license has been obtained for wedding ceremonies to take place within the park; please follow state requirements. Keep in mind that Joshua Tree National Park is located within Riverside County and San Bernardino County.

Permit Office

The permit office is open Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 3:30 pm (PST). We are closed on federal holidays. Permits may still be granted in advance for a Saturday or Sunday. Permits are not issued on federal holidays and NPS free entrance days.

Contact us

Phone: (760) 367-5551

74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
*We are located in office building 100 near the flag pole.

Last updated: December 31, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597


760 367-5500

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