16 Airbnbs in Joshua Tree to Book for a Desert Retreat

You’ll want to add these Joshua Tree Airbnbs—with futuristic architecture, firepits, and unparalleled stargazing opportunities—to your wish list.

The Kellogg Doolittle House with a cantilevered roof built into the Joshua Tree desert

The Kellogg Doolittle House, available to rent on Airbnb Luxe, is the work of Frank Lloyd Wright protégé Kendrick Bangs Kellogg.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Think of Joshua Tree as the scrappy little brother of Palm Springs. This desert community marches to the beat of its own mystical drum circle, trading in midcentury-modern glitz for a funky homesteader feel: You’re just as likely to strike up a conversation about aliens or the healing properties of sound baths here as you are to trade tips on the best hiking trails in Joshua Tree National Park. At 1,235 square miles, the park is slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island, encompassing the nexus of the Mojave and the Colorado Desert ecosystems, with its colorfully named rock formations, petroglyphs, and forests of spindly Joshua trees.

During a visit, you can reserve a National Park Service campsite or choose from among one of the area’s many lodging options, including an Airstream glamping site. But to truly capture the spirit of the place, live like a temporary local in a Joshua Tree Airbnb, where you’ll often find eclectic desert-inspired decor, “cowboy pools” (aka galvanized steel livestock troughs) for cooling off, and firepits for late-night conversations under the stars.

Best neighborhoods near Joshua Tree to stay in

  • Joshua Tree features a walkable business district centered around California State Route 62, with an assortment of weekender-friendly spots such as a coffee shop, a brewery, a weekly farmers’ market, and art galleries, including the decidedly quirky World Famous Crochet Museum.
  • Yucca Valley sits west of Joshua Tree along Highway 62 and is home to attractions like the Hi-Desert Nature Museum, plus conveniences including grocery and sporting goods stores if you need to stock up before hiking, camping, or cooking at your Airbnb.
  • Other nearby communities include Twentynine Palms, which is near the national park’s North Entrance Station and offers nearly two dozen restaurants, and Pioneertown, a kitschy Old West community built in the 1940s, where dozens of westerns were filmed and which is still home to Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, a landmark honky-tonk and barbecue restaurant.

Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree's rectangular glass Invisible House is designed to blend into the desert surroundings.

Joshua Tree’s Invisible House is designed to reflect its desert surroundings.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Invisible House Joshua Tree

  • Sleeps: 8
  • Highlights: Indoor swimming pool, unique architecture, private hiking trails
  • Book now: airbnb.com

Designed by film producer Chris Hanley and frequent Frank Gehry collaborator Tomas Osinski, the 5,500-square-foot Invisible House is described as a “22-story horizontal skyscraper,” with a mirrored glass facade that reflects the desert surroundings. The all-electric house, which has a near-zero carbon footprint, is centered around a 100-foot indoor swimming pool and filled with luxe touches, like Frette linens, Flos light fixtures, a Boffi bath, and furnishings from Piero Lissoni and Pierre Paulin. The house sits on 90 private acres next to the national park, complete with its own 4,000-foot-high peak and hiking trails that weave through enormous boulders.

Outdoor living room with couch and dining table

The outdoor living room at this Joshua Tree Airbnb comes with a dining table and a leather couch for lounging.

Photo by High Desert Dwellings

MoonView Modern

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Highlights: Quirky art, pool and hot tub, optional wellness add-ons from reiki to sound baths
  • Book now: airbnb.com

The decor in this two-bedroom modern retreat is a fun-loving blend of Native American and western kitsch (cowboy boots here, a tumbleweed over there) and eclectic artworks (like Amit Shimoni’s portrait of Gandhi wearing shades and tie-dye). Outside, you’ll find a hot tub and a pool, backed up by expansive desert wilderness where you might run into a roadrunner or coyote or stumble upon the odd abandoned homesteader cabin. But this isn’t exactly a place where you’ll be roughin’ it: You can contact your host to add in-home private kundalini yoga, a massage, a reiki healing session, or a sound bath to get into full Mojave Desert wellness mode.

Kind of Blue 1959 Airstream Airbnb with a wooden patio with hammock swings and Joshua trees

The Kind of Blue 1959 Airstream looks like a set out of a Wes Anderson movie.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Kind of Blue 1959 Airstream

  • Sleeps: 2
  • Highlights: Shared clubhouse with a record collection, outdoor shower, design-forward plunge pool
  • Book now: airbnb.com

The newly renovated Airstream trailer dates back to 1959, the same year as the Miles Davis album for which it’s named, and you might not be surprised to hear that two of the three Superhosts are professional musicians (the third is a private chef). The beautifully designed trailer—all potted succulents and crystals, blond wood and wooly throws—is part of Joshua Tree Acres, a collection of stylish vintage trailers. As a guest, you’ll have access to a shared clubhouse with an outdoor kitchen and barbecue grill (and, of course, a turntable and record collection), a solar-heated outdoor shower, a hot tub under the shade of a towering Joshua tree, and a plunge pool surrounded by an octagonal deck perfect for sunbathing.

>> Find more: Airstream Trailers You Can Book on Airbnb

Exterior of white futuristic dome house, with hammock

This futuristic dome house is a great place for stargazing.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Moon Camp Retreat

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Highlights: National park access, firepit, charcoal grill
  • Book now: airbnb.com

This off-grid desert compound might call to mind the space research facility Matt Damon called home in The Martian, complete with a Quonset hut–like dome house, plenty of solar panels, and a series of shipping containers that have been transformed into a guest house and a lounge. Outside, you’ll find a firepit, a charcoal grill, a pair of hammocks, and lounge chairs that are perfect for watching the sunset. About five miles up the road, you’ll have access to the Covington Flats section of the national park, where a dirt path leads through pinyon, juniper, and—of course—Joshua trees.

>> Find more: Futuristic Airbnbs That Look Like They Belong in Outer Space

Hastens circular bed in the Kellogg Doolittle House Airbnb

One of the bedrooms at the Kellogg Doolittle House has a circular Hästens bed and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Mojave Desert.

Courtesy of Airbnb

The Kellogg Doolittle House

  • Sleeps: 6
  • Highlights: Notable architecture, national park view, Hästens beds
  • Book now: airbnb.com

There’s something at once ancient and futuristic about this landmark of the organic architecture movement, built over a span of 25 years by Frank Lloyd Wright protégé Kendrick Bangs Kellogg. Instead of walls and a ceiling (or something as simple as right angles), the so-called High Desert House comprises 26 cantilevered concrete columns, which rise like misshapen mushrooms, sheltering different parts of the landscape. Nature creeps into the space in compelling ways: Custom copper, bronze, and steel elements by interior designer John Vugrin often share rooms with massive boulders that haven’t moved an inch in millions of years. Of course, despite the hard surfaces, this Airbnb Luxe property is brimming with creature comforts, like Hästens beds and rain showers.

Domed house beside large Joshua tree

Dome sweet dome

Courtesy of Airbnb

Dome in the Desert

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Highlights: Fireplace, full kitchen, telescope
  • Book now: airbnb.com

There may be no better place to get on the singular wavelengths of Joshua Tree than at this two-bedroom geodesic dome, which is tucked in the shadow of one of the area’s namesake plants. Be warned: You’ll be tempted to stay rooted in front of this Airbnb Plus all day, photographing the dome-tree duo as the sunlight and shadows shift from dawn to high noon to dusk. Pops of color abound throughout, from the cushions and rugs in the meditation loft to the crafty rope swing chair to the geodes and yarn-wrapped antlers decorating the white walls. What else would you expect from the creative duo behind the project, Kathrin and Brian Smirke, who are a stained-glass artist and a musician, respectively? There’s a guitar and a typewriter on site if you’re feeling inspired—and a telescope if your interests skew more cosmic.

Large bed inside Sunset House

The Sunset House is made for sleeping in.

Courtesy of Airbnb

The Sunset House

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Highlights: Outdoor dining table, firepit, acoustic guitar
  • Book now: airbnb.com

There’s a subtly boho-rocker vibe at this two-bedroom ranch-style home that’s a four-minute drive from downtown Joshua Tree. With its turntable, record collection, concert posters, and house acoustic guitar, it’s the kind of place where you can almost imagine Joni Mitchell or Gram Parsons holing up to write their next album beside the wood-burning stove. Bobcats and coyotes roam the grounds, but the interiors of this Airbnb Plus are a civilized space filled with amenities both practical (washer, dryer, Bluetooth speaker, Nespresso machine) and special, including whole roasted beans from Joshua Tree Coffee Co. and New Mexico–made Los Poblanos toiletries.

Colorful interior of living/dining areas

You’ll want to take design notes from this Airbnb Plus.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Quail’s End

  • Sleeps: 6
  • Highlights: Piano, hot tub, antique collection
  • Book now: airbnb.com

In renovating this 1963 three-bedroom house, three miles from the national park gate, L.A. interior designer Julia Chasman dispensed with high-desert clichés in favor of an eclectic and lived-in atmosphere, filled with mismatched design finds sourced from around the globe: a vintage clawfoot tub and O’Keefe & Merritt stove, an orange Malm fireplace, antique painted tiles from Spain and Morocco, a Hamilton upright piano, and assorted maps and oversized biology diagrams. Set off by a corrugated metal fence, the back patio of this Airbnb Plus is a peaceful hideaway with a hot tub, a firepit, cushioned loungers, and towering saguaros—no, they’re not native to these parts, but they still make for a great Instagram backdrop!

Lit firepit surrounded by gravel and wooden fence at dusk

Enjoy evenings around the firepit at this Airbnb Plus.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Desert Isolation Mid-Century Home

  • Sleeps: 6
  • Highlights: Outdoor shower, sleek design, firepit
  • Book now: airbnb.com

Done up in a crisp palette of whites, grays, and blond wood, this two-bedroom Airbnb Plus exudes a zenlike (or Apple Store–like) calm that belies its location: within strolling distance from the Joshua Tree Saloon and the rest of buzzing downtown. Clutter is minimal, with clean midcentury lines and abundant natural light, and every design detail earns its place, from vintage maps and statement lamps to rawhide rugs. There’s an almost brutalist simplicity to the gravel backyard, which features a gurgling fountain, a cushion-lined firepit, and a gas grill, all hemmed in by privacy-guaranteeing metal walls that will entice you into giving the exposed outdoor shower a spin.

Small red cabin with porch

You won’t have to go far to find Joshua Tree’s namesake plants.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Jackrabbit Cabin

  • Sleeps: 2
  • Highlights: Patio views, well-stocked kitchenette, great price
  • Book now: airbnb.com

Cowboy meets Coachella in this tiny, brick-red cabin, which had no electricity or running water until very recently but now feels more like a smartly designed studio apartment. The kitchenette half of the space features rustic wood cabinetry and a compact dining area, while the bedroom includes cute touches like a moon-phase art piece strung over the bed and paintings of jackrabbits by artist Karine M. Swenson. On the porch of this Airbnb Plus, you’ll find a triangle so you can make like a homesteader and holler for your friend or S.O. to head in for supper. From here, on the south side of town, you’re not far from the Desert View Conservation Area, considered one of the area’s best habitats for desert tortoises.

Interior with gray sofa; kitchen in background

The Pinto is pet friendly so pack your pup.

Courtesy of Hannah Lott-Schwartz

The Pinto

  • Sleeps: 5
  • Highlights: Record collection, board games, charcoal grill
  • Book now: airbnb.com

Host Hannah Lott-Schwartz should know a thing or two about interesting stays: She’s a travel journalist, and you can find some of her writing on sustainability in the guidebooks she’s stocked for guests. This two-bedroom, dog-friendly home welcomes visitors with its cheerful turquoise door and cactus garden, and it sits within a 15-minute walk of Joshua Tree’s bustling main strip. The move: Pick up ingredients at the farmers’ market so you can whip something up in the dreamy kitchen or on the charcoal grill out back. The space is equipped with plenty of board games and an ace record collection that includes some Mexican folkloric gems; previous guests have been known to leave behind vinyl they found at the swap meet, if you’re feeling inspired to help shape the vibe of your fellow future travelers.

Interior with sofa, large flat-screen TV, and sliding doors opening to desert.

The Magic Hour Home is great for families or large groups traveling together.

Courtesy of Airbnb

The Magic Hour Home

  • Sleeps: 12
  • Highlights: Hot tub, bunk bed, game room
  • Book now: airbnb.com

Designed with families in mind, this five-bedroom house includes a kid-friendly bunk room and a game garage, equipped with a pool and ping-pong tables. The decor skews toward sherbet tones, botanical prints, and abstract wall hangings, while the backyard calls to mind a dude ranch, thanks to its plentiful amenities: a hot tub, a firepit ringed by rough-hewn logs on which to sit, a grill, a patio table under strings of lights, a seasonal cowboy pool, and a quartet of hammocks, so you never have to fight with your siblings over the best seat for stargazing. If you want to fully embrace the area’s unabashed weirdness, the house is a five-minute stroll from the Krblin Jihn Kabin, a cabin installed by artist Eames Demetrios (the grandson of Ray and Charles Eames) as part of a continents-spanning installation that imagines a parallel universe called Kcymaerxthaere.

Airstream with two small outdoor pools

This Airstream comes with many opportunities for taking a dip.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Airstream with outdoor movies

  • Sleeps: 2
  • Highlights: Charcoal-heated soaking tub, outdoor movie screen
  • Book now: airbnb.com

Get cozy in this 2016 Flying Cloud Airstream trailer, which sits on five acres dotted with whimsical amenities like giant Jenga, a hammock surrounded by potted cacti, a stock tank pool, and an available outdoor movie screen where you can project your favorite films. (May we suggest one filmed nearby, like Seven Psychopaths or Ingrid Goes West?) Inside, you’ll find a mini-library stocked with books sourced from nearby Opal Atlas and Secret Canyon Books in Joshua Tree, though one of the real highlights of the property is the outdoor wooden soaking tub. Note that it takes a little time to get going, because it’s heated by charcoal, but there’s a bonus feature: It includes a built-in cooktop, so you can use the charcoal to grill your dinner on the tub as you wait. And we can’t help but be a bit charmed by the outhouse—lest you forget that you’re very much in the Wild Wild West.

Yucca Valley

Inside the Airbnb's observatory with telescope at night.

This three-bedroom Airbnb near Joshua Tree offers guests exclusive access to an automated dome observatory that’s also located on the property.

Photo by June Choi

Desert house with observatory

  • Sleeps: 8
  • Highlights: Dome observatory for stargazing, games like foosball and billiards
  • Book now: airbnb.com

About a 20-minute drive from Joshua Tree National Park, Observatory Retreat bills itself as the world’s only vacation rental that offers guests exclusive access to an automated dome observatory. In other words, walk in, click on a celestial body on a screen, and the dome and telescope will automatically rotate and focus to give you the best view. You’ll be spending the night in a three-bedroom house with plenty of high desert charm (like cactus wall art) and a slew of fun-loving amenities for the non-astronomically inclined, including foosball, air hockey, billiards, skeeball, and more.

>> Find more: Airbnbs for Stargazing Come With Glass Roofs, Telescopes, and More

Wooden cabin with cement porch holding two sofas facing a firepit

A retractable glass wall at the Rum Runner Airbnb frames the surrounding high desert like an 8-by-20-foot landscape photo.

Courtesy of Airbnb

The Rum Runner

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Highlights: Hot tub, Tesla charging station, firepits
  • Book now: airbnb.com

Clad in barn wood and artfully rusted metal, this one-bedroom retreat opened last year in Yucca Valley, and the experience here is all about the stunning views: Inside, local artist Ana DiGiallonardo has rendered those vistas into a minimalist mural that will have you running for her website to buy a print, while a retractable glass wall in the sunroom frames the surrounding high desert like an 8-by-20-foot landscape photo. The designers have paired a luxurious Tuft and Needle bed, topped with Parachute linens, with industrial-edged fixtures and a vintage chesterfield couch that you’ll melt into after a long day out on the trails. From the six-person hot tub or the stargazing bed, you can take advantage of the nonexistent light pollution to view the vast swath of the Milky Way, and side-by-side “cowboy tubs” are the perfect place to watch the sunset or spot coyotes and jackrabbits.

Small pool and hot tub surrounded by deck at sunset

Plan your days around sunset happy hour at Cloud Canyon Ranch.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Cloud Canyon Ranch

  • Sleeps: 10
  • Highlights: Pool, nearby hiking trails, kid-friendly amenities
  • Book now: airbnb.com

Perfect for family reunions or friend-group getaways, this sun-drenched villa is filled with cozy nooks that double as sleeping quarters: In addition to four bedrooms, there’s a living room with four fold-out cushions that make for an ideal slumber-party setting for younger guests, or simply a place to laze about with a fleece throw and a bottle of wine. Parents will appreciate the well-stocked amenities, including a crib, a pack ‘n’ play, a high chair, and even baby dishware, books, and toys, while those looking for a more resort-like experience can request a private chef, massages, sound baths, and even horseback rides—an excellent way to explore the adjacent Joshua tree forests and hiking trails.

This article was originally published in 2022; it was updated on October 9, 2023, with current information.

Nicholas DeRenzo is a freelance travel and culture writer based in Brooklyn. A graduate of NYU’s Cultural Reporting and Criticism program, he worked as an editor at Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel and, most recently, as executive editor at Hemispheres, the in-flight magazine of United Airlines. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, New York, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Sunset, Wine Enthusiast, and more.
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