I really enjoy JTree, so I think you should go! I would leave at 9am or so and plan on returning after sunset- maybe have dinner out there. (Most of the main sites are on the north side of the park)
You could also consider the Indian Canyons and Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, I think a little closer than the national park.
Pack a lunch, plenty of water (no water in the park), snacks.
Thank you. Google says it should take 2h and 45m. Does that sound right?
Yes, that sounds about right.
It's doable, and this is the time of the year to go—especially since it hasn't rained much and the trails will be dry.
All of the food is along the northern edge of the park. I especially recommend Pie for the People (a pizzeria, and the coffee place behind it) in the town of Joshua Tree. When you go out of the main gate, make a left on 62 and it's the next block, on the right hand side.Edited: 07 February 2018, 10:32