Joshua Tree National Park never disappoints.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Originally published April 2017
Roughly 130 miles east of Los Angeles or 500 miles from either San Francisco or Sacramento, this massive National Park is within an relatively short drive for many.
Surprisingly, many native Californians have never given a second thought to checking out this desert paradise. That’s great news for those lucky souls that undertake the pilgrimage. Joshua Tree NP is a place where it’s easy to avoid the mass of humanity that overwhelms parts of Southern California and more popular parks.
At over 1,200 square miles in size, visitors to Joshua Tree can barely scratch the surface in exploring this land where the Mojave and Colorado Deserts meet. (It’s larger than the state of Rhode Island.)
“A half dozen trips to Joshua Tree and each experience has been wildly unique”
Your planning level will vary depending on whether your taking a day trip or camping trip to Joshua Tree.
For first-time visitors we highly suggest some time at a Ranger Station. Gather some tips to make the most of your visit and be sure to get a park map. It is an essential navigation tool in the vast scorching desert.
Spring is epic
Spring weather and wildflower blooms make it the most popular and most beautiful time to visit in our opinion. There’s much to see here from dominating rock structures, sweeping desert vistas and the iconic Yucca brevifolia, better known as Joshua trees. Have a little patience and you may be rewarded with a sighting of a bighorn sheep or some other denizen of the desert. This place is a dream for both amateur and pro photographers.
Magical Sunset Drive
One experience not to be missed is a sunset drive from the eastern entrance to the western exit. Begin the journey by taking Cottonwood Springs Rd. off Interstate 10 and slowly meandering toward northwest toward the Quail Springs Rd exit. Plan for at least 2-3 hours which will allow time to take in some of the breathtaking scenery you will experience. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!
Joshua Tree National Park is another of California’s treasured destinations worth visiting and exploring. It is a place that must be experienced to be appreciated. You’ll never view the desert the same way again!
Joshua Tree: Planning Your Trip
– Temperatures: Plan for both hot and cool
– Bring plenty of water, naturally!
– Good hiking shoes
– Camera, the scenery is spectacular
– Full tank of gas
– Enjoy a sunset if time allows, they are otherworldly.
– Stop off at as many spots as time allows. The variety of landscapes here is remarkable.
For lots of great information, visit the official Joshua Tree National Park website.
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