A Trip To The Desert: Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree National Park is located 2 1/2 hours from Los Angeles, California. I have no idea why it took me so long to make a trek out to the park but I was so happy when Andrew and I decided to do it. The traffic leaving the city can be pretty bad if you leave too late in the day. We made that mistake and the trip took way longer than usual. I recommend leaving Los Angeles as early in the morning as you can. Upon arrival to the park, you must pay a fee. We stopped at the Twentynine Palms entrance and purchased our pass. We decided to buy the annual pass so we could come back again within a year. The annual pass only costs $30, which we thought was a great deal. We grabbed a map from the visitor center and headed into the park. You can drive into the park and park your car at various stops. The drive into the park was gorgeous. The terrain is like nothing I have ever seen before. We visited in February and the weather wasn’t too hot or too cold. Andrew and I like to hike so we parked the car as soon as possible and started exploring.
We stayed in the park till sunset. I had read that the sunsets at Joshua Tree are some of the best. We started looking for a good spot to watch the sunset. Once the sun starts to set, you will notice people starting to climb onto high rocks. We found our high rock to sit on and watched as the sky changed colors. With the desert as the backdrop, the sunset was beautiful. I recommend finding your spot early and really taking in the entire sunset. As the sun finally went down, the air became immediately cold. Again, we were here in February and I know Joshua Tree is insanely hot in the summertime. The sky changed again; this time to a rainbow sherbet color. Make sure to admire all of the desert plants on the walking paths.
After sunset, we headed to our hotel in Twentynine Palms. Twentynine Palms is located right outside of the park so it was a good spot for a night’s rest. The town is small but it has everything you will need for a comfortable stay. Highlights include a sit-down Pizza Hut restaurant left over from the 90’s. No seriously, I used to have birthday parties at Pizza Huts as a kid and I was pretty upset when they changed them all to walk-in only restaurants. We sat down for a pizza and I felt like happy kid again. The next day, we headed back into the park for one more day of hiking. We got up close and personal with Joshua trees, which are unique in shape. They all look a little different! We also checked out the much talked about Keys View, which is Joshua Trees highest point. This area is busy, with cars pulling in and out constantly. The view was great and you really don’t need to spend too much time here. It is insanely windy at the top so hold onto your items. I was sure my phone was going to blow away.
Our last stop before heading out of the park was Cholla Cactus Garden. It is a great garden and I saw some plants I had never seen before. We spent about 45 minutes walking around and photographing the garden. This was another hot spot for visitors. Joshua Tree was incredible. I would visit again in a heartbeat. The park offers lots of campsites so maybe, we will camp next time.