Desert Daze: Joshua Tree
This is my 2nd time writing about Joshua Tree. It has been exactly 1 year since we road tripped to the desert. We stayed at the same hotel too; Best Western Gardens Hotel At Joshua Tree National Park. The hotel is located in Twentynine Palms, which is right outside the park. The hotel is inexpensive and in a great location if you intend to enter the park each day. We checked in and immediately went into the park in time for a hike to an Oasis before sunset.
We wanted to do new hikes this time around so Andrew researched ahead of time. Our first hike was to Fortynine palms dessert oasis. The hike says its 3 miles out and back but it felt like closer to 4 miles for me. It is not too hard but on the way back, you have to climb uphill for a bit. The hike to the oasis is awesome, with stunning views of the desert. You are completely surrounded by mountains the entire time. I am not sure if it’s because we started the hike at 3:30 pm but there were only about 6 other people on the trail. For most of the trail, you are walking completely alone! We made it to the oasis and started hiking back to catch the sunset. We timed the hike perfectly because we were rewarded with a pastel sunset. It was a great first hike of the weekend!
The next day, we did 2 hikes that are located right next to each other. We first hiked to the Wall Street Mill. The hike is 2.4 miles out and back. This trail was not too busy at all because everyone seemed to only do the Barker Dam hike, which is only a 1.5 mile loop. It is located right next to the trail to the mill. On the way to the mill, there are a few hidden cool gems. The first is a rotting pink house. It is only the structure of the house but the paint is still baby pink! There are also 2 old cars along the trail. They seemed like they had been in the desert forever. We arrived at the mill and it wasn’t too bad of a hike to get there. The way back was equally as easy, as the trail is completely flat.
After hiking to the mill, we rested for a few minutes and then started on the loop to Barker Dam. I was excited to hike to the dam since it has rained a lot recently. The trail is heavily trafficked with people. You will not have a moment on the trail alone. This trail had more families hiking than any other trail I have visited in Joshua Tree. The Barker Dam was worth it though, especially to see it filled with water! Again, the trail is a loop so just keep walking past the dam and you will continue to see arrows on signs pointing you in the right direction. This hike was easy and I would recommend it to anyone who just wants to go for a walk.
I am always so happy and calm when visiting Joshua Tree. We had a season pass (that is now expired). We managed to use it 2 times in a year so it was completely worth it. Joshua Tree is only 2 1/2 hours from Los Angeles. It is a great 3 day weekend trip. I am not sure when we will be going back but I know we will see the desert again soon.