Amazing things to do in: Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is frequented by SoCal residents, aka me, because how close it is to Los Angeles.
It is actually one of the must see places for many people living in South California.
The Park - Location
Joshua Tree National Park is located near Palm Springs. It is 790,636 acres, which makes it smaller than Yosemite or Death Valley, but out of all the acres, the park includes 429,690 acres of designated wilderness. When going into the park you can see it includes parts of two deserts, each an ecosystem whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation
Without stopping it would take about 1.5 hours to drive through Joshua Tree National Part. But that’s would not be as fun as stopping and doing at least the short hikes and shoot a couple photos.
Things to know - Before going to the park
Check their website 'https://www.nps.gov/jotr/' before going for any alerts in effect
There is not service in the park, only in specific places and for a short period of time. Download the map beforehand or use the one given in the entrance, which like old school is a printed one
The entrance fee is $30 per car, and it the entrance ticket works for 7 days. One thing we noticed is that after 5 pm, there is no one to check the pass or to charge for new cars.
If you plan on visiting at least 3 National Parks in a year then you might want to consider the America The Beautiful Annual Park Pass for $80
There are no restaurants or grocery stores inside Joshua Tree National Park, but nearby communities provide these services. Bring your water and food to the park because the store that the closest to the park is about 10 - 15 min away from the entrance of the park.
If you’re trying to get a campground at peak season, plan ahead. Most weekends will be full. Try to arrive between 9 am and noon when people are leaving.
Pets are only allowed at campgrounds, picnic areas, and paved and unpaved roads. They are not allowed on trails and must always be on a leash.
Hikes and View Points you CAN'T MISS
Hidden Valley Natural Tree. Don’t forget your water.
Cholla Cactus Garden at sunrise, A 0.25-mile loop where you can view a concentrated area of cholla cactus.
Arch Rock Trail before sunset, A 0.5-mile nature trail with lots of large rock formations to climb on and a natural arch.
Keys View to get a beautiful panoramic view of the park, it is high elevation lookout point on the crest of the Little San Bernardino Mountains that you drive up to. You can see Palm Springs and Coachella from here.
Indian Cove - Huge rocks right by the car, no need to hike a lot. This is were our last photos were taken.
Split Rock Loop/Face Rock Hike - Such a nature magic, it does look like a face
Want more travel tips for Joshua Tree ? Read my post – Check my youtube video