My husband and I visited Joshua Tree National Park last May on our road trip from Colorado to San Diego. What a unique landscape and what a steal our $80 yearly national park pass is! Joshua Tree sits in the Mojave (above 3000′) and the Colorado Deserts (below 3000′). You’ll see the majority of the Joshua trees in the Mojave Desert.
We started our visit to the park at the Joshua Tree entrance (seems fitting!) and drove the north to south route. If you are doing a day trip from Palm Springs you’ll enter from the south (keep in mind you’ll see more of the Joshua trees in the northern part of the park, so be patient). Be prepared to unplug, as there’s no cell service in most areas.
2. Food & Supplies
After staying overnight in 29 Palms we fueled up at John’s Place. We dined with the locals, good food and friendly service! Take plenty of water (more than you think you’ll need) and snacks for your day in the park. There aren’t any stores or facilities in Joshua Tree. It will likely be sunny – take a hat, long sleeves and sunscreen. Remember you’re in the desert (with lots of prickly things!) and wear appropriate shoes or long pants if you plan on hiking. If you take your furry friend (which I don’t recommend) – remember they aren’t allowed on the trails and most likely it’ll be too hot to leave them in the car.
3. Don’t Miss Areas
Before you enter Joshua Tree – I recommend a stop at the visitor’s center to grab a map and plan your visit. To stretch your legs – I suggest a walk around the Intersection Rock and Jumbo Rocks Campground areas. The entire park is a photo op – but it’s especially photogenic with the large boulders and Joshua trees. As you get closer to the southern entrance and enter the transition zone of the Mojave and Colorado Desert – don’t miss a stop at the Cholla Cactus Garden. There’s also a nice loop/trail to take in this special area of Joshua Tree.
Until the next adventure – bon voyage!