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Joshua Tree

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If you’ve never been, Joshua Tree is worth a visit. It’s located in high deserts of Southern California and is in fact a National Park. The best times to go are the Spring and early Summer, as well as in Fall. Winter is too cold and Summer is too hot. You can go for a day visit, or camp out in their campgrounds. Amenities include chemical toilet bathrooms and trash bins, which when it comes to camping, is all you need really.

One of the more interesting things to do in Joshua Tree is hiking. There are plenty of trails to walk, complete with signage and guide posts. This past weekend I hiked Barker Dam and Wall Street, 2 of the more popular hikes.

Other things to do include: Rock scrambling. Basically just jumping around on rocks for fun. The geology here is amazing, and jumbo rocks are everywhere.

Rock climbing. There are a lot of climbers who bring all of their gear, and plenty of rock cliffs to challenge you.

Driving tours. Especially if you have a 4×4. there are dirt roads that lead deep into the desert. Get a tour brochure and drive the Geology Tour to discover how the rocks formed and when. Or drive the Queen Valley Road to find abandoned gold mines and adventure.

As far as weather goes, I find it best to hike and climb in the morning and evenings. Around 11 the heat can bear down on you, so it’s best to retreat to some shade for a quiet siesta (nap). Also, this is a good time to do the driving tours, since you’ll be sitting in an air conditioned vehicle. The heat begins to subside around 2 or 3. Then it’s more hiking!

Astronomers and sky hobbyists are also attracted to Joshua Tree because of the amazing night time view. Deep in the desert you are far away from the city glow, and on a moonless night you can see every star in the sky. Planets and galaxies are visible with the naked eye and meteors burn into the night sky every minute. Satellites are also easy to see. As you gaze upwards into the heavens, you’ll see the awesome cosmos as seen by you’re great ancestors, a view you just can’t get in the city.

Keep in mind that Joshua Tree is a desert. Bring plenty of water and sun screen. Enjoy campfires and wildlife but be careful not to mar the beauty you are witnessing with litter and destructive behaviors. Be kind and courteous to your fellow planet dwellers and always leave it cleaner than you found it.

Joshua Tree, CA

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Joshua Tree National Park Wikipedia



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