I love escaping to the peaceful, quiet desert. Joshua Tree makes a great getaway just two hours from L.A. The area around the park has lots to offer, too. I like staying in Palm Springs during the hot summer (when I can afford it) and Twentynine Palms during the high seasons (fall and spring). Remember, when visiting national parks, listen to park rangers and respect the rules to ensure maximum enjoyment for years to come.
1. Go hiking.
Easy: Hidden Valley, 1- mile loop
Medium: Ryan Mountain, 3- mile summit
Hard: Lost Palms Oasis, 7- mile out and back with options for wild camping.
Check out the National Park Service for more details.
2. Listen to U2’s The Joshua Tree as you meander through the park roads.
3. Visit the Cholla Cactus Garden and see these weirdos:
4. Sniff some sage.
5. Drink a date shake. Get ’em at Sheild’s, Jelly Donut or any place with a huge sign that says DATE SHAKE.
6. Soak in some Desert Hot Springs (warning: pricey).
7. Eat a taco in a bowling alley at Mexican Street Tacos. They also offer gigantic mugs of beer for $5.
8. See some music at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, biker bar turned hipster scene.
9. Take a drive down Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs while listening to Frank Sinatra.
10. For the love of Jesus, see a sunset.
Drive to the area. Once at Joshua Tree, you can park at the Visitor’s Center and this awesome bus will take to from point to point. I recommend the bus because the parking lots can get quite crowded. It runs pretty regularly. Plus, how can you mind waiting for the bus in this gorgeous place?