Joshua Tree National Park (feel free to click on links) is located very close to LA and due to this close proximity to a large metropolitan area I expected it to be quite busy. Unlike other National Parks in California, there are not large busloads of tourists or car load after car load of gawkers. However, with the power of social media sites like instagram I found Joshua Tree to be hotbed for 20' something LA rockabilly hipsters, and rock climbers. We did see some very impressive tightrope walkers but mainly... homless looking rockclimbers sitting on $400 Yeti coolers. The Park is quite incredible, the ecology, geology, and accessibility make this place one of my favorite arid parks so far. There were numerous short and long hikes, many beautiful roadside pullouts, and this time of year (November) it was relatively easy to find parking to explore.
The visitor centers are small and the campgrounds primitive, which makes the park feel much more “intimate” and centered around nature and experiences not the stores, shops, park trinkets, and curated “tours”. Joshua Tree is truly the polar opposite of Yosemite and Sequoia, and for that reason we love this park. Connecting is so much easier.
To the north of Joshua Tree is the town of Joshua Tree, we would have spent more time there but alas… we needed to make haste as we were Arizona bound. The town is super fun in a way that I imagine Burning man would be. Its creative, artsy, shabby, and clearly has a culture all its own.
We stayed outside of the park (Click Here) on the south side to avoid camping fees. While camping we had many like minded neighbors, which made camping all the more fun! Here are some images from or touring the lovely Joshua Tree National Park.