From blood-red flora to muted-grey landscapes, this ancient desert grounds you unlike any other outdoor experience. The sheer size of Joshua Tree alone is enough to satiate any kind of adventure you’ve been needing - the plot of land this “park” occupies stretches across 790,000 sq. acres.
You can go from walking in a field of Indian Paintbrushes to setting up camp in a rocky crag with kangaroo mice scuttling up next to your campfire in the Park. Or, go enjoy the artistic culture of the city, should it suit you.
It’s an experience everyone should have at least once in their lives, so we’ve made a brief list of some of the best things Joshua Tree has to offer:
While the town itself makes up only 3% of the size of the park, it’s the embodiment of Californian culture. We could stretch this list out endlessly - there’s always new artists/locations to talk about. But, let’s keep it short and timeless.
“This historical structure is a resonant tabernacle and energy machine sited on a powerful geomagnetic vortex in the magical Mojave Desert.”
If that absolutely wild description from their own site doesn’t pique your interest, maybe some of the background info will. The Integratron was built in the 1950’s by George Van Tassel, a UFO logist… Which, explains a lot. Conspiracy theorist or not, this place makes for an unforgettable visit. These days, the perfectly-domed structure is used for incredible sound baths. Lay down, close your eyes, and see for yourself if the host’s “soundwaves” reverberate your mind into deep introspection.
Noah Purifoy is a celebrated artist who dedicated his life to assemblage art. The last 15 years of his life were spent out in the wastes of the Mojave, where he covered 10 acres with sculptures made from objects found around the desert. Visiting this place is unworldly - you can wander around these strange formations for hours marvelling at how they’ve withstood the harsh desert environment.
Here’s where the real magic happens - with sparse flora and fauna that look like something from the prehistoric past, you travel to Joshua Tree Park to take a break from the world and catch up on some much needed headspace.
Joshua Tree is huge. Really, really huge. Keys View gives you a beautiful view of it all. Just drive (or hike) up to the crest of the Little San Bernardino Mountains to drink it all in. You can see Coachella, Palm Springs, and enough rolling hills to keep you satisfied for the next year up here.
If you came to Joshua Tree through the North Entrance (29 Palms) or the South Entrance (Hwy 10 / Phoenix), Arch Rock will probably be your first stop - but you can very well spend an entire day exploring the thousands of surrounding rocks circling out from this beautiful formation.
It doesn’t matter where you are in Joshua Tree; park your car, lay in the back, or throw down a suitcase when the sun goes down to catch some sights you’ll never forget. Joshua Tree is considered one of the greatest stargazing spots in the U.S. for a reason.
If you’re a California native and still haven’t been to this iconic National Park, you’ve got to drop what you’re doing this year and make the effort to. Really, the same goes for anyone else in the world - Joshua Tree is a must-see national treasure.