Visiting Joshua Tree National Park

Hands down, up and all around I would choose to visit Joshua Tree National Park over Death Valley any day. Any ol’ day as it is so much more of what I expect a national park to be. Beautiful natural landscape, many hiking trails and no five star hotels or five dollar cups of coffee.

Death Valley was cool, but so much of it seemed like a money-making scam and much of it privatized (rich folks using public lands to get richer).

Related post: Driving Through Death Valley – Nevada to California.

Visiting Joshua Tree National Park
A Calm Before a Crazy Wind Storm on our Visit During Thanksgiving
Don’t Miss the Moon!

A bit erie at first but then pretty dang cool and a great photo shoot for someone (I had no camera on me). What am I blabbing on about? The moon setting over the town of Joshua Tree like it was a huge white round billboard with no lettering.

I drove at night at around 2 a.m. from Desert View Conservation Area to Palm Springs and it was a full moon set so low it seemed to sit on top of the buildings up ahead as I drove down the highway, like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

The photograph of the moon above is at Desert View.

A few nights before it was all starry skies and many shooting stars, like mini, white streaks of bottle rockets going off every two minutes. We wanted to search for the Milky Way but a storm hit and it was all clouds and crazy winds.

The Town of Joshua Tree
All Natural Stew For Dogs and Other Treats at the Farmer's Market in Joshua Tree
All Natural Stew For Dogs and Other Treats at the Farmer’s Market in Joshua Tree

There is a 24 hour Mexican restaurant near the turn off to the Visitor’s Center and road to the park entrance. Yummy breakfast burritos and enchiladas.

Just ask Buster (now known as “aka Pedro”). He got a hold of my shredded beef enchilada dinner when I stepped out of the car for a miniute. One minute, maybe two! Back in the jeep, his facial expression gave away nothing (he seemed to even be standing in the same exact spot as when I left the car) but when I opened up the container to eat… nada.

Not even a drip of sauce.

Afternoon Hike in the Park and Clouds a Preview of the Storm To Come
Afternoon Hike in the Park and Clouds a Preview of the Storm To Come

There is a natural health food store, a couple of gas station mini-marts, a Thai restaurant (pricey), a couple cafes and a WalMart up the road 10 minutes in Yucca.

The town also has a laundry mat and weekly farmer’s market with fresh produce, canned goods and a selection of other locally-made items.

A good article with detailed information on all of the campsites is Where Should I Camp in Joshua Tree.

Photographs by Molly and Blake McHugh, all rights reserved.

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