North America

The Magic of Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree, California offers a quiet, groovy, spartan aesthetic of beauty with its jaw-dropping national park, cool small town and a lot of local flavor.

Eclectic, mystical and calming, Joshua Tree is sure to renew any spirit after a few days here.

Joshua Tree National Park

When describing Joshua Tree National Park, surreal comes the closest to capturing the sheer oddness of this desert area less than three hours from Los Angeles. Enormous stacks of boulders and the twisting, sculptural forms of the park’s namesake trees (actually giant agaves) create a landscape like nothing else on Earth. This surprising park has a way of changing perceptions of just what a desert can be and draws an eclectic group of visitors, from rock climbers eager to test their skills on Joshua Tree’s famous formations to seekers of silence and solitude. Spreading across 1,234 square miles (nearly 800,000 acres), Joshua Tree is the eighth largest national park in the Lower 48.

Joshua Tree is less than three hours from both Los Angeles and San Diego. The closest major airport with commercial flights is about an hour south in Palm Springs. The nearest entrances to the main part of the park are off State Highway 62 near the towns of Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms. There’s also an entrance off Interstate 10 about 30 minutes southeast of Indio that leads to the park’s more remote southern section. It will be hot and dry so come well prepared!!

See

After you hike and take a million beautiful pictures, try a sound bath at the Integratron or catch a movie at Smith’s Ranch Drive-In

Stay

If you want to stay overnight, or a few days, there are a lot of unique places to stay and enjoy the spectacular starry nights. There is Mojave Sands Motel, or try something different like an airstream, or camp/glamp, or cool Airbnb house like The Joshua Tree House or Dome in the Desert

Eat

Joshua Tree Coffee CompanyJT Country KitchenThe Natural Sisters CafeCrossroads CafePie for the People

Or for a nearby excursion, and a rather special dining experience, head over to Pappy + Harriet’s in nearby Pioneertown – the Old-West movie set

Author: Carrie Mitchell

Carrie A. Mitchell is the founder of L’Aventure Travel, the host of the Suitcase Sojourn Podcast, and author of the children’s travel book “To Be We”. Carrie is a global travel and hospitality expert who works with publications, brands and entertainment outlets on a number of travel related projects, from marketing consulting to editorial coverage to hosting & producing content for the web, TV and podcasts. She is always seeking to learn from people and places around the world, and share through her cultural exploration (40+ countries and counting)