Travel Diary: Joshua Tree National Park

I’ll let you in on a little secret—all this time I thought the Joshua tree was anything like the Baobabs until I saw not one, but an entire desert full of them. On our 50-mile drive from the Palm Springs Art Museum to the Joshua Tree National Park, Roan and I have been trying to guess what the Joshua tree looks like. In my head, I imagined a towering-heights-kind-of-tree. You know, something that can be seen from a distance, but boy, was I wrong. We were actually passing several of them on our way to the park that day!

Roan and I were surprised to see that Joshua trees dominated the vast desert. It also boasts some geological display of boulder fields, which are popular to rock climbing enthusiasts. We literally stopped in the middle of the desert to appreciate its beauty, and attempted to climb one of the boulder piles. While we were busy climbing, there was an amateur photo shoot going on on the other side, which we found slightly funny.

Besides rock climbing, the park offers several other activities such as hiking in one of its nature trails, attending a ranger-led activity like a patio talk, guided walk, or evening program. It is open 24 hours, which makes it possible to spend the night in one of their campgrounds. As long as you have the right gear, experience and fitness level, you’ll be fine. Exploring a back-country road is conducive for those with mountain bikes or high-clearance vehicles to experience parts of the park that most visitors never see.

Two hours before the sun set, Roan and I decided to call it a day. We went to have dinner at Applebee’s, and we may or may not have devoured our food as soon as they were served. The drive back to San Diego took a little over two hours, but it was all worth it.

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