joshua tree

Joshua Tree National Park

joshua tree national park

Happy Wednesday! Yesterday in my Palm Springs Travel Guide, I mentioned one of our favorite things to do was visit Joshua Tree National Park (a short hour away). So today, I wanted to take some time to properly dive into the best way to see this whimsical wonder.

From the moment you arrive in Joshua Tree National Park, you'll feel as if you've transformed into an alternate Dr. Suess-esque universe. We wanted to take it all in as best we could, also realizing that you will need to do some driving in order to see it all (it's over 794,00 acres!) We decided the best way to do that was renting a convertible: unobstructed views while still covering lots of ground. 

joshua tree national park

There are so many beautiful + unique creations to see, so let's discuss your best route. 

If you take the 10 east from Palm Springs, just off exit 168 you'll find yourself at the Cottonwood Visitor Center. Starting here, we got a map and entered the park. First stop? Cholla Cactus Garden. 

The Cholla Cactus Garden is truly one-of-a-kind. While these cacti may be nicknamed the teddy bear cactus, I can assure you're they're not as cute as they appear. They are comprised of small ball-like pieces that are covered in spikes and will grab on your skin at the slightest touch. How do I know? My friend Danica had one stuck to her shoe and while making an attempt to kick it off, accidentally kicked it onto my leg. This sucker was STUCK and took Danica's agile, jewelry-making fingers several minutes to get out of my leg (while I was crying like a small child). In hindsight, we can laugh about it- but consider yourself warned that these guys mean business. Luckily I managed to get a picture before "the incident" but still- learn from my mistake and don't wear a dress when you go...

A few photos, mild-breakdowns and Band Aids later, we left Cholla Cactus Garden and proceeded to the next stop: Jumbo Rocks. This popular campground area is home to large boulders, desert scrub and miniature canyons. We had so much fun climbing the rocks, (there are tons of them) taking pictures and exploring. 

After Jumbo Rocks we hopped back in the car to keep driving, stopping for some more sights along the way.

Finally, we started seeing a plethora of the world-renown Joshua Trees, and they were awesome. They were everywhere for our last 15-20 minutes of the drive before we exited out of the West Entrance Station (taking 62 back to Palm Springs, which makes for a shorter route home). I loved driving this route because it kind of let the Joshua Trees be the grand finale of the park tour. 

Whatever route you take and whatever car you're in, you're bound to be in awe over all the unique natural beauty this park possesses. Joshua Tree was a highlight of our trip and someplace I hope you take the time to visit- whether during a Palm Springs getaway or even on it's own!


Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more adventures!



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