Joshua Tree for the Weekend: Are we on another planet?
Updated: Nov 8, 2019
Is it worth visiting Joshua Tree? Yes! We weren't quite sure what to expect when heading to Joshua Tree, but it really is so unique - in a super interesting way.
Joshua Tree, a quirky and unique national park, with an almost eerie vibe. That being said, beautiful in its own special way - ideal for a long weekend adventure.
Palm Springs is the closest airport, but can be pretty expensive to fly into. We ended up flying to Ontario airport (ONT), which isn't too bad of a drive to Joshua Tree
Sunset is definitely the best time in the park - make sure to be there then!
Temperatures change pretty rapidly - so bring layers (i.e., super hot in day time and we even got snow at night, not a common occurrence per the locals)
We made a stop in Palm Springs on the way out - always a fun place to check out if you have the time
Itinerary - Go down, pick a few different hikes that sound appealing to you and have a relaxing, fun weekend
Now for the real details!
Where to stay?
Lots of people camp, though that's not really our thing - so the alternative is a ton of cool options in the town, on Airbnb or Hicksville Trailer Palace, that seemed great that was booked up by the time we decided to go
What to do?
Hike, hike and more hike. Though all the ones we did were quite short - so you can fit a bunch in. Several were the Ryan Mountain Trail, Hidden Valley Nature Trail, Arch Rock, Skull Rock,
Go see the Cholla Cactus Garden - not a far drive and an interesting sight to see with cacti instead of Joshua Trees
If you want to go to a different part of the park - a nice, moderate hike is the Panorama Loop trail. Longer and a varied feel from the main area
We also checked out this old western Pioneertown which, though not overwhelming, was a nice stop and fun change of scenery!
Where to eat / drink?
For dinner: We went to a hoppin' pizza place one night (read: wait was very long) - Pie for the People - which did the trick for us. There aren't thaaaat many places, so there seems to be a wait in most.
The other night we went to Joshua Tree Saloon - a dive bar vibe (with a lot of city clientele)
For brunch/lunch, there are a bunch of options - though our favorite was Frontier Cafe
Would you recommend to your friend / family? Yes, quite a different place and worth a see
Would you return? No, probably not - at least for a while. Just a place to see once in a lifetime
Favorites to speak of:
Lodging: Our place was fine, but we would definitely check out Hicksville if we went again
Activity: Sight-seeing at sunset. A really great lighting for the uniqueness of the park
Eating/Drinking: Again, nothing in particular here - but some good brunch spots