Something about the desert attracts a certain kind of person to stay. That draw appeals to those who like to visit as well. A wild landscape, a sky full of stars and dust on your boots is one of the many appeals. Good for the novice or the hard core adventurer, smiles and stories abound in Joshua Tree. Photography, star-gazing, hiking, rock-climbing, off-roading, nature trails and bird-watching are among the activities to occupy your time with. If you want tolerable temperatures, come in the late fall, winter or early spring.
Easy Hikes in Joshua Tree
- Cholla Cactus Garden-This easy loop showcases a concentrated population of Cholla Cacti.
- Hidden Valley- This 1 mile loop is a rock-enclosed valley with Joshua Trees. There are also plenty of picnic tables near the parking lot.
- Barker Dam-Constructed by cattleman, this 1.3 mile loop leads you to the dam which can be sparse of water due to the drought but the area is green and it attracts wildlife like bighorn sheep. Go to the left at the start of the trail and look for the small marker indicating Native American Petroglyphs. It’s worth a stop.
- Arch Rock- White Tank Campground, opposite site 9 is the easy loop trail that takes you by the natural arch. Go right at the start of the loop, it’s not too far in.
- Keys View has panoramic views of the Coachella Valley, the San Andreas Fault, and the high peaks of San Jacinto and San Gorgonio. This is a short walk from the parking lot and a great place to catch sunrise or sunset.
- Hall of Horrors- There is plenty of places to rock-climb here with many rocks named after horror flicks. It’s also a great place for a stroll through the giant rocks and Joshua Trees.
- Crossroads-This café has a hippy yet modern vibe with lots of vegetarian options. Go for breakfast.
- Pappy & Harriet’s- This roadhouse in Pioneertown is vibrant with a mix of biker, tourist, hipster and bohemian alike. Strong drinks, great food and epic live music. Check the calendar for upcoming artists. Make a reservation on weekends, the wait can be 2 hours plus. Check out the Western movie set that now houses small shops located behind the parking lot.
- Bringing glamping to mirage status, both Rosa Muerta and Acido Dorado will make you one with the desert. Right out of an architectural dream these pretty vacant properties are the perfect mix of design, openness and environment. Turn the lights out and enjoy the salt water hot tub by fire light as you listen to distant coyote calls and take in the expansive star filled sky. No television necessary.