Located in southeastern California near Palm Springs. Joshua Tree National Park is named for the unique yucca-like Joshua Trees, native to the park.
Joshua Trees are also found in areas of Arizona but the largest populations are located in the National Park where they have been protected since 1994. Part of the beauty of Joshua Tree National Park is the unique hot, dry desert setting blanketed with green, and very much alive, Joshua trees.
The park has two deserts, the Colorado desert (below 3,000 feet), and the Mohave with the Mohave being the higher and cooler of the two.
Outcroppings of large boulders are famous for rock climbing. Many hiking trails weave throughout the park many of which can be accessed from the various campgrounds.
Camping is also a favorite thing to do in the Joshua Tree National Park.
There are nine campgrounds within the park offering access for mostly tent or small RV camping. Some of the campgrounds require reservations while others are first come first served. There are campgrounds with fees and some free camping as well.
Our rig is too big for camping inside the park but while driving through we noticed how super clean and well kept it was. However, if we were smaller we would definitely stay within the park. For large rigs like ours, there is BLM (Bureau of Land Management) dry camping just outside the park.
Remember, BLM camping is not permitted within 300 feet of the roads.
We enjoyed nice weather during our visit but the temperatures were definitely starting to warm up for summer.
While comfortable in the spring and fall, summer temperatures get very hot during the day, over 100 °, but remain cooler at night. If you have ever been to the desert in the summer you know it gets hot!
It was to hot for us to hike any trails and it was only MAY. Since Maggie wasn’t allowed on the hiking trails as dogs are only allowed in parking lots and on sidewalks. Although, I wish dogs could go on more trails in The National Parks.
However, I understand animal safety is the utmost concern. We pretty much stayed in the truck and enjoyed a beautiful drive up to Keys View and the beautiful views of Coachella Valley where you can see the Salton Sea in the distance, the San Andreas Fault, Santa Rosa Mountains, and the city of Palm Springs.
We also visited the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument located in southern California. This area includes portions of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountain ranges, mountain backcountry wilderness areas, state parks & trails for hiking. If you really want to enjoy southeastern California I recommend not going in the summer. 🙂