Nestled comfortably between Los Angeles and Phoenix, Joshua Tree National Park is truly a spectacle of the Western United States. Upon arrival, you're greeted with eclectic foliage, massive rock structures and an expansive biodiversity. Within the park's massive 800,000 acres visitors enjoy camping, hiking, climbing, photography, and incredible scenery.
Barker Dam Trail
How's the heat? If you're looking for a quick hike to complete before the heat arrives, check out the Barker Dam Trail. It's 1.1 miles and takes about an hour, depending on your pace. It has a ton of different scenes and landscapes as well as some great historical moments. You can see an old water tank built by early cattle ranchers (pretty cool) and, off the trail after the dam, a cave-like structure with petroglyphs (very cool).
Cholla Cactus Garden
Get your cameras ready! The Cholla Cactus Garden loop trail is just under 1/2 a mile but contains an abundance of great photography shots. A windy trail takes you through an incredible display of the cholla cactus. The park suggests close toed shoes and I would have to second that suggestion. Removing cactus barbs from your body takes longer than the hike.
As you can imagine, Joshua Tree National Park is high on the list for us Trekkers. When a good night sleep is a duffel bag away, the options are truly endless! I'm personally more of a first come, first served type of camper as I can never trust myself to make reservations in time. If the universe smiles on my plans, I head for Hidden Valley Campground. It has some great rocks for bouldering and a wonderful ambience.
In terms of reservation camping, Jumbo Rocks is a crowd favorite. It has a small amphitheater (open year round) and of course, massive rocks to explore! Be sure to check out a few options as you pick your site (if you have time). There are lots of hidden gems in Joshua Tree National Park.
Grab your Trekroll and hit the road. The world might be closed down, but the parks are open!
Travel Far, Sleep Great.