For the first trip of 2016 a group of friends and I spent three and a half days in Joshua Tree National Park. Joshua Tree National Park is about a two hour drive from the LA area.
My boyfriend recently purchased a GoPro and put together a little video of our adventures.
For lodging we rented an Airbnb in Joshua Tree which had an open and secluded atmosphere, despite being only a few miles from the main road (where we frequented the Super Walmart for food and supplies). It had a beautiful backyard with a fire pit and little hills we climbed for a nice view of the neighborhood.
Our first hike was Fortynine Palms Oasis. It’s a fairly easy hike, with no shade until you get to the oasis. We saw a bunch of chuckwallas throughout the trail. We snacked and rested at the oasis for a bit then headed back. The whole hike took about two hours.
After our hike we went to The Integratron in Landers for an hour long Sound Bath. The Integratron is made of wood and glue (no nails!) and is said to be an acoustically perfect structure. The Sound Baths offered at the Integratron are meditation-like sessions accompanied by tones from quartz bowls. It’s quite a relaxing place to rest your head and focus on the pure tones being played.
The designer of the Integratron, George Van Tassel, was a controversial UFO advocate who claimed the structure was capable of rejuvenation, anti-gravity, and time travel (of the aforementioned, I only experienced slight rejuvenation…maybe you’ll have a different experience).
At night we got the fire pit started for s’mores. The desert is gorgeous at night- for the first time in my life I was able to see multiple constellations. It also got cold, so don’t forget to bring a jacket/wear layers. Halfway through our s’mores session we discovered a kangaroo rat underneath our fire pit. He slowly crept out from time to time to nibble on our graham cracker crumbs.
On our third day we went to the park for some more hiking. We started off with Hidden Valley, which was an easy paced mile loop. Since it’s so easy (but very scenic), there’s a constant stream of people and kids on this trail.
Then we did Ryan Mountain. I’m by no means athletic or physically active, so this was a pretty tough hike. It’s 3 miles uphill (the elevation gain is 1070 feet). However, once I got to the top, I immediately forgot the torture I had just endured and was in awe of the perfect views that surrounded me. A bonus is that the hike back down is super easy compared so you end the hike in a good mood.
After Ryan Mountain we ate some pizza at Pie for the People then went back to the park to catch the sunset.
On our last day we went into town and stopped by the World Famous Crochet Museum. As you can see from the pictures below, you could literally spend minutes in there.
Simply put, Joshua Tree is amazing. The National Park is vast with numerous trails and options for exploring and the surrounding town is quaint and relaxing.