It’s been one year since I explored this lovely national park. Boy, do I miss it! I’ve also been in a bit of a hiking slump (I think it’s probably the winter weather?), so I thought I would share some pictures of this trip to inspire me, and inspire you to get out and explore!
First off, we went during my spring break vacation. This turned out okay, but it was so crowded that we almost didn’t find a campsite! Next time I go, I’m definitely booking a campsite or staying in backcountry.
Once we found a campsite, we immediately started exploring! I fell in love with the desert landscape. It was weird to me at first, just because I love the forest, but the desert is beautiful in its own way. My favorite part was the sharp contrast of the deep blue sky with the tan rocks. Pictures do not do it justice!
We were so excited to be done with the six hour drive and hike all around. We could not get over the beautiful views and all of the rocks! This is truly a beautiful park.
There are so many areas to explore in this park. One thing to point out is that is extremely accommodating to all levels of outdoorsy folks — there’s something for everyone! We were surprised to see day trippers in fashionable footwear instead of hiking boots; but then we would see tons of rock climbers and backpackers.
And then it didn’t even matter if you wanted to hike, camp, climb, or just sit around. The views were still incredible.
Hopefully that got you inspired to go outside!!
From our week camping out in the desert, I wanted to give some helpful hints. Honestly, we barely researched before going and we still made it out alive. So it’s fine if you want to do your own thing because you will still survive, but there’s some things I wish I knew about desert camping.
Joshua Tree had different weather than I was expecting. Because we went in spring, it wasn’t 90 degrees everyday, but it still go up to about 75 or 80. At night, though, it got cold and windy! I definitely didn’t bring enough layers for some nights and ended up freezing. Also, because we went during spring break, we weren’t able to get firewood because it sold out! So I would recommend bringing firewood before you get to the nearest town because there’s a chance it will be sold out.
Now, onto what I learned from this trip.
First off, a no-brainer, but water is your literal friend. Joshua Tree recommends 2 gallons of water per person per day that you’re there. Do not discount this. We probably chugged about 2 gallons of water a day with all of the activities we were doing. Even though it was spring time and not incredibly hot, it was still warm enough. Water is your friend!
Second, choose a pair of shoes you feel comfortable enough in. We were averaging about 12 miles a day. If I was walking in just athletic shoes, my feet would have been covered in blisters. My hiking boots saved my feet. One thing I didn’t do, and wish I did, is buy a couple of pairs of hiking socks. By the end of the day, my feet were always tired. My friend’s feet, who had hiking socks, did not have the same reaction. Hiking socks sometimes seem overrated, but trust me, they are not. After this trip, I bought a pair of socks, and I will never go back.
Third, leave room for playing on the rocks! For some reason, whenever I see rocks I just want to climb them. Joshua Tree is known for world class rock climbing for a reason. It was honestly so much fun to just see how far I could get up before actually needing gear. No matter how old you are, just climb the damn rocks. You’ll regret it if you don’t. Plus you get amazing views!
Lastly, go with people you love. The desert has no cell reception, no wifi, and you’re at least 8 miles away from civilization. If you don’t like the people you’re with, you will not be able to escape them. So go with people that you love to talk to and that share similar interests as you.
I went with my best friend from my hometown that I rarely see. So this trip was perfect for catching up. We hiked the whole time, explored everything that we could, and ate like 12 cookies a day. It was the best week.
So, if you have time to go to Joshua Tree, don’t hesitate. Just go!