I’ve been intrigued by Joshua Tree since 2017 when I, on a whim, decided to stay a couple nights with my fellow mommy blogger friend Isobel Benesch. We stayed at the famous “Joshua Tree House” and explored the town with our boys. At the time we each had 2 boys under the age of 4. So we packed up our cutest outfits and hit the road to the high desert….just 2 idealistic moms trying to have fun with their babies while making life and traveling with kids look beautiful.
Mommy blogger confession: We made it look beautiful and it was. We made it look easy and it wasn’t. We looked like we got a lot of sleep but we didn’t. Was it worth it? YES! You can check out that first JT blog post HERE.
Since 2017 I’ve returned to Joshua Tree many times for getaways and healing excursions and I always have a unique and beautiful experience.
Joshua Tree recommendations from my last 2 trips:
- Glamping in Joshua Tree with my kids
- Father’s Day getaway with Sam and Ruby
There are plenty of wonderful activities to enjoy in Joshua Tree National Park. Here are some of the best things to do in Joshua Tree:
- Hiking: Explore the park’s diverse trails, ranging from easy walks to more challenging hikes. Don’t miss popular trails like Hidden Valley, Barker Dam, or Ryan Mountain for stunning vistas.
- Rock Climbing: Joshua Tree is a renowned destination for rock climbing. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, you’ll find a variety of routes and formations to challenge yourself and enjoy the unique landscape.
- Stargazing: The park is a designated Dark Sky Park, making it an ideal spot for stargazing. Take advantage of the clear desert skies and marvel at the breathtaking views of the stars above.
- Photography: The otherworldly rock formations and unique Joshua Trees provide fantastic opportunities for photography. Capture the beauty of the desert landscape during sunrise or sunset for the most striking images.
- Wildlife Watching: Keep an eye out for wildlife such as desert bighorn sheep, coyotes, roadrunners, and various reptiles. The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, making it an exciting place for nature enthusiasts.
- Visit Keys View: Drive to Keys View, a scenic overlook offering panoramic views of the Coachella Valley, San Andreas Fault, and even the Salton Sea on clear days. It’s a great spot to admire the vastness of the surrounding desert.
- Cultural Sites: Explore the historical and cultural sites within the park, such as the Keys Ranch, which provides insight into the region’s ranching history and the lives of early settlers.
- Camping: Joshua Tree offers several campgrounds where you can immerse yourself in the tranquility of the desert. Plan ahead and secure a campsite to experience the unique ambiance of the park at night.
- Nature Walks: Take leisurely walks along shorter trails or nature paths to appreciate the unique plant life, including the iconic Joshua Trees, cacti, and other desert plants.
- Enjoy the Silence: Take some time to disconnect from the busyness of everyday life and simply enjoy the peacefulness of the desert. Find a quiet spot, sit back, and embrace the serenity and stillness of Joshua Tree.
Remember to come prepared with plenty of water, sun protection, and appropriate clothing, as the desert environment can be harsh. Respect the park’s rules and leave no trace to help preserve this stunning natural landscape for future visitors.
Here’s a guide to help you prepare for a hike in Joshua Tree National Park that will ensure your safety for you and the fam:
- Research and Select a Trail: Start by researching the various hiking trails in Joshua Tree. Consider the length, difficulty level, and points of interest along each trail. Choose a trail that aligns with your fitness level and hiking experience.
- Check Park Information: Before your hike, check the official Joshua Tree National Park website or contact the visitor center for the latest park information, trail conditions, closures, and any alerts or warnings. It’s important to stay informed about weather conditions, wildlife activity, and any other factors that may affect your hike.
- Plan Your Route and Time: Determine the route you’ll be taking on the trail and estimate the time it will take to complete. Leave yourself ample time, especially if you’re hiking at a leisurely pace or planning to stop and take in the sights along the way. Be mindful of sunset times to ensure you finish the hike before dark.
- Pack the Essentials: Prepare a hiking backpack with the following essentials:
- Ample water: Carry at least one gallon of water per person per day, as the desert can be dehydrating.
- Food and snacks: Pack lightweight, high-energy snacks to fuel yourself during the hike.
- Navigation tools: Bring a map, compass, or GPS device to help you navigate the trails.
- Sun protection: Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the strong desert sun.
- Proper clothing: Dress in layers and wear breathable, moisture-wicking clothing suitable for the weather. Consider wearing a hat and sturdy hiking shoes or boots.
- First aid kit: Include basic first aid supplies such as bandages, antiseptic, and any necessary medications.
- Emergency supplies: Carry a whistle, flashlight, extra batteries, and a fully charged mobile phone for emergencies.
- Trail guide or informational materials: Carry a trail guidebook or print out trail descriptions and maps for reference.
- Inform Others: Let someone reliable know about your hiking plans, including the trail you’ll be on, estimated start and finish times, and when you expect to be back. This way, they can take appropriate action if you encounter any difficulties or fail to return on time.
- Hiking Safety: Adhere to the following safety guidelines:
- Stay on marked trails and follow any posted signs or regulations.
- Pace yourself and take regular breaks to rest and hydrate.
- Watch your step and be mindful of the desert’s uneven terrain, loose rocks, and cacti.
- Be aware of wildlife and give them space. Do not approach or feed them.
- Carry a small trash bag and pack out all your trash to help preserve the park’s beauty.
- Stay updated on weather conditions and be prepared for temperature changes.
- In case of an emergency, call 911 or contact the park’s emergency services.
Hiking in Joshua Tree can be physically demanding, especially in the desert environment. Be prepared, take necessary precautions, and respect the park’s rules and guidelines to have a safe and enjoyable hiking experience. I like to wear Ruby on my back with my Tula Toddler carrier and we usually do a simple hike where we can have easy access to our car. My favorite hikes with children are “The Boy Scout Trail” and “Hidden Valley Loop”.
Favorite places to rent:
- Anything by Sarah & Rich Combs – The creators and curators behind “The Joshua Tree House”. Click HERE to view all their properties in Joshua Tree and the High Desert.
- No Regrets Coyote
- Joshua Tree Acres
Favorite places to eat:
- Pappy & Harriet’s- Pioneer Town
- Red Dog Saloon- Pioneer Town
- Natural Sisters Café -Joshua Tree
- Joshua Tree Coffee Co. – Joshua Tree
- Sky High Pie- Joshua Tree
- Frontier Coffee- Yucca Valley
Favorite Places To Shop:
- The Mojave Flea
- Acme 5,
- The Station
- JT Trading Post
- The End
- Jenny’s Pirate Booty
- The Hey There Project
- The JT Rock Shop
We hope you enjoy Joshua Tree!
Save The Date: Women’s Divine Feminine Healing Retreat Joshua Tree September 28-October 1, 2023.
Email me at email@example.com to inquire. We have 6 spots left!
With hope and healing,