Even though (supposedly) the name Joshua Tree was given to this desert get-away by a group of Mormons who crossed the Mojave in the 19th century, this probably isn’t a place you’ll find Mitt Romney.   Embrace your inner hippie and head 140 miles east of Los Angeles, for a park that encompasses nearly 800,000 acres of the Mojave and Colorado.


There are many campgrounds within the park, but they fill up quickly on the weekends.  You can reserve a spot in advance through the National Park Service Reservation System. Costs are totally reasonable ($5-10 per night) and the campgrounds are open year round.

If you don’t feel like camping, one of the closest towns is Twentynine Palms, CA.  It doesn’t sound like a real place, but it has real character.  The town has multiple murals painted on sides of buildings that showcase the history and personalities of its lifers. Check out Highway 62 between Smoketree Ave and Yucca Ave.

The 29 Palms Inn is quirky and rustic, built in 1928 on a beautiful California fan palm oasis in the Southern California high desert. It is an old fashioned collection of adobe bungalows and framed cottages.

Don’t expect swanky and you will leave pleased.

Must sees/must do: 

Hike! There are so many trail options ranging from moderate to strenuous, from three miles to sixteen.  The front desk at your hotel will have plenty information. The National Park Service as well, provides plenty of information for whatever your hiking shoes fancy.

And you will absolutely want to visit the Giant Rock.  Right?

Does this sound lovely enough?  It doesn’t even really matter what you do! There is so much air to breath in.  Just let it guide you where ever.  That’s the point of this little mini-vacation.

-Arianna Schioldager

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