If you’re visiting Southern California or looking to plan a trip, be sure to add Joshua Tree to your list! About a 2 hour scenic ride from Los Angeles or an hour from Palm Springs, this park is the perfect spot for hiking, camping, and nature watching. Granted, going into this kind of environment you’re bound to see something cool, but everything about this spot is so aesthetically pleasing.
Since you are legitimately in the middle of the desert, timing is everything when visiting. Spring (March-May) and Fall (October to November) are the most adequate times to visit. During the summer months it is simply too hot to do anything other than drive through the park and occasionally stop for pictures. The drive beginning at the west gate, start to finish without stopping, runs about 2 hours.
Before entering the park, stopping at the visitors welcome center is highly encouraged. There is a guide available to answer questions and educate you on the trails, wildlife, and safety protocols. Once you enter the park, cell phone reception is minimal and you’re pretty much on your own to follow the map. There are numerous spots to pull off, hiking trails, cool rock formations, as well as a few camping spots. Be sure to do your own research before heading out, but this is a super cool & beautiful spot to visit!