Joshua Tree National Park
After 2.5 weeks on the road, our stop in Phoenix was a restful one filled with laundry, a stomach bug courtesy of my niece, and a lot of napping. We didn’t really explore Phoenix (since I’m there every few months) other than finding a new salad place. We can be so exciting some times
We packed up Lucy the Jucy and drove the 4 hours to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. We arrived at the southern Cottonwood Entrance, showed our National Park Pass for admittance, grabbed a newspaper guide, and took the obligatory photo of the Joshua Tree National Park sign.
The entrance where we came in was pretty horrible. After 20 miles of driving through part of Joshua Tree, BC and I were discussing how not pretty the surroundings were. It was weird.
We were heading to Jumbo Rocks Campground near Skull Rock. The campground was really awesome. It was crowded here though and we happened to get a spot between a family with a lot of grumpy kids and a church group made up of 50 sixth graders. Not exactly our most peaceful night for sure.
We ended up leaving Joshua Tree for a bit and hitting a nearby Walmart to re-up our wood and dinner supplies. I usually am not a big Walmart fan but I had myself a good time people watching (and buying wine).
But the sunset made up for it.
In the morning we hiked from our campground spot to Skull Rock. Actually we walked right by Skull Rock and got semi-lost wondering where it could be. Then we saw everyone else taking pictures where were already walked by. It was an easy hike but definitely keep your eye out for the skull or you will walk right by it too! (We also got lost on the Hidden Valley Hike- we were not at our best directionally!)
There were a few other hiking trails we did but my favorite part of the whole Joshua Tree experience was the field of Cholla Cacti in the Cholla Cactus Garden right off the main road.
The walk through the garden was about a 1/2 mile and very neat. Highly recommended to make Cholla Cactus Garden a stop in Joshua Tree.
Joshua Trees were only in about half the park. I liked the Cholla Cacti better but they were still cool if you aren’t from this part of the country and see them all the time.
Overall, I’m glad we went to Joshua Tree but if you are short on time, this is one National Park you can skip. We are off to Sequoia National Park next. It is a long drive from Joshua Tree but Lucy the Jucy can get the job done.
Reader Question: Are you a Walmart fan? Personally I prefer Target but after days in the wilderness, I’ll take anything!