Joshua Tree National Park is a wildlife refuge with close to 800,000 acres of protected environment and unspoiled desert scenery only a one hour drive from Palm Springs.
It’s pretty breathtaking and I’m not sure the pictures do it justice.
Two factors make the park special; the eerie, spiky Joshua trees which grow densely in the western half, and the extensive outcrops of huge granite boulders, up to 100 feet high, which line the mountain ranges scattered over the whole area.
Other prime attractions are six oases where California fan palm trees grow in their natural surroundings, all reachable by trail. This is not a place just to drive through, instead visitors should explore for a while away from the roads – climb some rocks or walk amongst the trees and cacti, but most of all spend a night here and watch the sun set. It was quite windy and cold a few days ago when three of us had a picnic lunch and enjoyed exploring the area.
The Joshuas are especially atmospheric and spooky at dusk, when their stark, irregular outlines become quite menacing.The iconic Joshua tree, the namesake of the California park, is actually a member of the lily family. Interesting since it looks nothing like a lily.
Such a beautiful sight. Have you been?
Photos: d. king