Joshua Tree National Park was the last in our itinerary before starting my city tour of Los Angeles. Located at the borders of California, it was a convenient and an oh-so-wonderful stopover for a drive back from Arizona. What’s special about this protected area is that it is a transition zone between two deserts: the Colorado to the west and Mojave desert to the east. In short, Joshua Tree National Park gets to enjoy the rich biological diversity of both. 🏜
Okay, this national park is huge. Sources say that it is actually bigger than Rhode Island (another favorite from my last east coast trip). Just a few miles from where we entered at Cottonwood Springs, I saw parked cars and asked Wil about it. They didn’t seem like they were just parked there and he said that the owners probably ran out of gasoline and decided to hitch a ride to get somewhere. I can’t imagine walking around here coz a drive around the entire park already takes 1.5 hour atleast and that’s without stopping! I mean, the anticipation of one attraction to the next one is already killing me because of the long drive. But really what I’m trying to say here is, make sure to fuel up before entering JT Park coz aside from lack of gasoline station; even data connection is very poor to nil here. ⛽
Starting from the Colorado Desert to the south means we got to enjoy the cholla cactus garden attraction first but not without getting acquainted with the ocotillo plant on the way. I must say, this cacti garden is incredible! I loved loved seeing it but I was careful too given the danger they present. What I didn’t consider was that this cholla cactus 🌵 (also called a teddy bear cactus) is also called jumping cactus. When we went back to the car, I was shocked to find out that a lot of them got stuck in the hem of my dress. 😭 Needless to say, the twirling and flipping of skirt for the photos was responsible for them. Lol. 😂
Having Momo 🐶on the car means our time was limited per attraction but we did explore the stopovers if possible especially to enjoy the massive boulders and organic rocks of this place. It was too bad that we didn’t have so much time for hiking but rest assured you won’t get bored with the available activities here in Joshua Tree especially if you’re the hiking and rock-climbing type. I heard that stargazing at night really makes you feel like the Milky Way galaxy is within your reach and let’s just say that I know better what to do better for a 3-day camping stay minimum here next time. Hehe. 🏕
After an utterly loooonnng drive, I finally got to see the park’s namesake. Seeing Joshua trees is actually an indicator that you’ve already reached the Mojave Desert. But even so, being surrounded by this yucca one couldn’t help but ask, “Where in the world am I”? With branches spreading upward as if doing supplication, early American Indian settlers named this tree after the biblical character Joshua. Full disclosure, I actually initially thought it was something related to the burning shrub story in the Bible. Lol. 😂 But I can’t emphasize enough the beauty of this tree. Spiky and grotesque. But still a beauty nonetheless.
If JT as one reviewer puts it is “one of Cali’s weaker national parks because the views and scenery are on a much smaller scale”, then I can’t imagine exploring the rest of this state has to offer. Aah, Cali I’m excited to go back. 🤗