Joshua Tree for a weekend
If you want to get away from the city, Joshua Tree is the perfect getaway if you live in SoCal. The park, located in the Mojave Desert not too far from Palm Springs, is a great retreat location in Fall and Spring until Mid May. It does get too hot during summer time.
You can camp inside of the park as they offer many camping grounds or stay at a cabin or at the Joshua Tree Inn, in Yucca Valley, 1 mile away from the park. The closer to the park, the better you will be able to admire the sunset and the stars at night. The best way to found cabins is to go to Airbnb, they offer so many great choices but they best cabins sell out very fast.
I entered the park from Yucca valley. Make sure to stop at the visitor’s center to collect your national park stamp and take a map of the park.
Start you day early, maybe around 9am with the most strenuous hike. Ryan Mountain is a great 3 miles hike that allows you, once at the 5,458-foot summit, to have a beautiful view if the vast park. You can then discover the park with different short trails. The Arch Rock trail, the Skull Rock trail, the Barker Dam Trail and the Chella Cactus Garden will allow you to discover different aspect of the park. Make sure to stop at the Key’s View, also called inspiration point, from where you can see the San Andreas Fault, Mt. San Jacinto and Coachella Valley. The Park is also known for its rock climbing spots like Hidden Valley Trail.
The Park is vast so you might to explore the Hidden Valley to Skull Rock side in one day and the Cottonwood Spring side of the park the next day .