Who can resist the otherworldly charm that is Joshua Tree?
Whether its the hypnotically peaceful sunrises, the glowingly surreal sunsets or the palpable deep silence that surrounds you as you take in the starry night skies, the high desert of Joshua Tree will seep into you like no other place can.
It makes no difference if you're taking a fun group trip with friends, a chill and sexy weekend away with your partner or having a solo-expedition on your own, the sun-washed landscape of Joshua Tree will set the table for a powerfully grounding and yet deeply emotive and experience. One that will leave you feeling recharged, renewed and profoundly nourished.
Even if you never leave your airbnb, campsite or van, I would imagine it would still be difficult to have a bad time here, but below is my recipe for the perfect hideaway experience in the high desert of Joshua Tree.
WHERE TO STAY
There are so many gorgeous Airbnb options in Joshua Tree and the surrounding desert towns that all have their pros and cons. It would be difficult to parse through them all here, but I will say that prioritizing something close to the Park is ideal and what's even more ideal is something close to the park that also happens to have a heated pool to keep you warm on those chilly starry nights, staring up at the sky; a fire pit for conversation over wine; and a cozy well appointed interior for a restful night's sleep after the days explorations.
Overlook Joshua Tree, is exactly that. It checks all the right boxes. Its well located, about ten minutes from the Park's main entry; it has the perfect plunge pool and hot tub ideal for star gazing; a relaxed cozy interior; desert views to die for; and yet still feels a world away from everything. It also just happens to be the perfect spot for a sunset or a sunrise in my opinion.
The peaceful grounds of the Overlook Joshua Tree will have you reluctant to leave, especially if you opt for a snooze in the hammock.
The sunrises and sunsets at Overlook Joshua Tree are not to be missed. In the morning, the eerily dark and soft moonlit skies outline the jagged edges of the Joshua Trees and set the stage for the fiery sunbursts to pour into the surrounding canyons, making them sing as the sunshine envelopes you. And in the evening the skies melt into the landscape making the surrounding cacti glow with the softest muted purples and blues enticing the coyotes to serenade you as the stars come to life. Its pure magic.
WHERE TO HIKE
With 795,156 acres of wild land, you can spend days in Joshua Tree and still not see all that the park has to offer. Below are some of my favorite trails that run the range of quick to all-day affairs:
Ryan Mountain A fairly simple 3 mile out and back trail with great views. I would prioritize this one in the AM as the sun can get quite cruel by mid-day.
Hidden Valley Trail More of a nature walk than a hike, but its a gorgeous spot to take in all the evening splendor of Joshua Tree and an amazing spot for a sunset. (Roughly about a mile out and back).
Black Rock Canyon Panorama Loop A moderate hike (in length not in elevation) at 6.3 miles. A beautiful way to experience the wildness of Joshua Tree.
Cholla Cactus Garden Loop. More of a walk than a hike at only a .25 mile loop, but a gorgeous way to catch a sunrise or sunset in the park.
WHERE TO EAT/DRINK
In my opinion there is no better way to end a long day of hiking than by throwing together a big, bright, colorful salad and firing up the grill, but for those days when are looking for something involving the least effort possible, the options below are a close second to cooking something on an open flame:
Joshua Tree Saloon - Close to the Park's entry and a perfect spot for a post-hike beer.
Pappy & Harriet's - Great for evening cocktails and some live music with a larger group.
Fontier Cafe - Great casual little cafe for salads and sandwiches and a kombucha (or a beer)
Natural Sisters Cafe - Organic healthy food and juices good to fuel you up any time of day.
Roadrunnder Grab & Go - Close to the Park's main entrance and ideal for grabbing a healthier option as you adventure around the park.
WHERE TO SHOP
The desert esthetic is loved by many and for good reason. The natural tones, colors and fibers are calming and are present in all of the desert-inspired design elements. If you want to take a touch of desert simplicity with you into your home or wardrobe, below are a few of my favorite shops:
Happy Exploring xo