Joshua Tree National Park, California

When I Went: Last weekend of April

Was That the Best Time of Year to Go? I think spring is the best time to visit Joshua Tree because the weather isn’t too hot yet (Joshua Tree is basically a desert).

Why I Went There: I had never been there and had always wanted to go there after hearing stories about it–starting with the U2 album–when I was growing up.

Who Went With Me? I went with a friend from college who was living in Los Angeles & had been there several times rock climbing.

We Stayed Here: I stayed with my friend in L.A.

You Won’t Want to Miss: I would dress in very comfortable active clothing and shoes.  I also would pack plenty of drinks and snacks because there is literally nothing for several miles once you’re within the national park. First time visitors should set aside some time prior to speak with the park rangers at the visitor center. They were very helpful in mapping out which stopping points to visit based on time restraints and activity level.

Eat Here: Pack your own for a picnic. The restaurant options are extremely limited (fast food).

Play Here: I thoroughly enjoyed the hiking and the bouldering throughout the park.

If I Went Again: I definitely would want to camp out there–and I never want to camp. We just spent the day there and there wasn’t enough time to do everything we wanted. Plus, my friend said that the view of the stars at Joshua Tree is breathtaking.

How Did You Get There From Dallas? I drove from Dallas to L.A. over several days, hitting Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and the Grand Canyon along the way.

Other Tips For Fellow Travelers: Set aside more time if you can because there is more to see and do in this park if you like nature.

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