View Full Version : Joshua Tree Nat'l Park -- anyone pretty familiar with it?

02-07-2007, 01:19 PM
Hi y'all! -- we're coming in on Thursday and want to spend the aft/eve exploring Joshua Tree (driving/stopping as desired). Not a lot of time, I know, but we want to see a little of it

We'll be making a loop from Indio. Would it be better to loop from the South entrance up to the north, or North to South? And approximately how long is the drive bisecting the park?

Thanks for any advice. I wish we could spend a week exploring the park but those pesky music acts will interfere. :)

(Omigosh... a cat smiley... freakin A! :cat LOL)

02-07-2007, 02:25 PM
drive the whole thing, its beautiful and a nice drive, much cooler since it's the higher desert. Check out...

Key View (see the whole valley)
Jumbo Rocks (fun trails)
and Cholla Cactus (freaky)

White Tank/Arch Rock area is a nice hike too.

Joshua Tree Website: http://www.nps.gov/jotr/

02-07-2007, 06:07 PM
you can go see where the manager of gram parsons cremated his body, and then take hits of lsd and look for ufo's, just like gram.

02-07-2007, 06:51 PM
Hi churro (man I get so hungry every time I see you post) -- thanks for the recommendations. We're going to try to see as much as possible.

Malo, we'll look for UFOs, I assure you, my husband is a bit of a 'Believer'. :) (I opened the car trunk once to find some 50-odd UFO books.. I just quietly closed it and got in the car. The guy's a bit odd lol.) The LSD is just too much trouble at my advanced age though. ;)

02-07-2007, 08:46 PM
The northern part of the park is much more scenic then the southern part. So if you have time, i recommend driving from the south to the north; this way the park will become more spectacular as you go from low desert to high desert (south to north). However, if you are pressed for time, take the interstate directly to the northern entrance and see as much as you can of that part of the park.
If you have time, get out and do a little bit of hiking. There are some short trails that are very easy walking trails.

02-10-2007, 01:59 AM
Hey grungy, thanks for that input. That quite helps! We are *absolutely* planning on a bit of hiking. We may have to try the northern end first, I guess it depends on traffic that day. I'm hoping for a brisk drive to the hotel, then to the park.

There may be some early a.m. time on Monday to do a few more hours also.

(Man I love state/national parks! -- just went geocaching in the cold and dank yesterday (Friday) afternoon at Lake Whitney SP in Texas -- bats, and groups of whitetail deer were everywhere. The lake looked huge and lovely at dusk.)

Thanks again for the responses from all. If anyone has any other pearls of wisdom/stories of their experiences, they're welcome here, or email/pm me. :)

02-10-2007, 08:11 AM
I lived in JT for ten years, and have climbed all over the park, so I know it pretty well. If you enter the park from the entrance near Indio (going from south to north), you'll be talking at least 90 minutes just in driving time. To make the most of your time, I'd skip the north end of the park -- near 29 Palms -- unless you have a burning desire to go to the visitor's center. The west end of the park is really where it's at. So enter from the south, and stay on that road -- you'll have a nice elevation gain and some spectacular views of the lower desert. You'll pass White Tank, which is nice for a quick look. When you come to a fork in the road past White Tank, head west. I'm sure there'll be a sign there, probably labelled for Jumbo Rocks, and maybe the West Entrance. From there, you can stop and hike and sightsee to your heart's content. A few of my favorite spots:

Barker Dam (a nice loop trail - I've seen bighorn sheep back here after it's rained, and if you get a guidebook there are some Native American petroglyphs to be found)

Hidden Valley (NOT Hidden Valley Campground - it's across the road from the campground; a nice trail here, too)

Keys View (great panorama of the lower desert when smog doesn't interfere; great place to be at sunset)

Lost Horse (some of the most spectacular rock formations in the park)

Ryan Mountain (a longer, more strenuous hike, but well worth the effort)

There are places to pull off throughout the park, and no shortage of things to see. JTNP is the only thing I miss about that area. Anyway, you can exit through the west station, and that road will take you straight into the town of Joshua Tree. Hang a left onto Highway 62, and stay on it until it runs into the 10. If you're a coffee drinker, stop at the Water Canyon Coffee Co. as you drive through Yucca Valley. It's on the right side of the highway - you can't miss it. PM me if you have any other questions -- for ten years I practically spent more time in the park than I did in my house, so I can probably answer any of your questions.

02-15-2007, 04:24 PM
Hey Rob, that's fabulous info, thanks! I ordered a park map from the park store and I've been poring over it (did I mention I love parks? LOL). I'm integrating all the suggestions/info for our Thursday assault on the desert. :)

03-12-2007, 05:54 PM
joshua tree is a great place but if your going to stay there for the festival its not very close at all. And if your at the Festival you wont be there at sunset.. just know its not close to the festival at all.

03-12-2007, 05:59 PM
take a snake-bite kit

03-13-2007, 09:22 PM
I'm assuming the tree on the inner sleeve of the U2 Joshua Tree is still, undisclosed?

03-13-2007, 09:26 PM
I'm assuming the tree on the inner sleeve of the U2 Joshua Tree is still, undisclosed?

Officially undisclosed, but lots of fans have found the actual tree:


03-13-2007, 09:56 PM
thats very cool.