written by Betty Nguyen
Joshua Tree is one of the most interesting and beautiful places in California (and the country, I think). Most people from Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego have visited here. However, I was quite surprised to learn that most of my Bay Area friends haven't and they're from California.
I've been there three times and I still cannot get enough of the National Park's alien-like landscapes with its ancient Joshua Trees and giant boulders. Impressive Insta-worthy scenery for hikes and leisurely drives. Also, Joshua Tree itself, which offers unique Airbnb accommodations, a few tasty restaurants, some good desert shopping, and quirky public art that only exists in these tiny, warm-weather communities.
Here is my weekend guide to enjoy your desert trip:
- Take Hwy 10 EAST to Hwy 62 (Joshua Tree Exit)
- Lunch at Natural Sisters Cafe
- Drive to Pioneertown (Hwy 62, Left at Pioneertown Rd)
- Have dinner (make reservations ahead of time) and see live music at Pappy & Harriets
- Breakfast at the Crossroads Cafe
- Check out the Farmers Market (8:00-1:00pm), buy and prepare snacks, drinks, lunch for your park visit
- Stop by the Park Visitor Center (Park Blvd @ Hwy 62)
- Go EAST on Hwy 62 (15 miles) to the 29 Palms (NORTH) Park Entrance
(then drive back through the park and exit Joshua Tree)
- Drive to White Tank Campground, check out Arch Rock (easy 1/4 walk)
- Stop at Skull Rock - a roadside attraction
- Stop at Cap Rock (at the corner of Park Blvd and Keys View Road)
- Head back towards the Joshua Tree Entrance
- Stop at Intersection Rock, hike around the rocks and watch the sunset
- Dinner at 2 Guys Pies Brick Oven, they have vegetarian and vegan options
- Breakfast at the JT Country Kitchen and coffee at Joshua Tree Coffee Company
- If you have time, visit the Salvation Mountain (2 hours drive) or visit the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Art Museum
- Buy herbs in the Joshua Tree Health Food Store
- Head WEST on HWY 62 and you will be back on Hwy 10 in 30 minutes
Have you been to Joshua Tree? Comment below with your suggestions or recommendations.