joshua tree national park

Located just north of Interstate 10 in eastern California is Joshua Tree National Park. Known for its Joshua Trees, it’s actually visited by millions for its rocks. Huge boulders souring into the sky as much as several hundred feet up look more like mountains than just rocks.

Rock climbing and hiking are the big attraction here, the Joshua Tree is just a side note. We stopped in Joshua Tree on a weekend so finding a campsite was impossible. We rarely get reservations while we are traveling, we prefer the freedom of not being locked into a schedule.

Like most popular national parks, the best time to get a campsite on a first come first serve basis is Sunday – Wednesday, the weekends are ridiculous! Even getting reservations may require as much as 6 months to a year in advance in some places, i.e. Zion National Park, Utah.

Since the campgrounds inside the park were full, we drove outside the park boundary and camped for free on Beau of Land Management (BLM) land. We actually prefer BLM land anyway – wide open spaces and no crowds, oh – and did I mention it’s FREE! Completely unplugged and unconnected, it is always the way to go for us since we have 400 watts of solar on the roof and a diesel generator underneath. Come along as we explore Joshua Tree National Park…

Mountain high rocks make the park a great place to go if you love rock climbing.
MaryAnn and I are NOT rock climbers, we will never try something like this, but we don’t mind watching others risk their lives.
Believe it or not there are Joshua Trees in Joshua Tree National Park.
This pic gives an idea of how large these trees can grow.
MaryAnn is hiking through Joshua Tree, this is as close to rock climbing we will ever get.
The road to the BLM land outside the park.
Beau of Land Management (BLM) land outside of Joshua Tree National Park.
Our campsite just outside Joshua Tree. Is it desert? Yes. Do we have any neighbors? No and the surrounding mountain views are outstanding!
Our campsite, unplugged and self-contained.
The surrounding area of our campsite. This is our backyard!
More views from our campsite. Our front yard.
Our campsite views.
Joshua Tree forest in Joshua Tree National Park.
MaryAnn hiking in Joshua Tree.
Cholla forest, also known as Teddy Bear Cactus and Jumping Cactus – don’t get to close the needles will shoot out at you!
MaryAnn in Joshua Tree.
They sure grow the rocks BIG here!
A type of Yucca in Joshua Tree.
Some of the rock formations in Joshua Tree.
The trails are marked by rocks along the path. Looks like a good place to get lost if your not careful.
Joshua Trees can also be found in Arizona. The Joshua Tree National Forest is located on Route 93 also called, “Joshua Tree Parkway.”
Route 93 in Arizona.
Our closest neighbor just outside of Joshua Tree on BLM land. This sure beats being plugged in at an RV parking lot!

If you haven’t already, add Joshua Tree National Park to your bucket list. Don’t forget to bring a rope and a good pair of sneakers! Until next time, safe journey everyone, hope to see on the Barber Road…

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