Girls Trip: Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Girls trips are always a great escape. You get a chance to catch up, vent, talk about future plans, reminisce about the past, crack jokes, explore new places, and eat at new restaurants. Driving 2-hours from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree felt so quick and it was awesome to escape the city for a few days. Know before you go: Download a GPS based map app on your phone as reception can be spotty once in the park. 

I used my “America the Beautiful” National Parks pass and saw so much in Joshua Tree. Saw Skull Rock πŸ’€, the Arch, the Cholla Cactus Garden, climbed some boulders, and walked trails including the Barker Dam, Cap Rock, and Keys View. 🌡πŸ₯Ύ

What I learned at Joshua Tree (sign transcribed):

"Geological processes have created this beautiful arch over time. But, we must realize that in a geological framework, its existence is only for a moment and it is not a final product. Erosion or wearing away, will continue. Water will dissolve minerals on the surface and will seep into tiny cracks, causing them to expand and contract with temperature extremes. Bits and pieces of the rock will fall away, exposing new pieces to the elements. Wind will help water it away as will other agents in this environment. Then, one day, this arch will tumble, only to be replaced with other unique shapes and forms. " 

Thanks to Instagram, the arch was so packed with people climbing on top or trying to take a photo of it. Luckily, I was able to snap a picture when it wasn't so crowded.

Keys View, pictured below, was super windy and cold since we were at a high elevation. Despite my car door closing on my right arm and my hat nearly blowing off, it was so cool to be so high up looking down on the terrain below. 

Jumbo Rocks - I can see how someone can get lost hiking in Joshua Tree. Everything looked the same but luckily, we didn't venture too far from the main road. We nearly got turned around since the trail became camouflaged and we saw footprints everywhere. 

More Jumbo Rocks

Just posing next to a Joshua Tree. 

Petroglyphs were spotted at the end of the Barker Dam trail. 

Cholla Cactus Garden - Make sure not to get too close or you’ll get pricked.

Skull Rock - Another Instagram worthy photo. 

This area was super crowded and made me anxious as we're still experiencing the Coronavirus pandemic. We luckily snapped a photo while nobody was near the skull.

We pulled over at one of the lookout spots and got out to take photos of this crazy rock formation. 

On the way home to Los Angeles, we spotted a coyote just sitting in the road. 

Finally leaving Joshua Tree, we made a pit stop at Cabazon to check out the dinosaurs and also the outlets. 

Due to the pandemic, I stayed by the car and snapped photos of the dinosaurs to avoid the people. 

Below is the sunset from our Airbnb. 

By the way, our rental was amazing with views from every part of the house. Getting there was an adventure in itself where we drove on dirt roads, got lost on the way there, ended up next to a train and mountain, and Google Maps kept telling me to turn where there weren't any roads to turn into. 

Loved this view from our living room. 

Here's a quick tour of my room and the living room. The outside area had a bathtub that we didn't get to use since it was too windy. 

Overall, this was a great girls trip where we got to enter Joshua Tree National Park twice during our visit using the America the Beautiful annual pass. The pass pretty much paid for itself since we went in multiple times and to get into National Parks, you have to pay around a $30-$35 fee. 

I want to go back to Joshua Tree with my brothers so they can see the crazy terrain throughout the park. It's totally got its own charm when compared to the Grand Canyon National Park or the Sequoia National Park. 

Things we missed and need to go back to see:

Ryan Mountain Trail (3.0 miles) - Moderate 

Split Rock Loop Trail (1.9 miles) - Easy 

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