We have been spending way too much time living in the relative comfort of concrete RV parks. Joshua Tree National Park came at the right time.
I refer to this park as a highbred… it has multi-functions and targets many different types of campers and visitors. It’s a wonderful blend of car camping, wilderness experiences, eco-education and human history. We loved it.
Just a short drive from Palm Springs California, the park is well used by people from all over the world, however, folks from Los Angeles seem to make up most of the visitors.
This is my second time at the park. Two years ago I stayed in Bolder Rock Campground with our Tiny Trailer. This year Tracy and I stayed in Black Rock Campground with the Escape Pod. There are no hookups in either campground and only Black Rock has water… so fill your tanks and bottles with water before you enter the park.
The park staff take your money in return for a smile and an assigned patch of desert dirt… that’s pretty much it for facilities!
The Escape Pod was built for this. With full water tanks, lots of propane, a fridge full of food, advanced solar panels, super duper batteries, surge protectors and inverters… we can remain OFF GRID very comfortably until the water runs out! We were extremely relaxed and wanted for nothing.
Things To Do
Hiking – There are dozens of great hiking trails. Heck… if you can work a compass… simply point, hike and disappear for a few days. Lots of sun protection and tons of water are a must! We particularly liked the hills around Black Rock Canyon.
Boldering – Kids love this. Parents… not so much. The jumbo rocks that fill the park, are natural playgrounds for athletic and adventurous kids. It will drive the protective parents to the brink of a nervous breakdown and put the kids into a frenzy of delight.
Rock Climbing – For the skilled and rookie rock climbers alike, there is something for everyone. If you are experienced, simply bring your gear and score a climbing guide at the visitor centre. If you are a rookie, there are many good outfitters in the area willing to teach or rent your gear for some coin.
Backpacking – For the hearty … throw on a backpack, bring tons of water, and disappear in the high desert for a few days. Please check in with the park rangers first.
Human History – There are many remains of human history in the park that are worth discovering. They include: abandoned mines, failed farms, tales of cattle rustlers, and the First Nations Peoples.
Eco-Learning – The high desert is a delight yet unforgiving. Southern latitudes and high elevations create unique weather, climate and ecosystems. The local animals and plants have adaptations that will astound you.
Relaxing – In the winter months it’s hot during the day and cold at night. The air is dry and the skies are almost always blue. Sunny and awesome is the norm. Summer is another story, hot, hot and even more hot is the norm. The winter is generally when the park is the busiest.
We loved this park. The well-thought-out blend of wilderness and city-slicker amenities will make this an outdoor experience for everyone. It’s not just about the thousands of famed Joshua trees!