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  • Jes Bellamy

Joshua Tree! A Bunch of Rocks...Big Deal?


 

I can't be the only one who's wondered what's so remarkable about Joshua Tree. Despite living 2 hours away from this national park for most of my life, I never knew what it was all about or why people went there. Well, I finally figured it out on my brother's birthday last year!



To start, my brother booked a beautiful Airbnb for his birthday for all his friends and family to come and visit. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was down. My mom and I drove from her house in Riverside, California, to Joshua Tree in under two hours, and the trip wasn't bad at all. Of course my mom had to listen to me sing horribly the whole time, so maybe it was bad for her.



Near the park, there are plenty of homes, ranging from modern to older-looking. You can tell it's a big hot spot for Airbnbs, but many people also come to hike and camp.


For most of the trip, we just relaxed in the hot tub, barbecued, stargazed, and climbed rock formations. We would've gone hiking, but it rained that day, so we decided to stay in.




While I enjoyed all the activities, they weren't my favorite part of my stay here. My favorite part was relaxing in the beautiful scenery and escaping my busy life with my family in a cozy house. From being in the hot tub with nothing but the desert surrounding me, laughing it up with my family, stargazing, and chatting around a cozy fire, I had the best time ever.


There also wasn't much cell service, which honestly, being disconnected from the outside world was amazing. All that mattered was my family, and it felt so good. That's what made me see and understand why people love Joshua Tree.



Facts


Some facts about Joshua Tree are that it was set as a national monument in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was granted national park status in 1994. It's known for its desert, mountainous, and rocky landscape, making it a good area for hiking.


The park is also known and named after the Joshua tree, a prominent feature of the desert ecosystem. Mormon settlers named the tree after Joshua, the character in the Bible who reaches his hands up to the sky in prayer when he crosses the Mojave Desert in the mid-1800s. The trees bloom in spring between February and April. Check out Joshua Tree's website here for more information!


Things to do

Hiking—There are 300 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy to medium to hard.

Camping—There are about 500 campsites in the park, and they are booked mainly through reservations, but some locations also have first-come, first-served.

Rock climbing—There are more than 8,000 climbing sites, and if you are new to it, they offer guides and classes.

Stargazing - Light pollution in this area is slim to none, making it a beautiful location to look beyond this world


Nature -From animals to plants, there are hundreds of different things you can see, including the famous Joshua Tree

 

If you plan on visiting this area, remember that it is a desert, and it can easily reach 100 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. So it's best to visit from August to May and drink lots of water.

 




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