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Joshua Tree Park

Welcome to the desert

Story by Karolina Szczur February 24th, 2015

on the road

I’ve been to United States probably ten times by now but never had a chance to experience raw nature of any of the national parks. Fortunately, this time we’ve decided to visit Palm Springs—only 45min drive from Joshua Tree National Park. The park itself spans over roughly 3,200 km² (1,235 sq mi) and includes parts of two deserts—Colorado and Mojave desert, so to move around effectively in this quite challenging ecosystem you need a car.

Before hitting the road we stumbled upon the Dillon Wind Power Project and the best date shake in the desert at Windmill Market (I kid you not—apparently southern California is perfect for dates. Or dates with date shakes).

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JoshuA

Visitor centers are located at all enterances to the park that offer maps, snacks and water (the last one is crucial). The entrance fee is nominal $15 per car.

Joshua Park is named after Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) that are plentiful within the region. The landscape might seem monotonous but it offers quiet, traquility and guaranteed sunshine (28°C when we visited couple days ago).

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sights

While the park seems somewhat unwelcoming to wildlife we’ve seen quite a few lizards (apart from that there are snakes, birds, ground squirrels and a variety of nocturnal animals as well). The quartz monzonite rocks are omnipresent and offer plenty of climbing routes (especially in Hidden Valley).

The last two photographs were taken from Keys View—it’s a perfect spot to see San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains as well as San Andreas Fault. On clear days you can even see Mexico in the distance. Breathtaking.

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Footnote: Canon EOS 6D with 17-40mm F/4L.
Joshua Tree National Park, CA, United States