Road trip: Joshua Tree National Park.


A road trip worth that's actually worth taking. 
I've been going back and forth on whether it is even worth doing a blog post on Joshua Tree National park or not but the final decision came after I realized that none of the blogs I red prior to going really prepared me for what was there. If you are not familiar with Joshua Tree area, it is located by Palm Springs (where Coachella takes place every year) about 2-3 hours from LA depending on traffic. While Palm Springs has developed into overpriced touristy, most photogenic little town Joshua Tree has remained the same and has not changed. If you're expecting cute little houses to see, pretty restaurants with floral neon signs and picture perfect drinks & meals this is not it. It's off the beaten path and is known for it's natural beauty.

I tried to inform myself as much as I could prior to going but yet again I was not sure what we were getting ourselves into. We drove up to Joshua Tree in the afternoon, checked into the hotel & decided to head out to the park to catch the sunset. Shortly after getting in there we realized we had absolutely no service, stayed for a few hours and rushed out before sunset even started to make sure that we find our way out of the park and back to the hotel since GPS did not work. Next day we sort of knew what to expect so we left shortly after sunrise to go exploring. What we didn't realize is everywhere we stopped at the camps to see landmarks the people that were camping were eating breakfast or still sleeping so we were walking around their tents making noise lol. I felt like we are trespassing someone's home -- felt weird, if you ask me. Park is extremely wide and long and during our 2 days there we probably saw only 10% of it. I highly suggest doing research and planning out what it is you want to see, mark it on the map and head into the park! 

F Y I 

Travel. If you ask me, Joshua Tree National park is far AF lol. We went there on an early Friday morning and it took us almost 4 hours instead of 2, there is lots of traffic at all times of the day & you're heading all the way to the end of Joshua Tree where the park is located at. There is many gas stations so don't worry about running out of gas, however keep in mind once you enter the National park there will not be any stops for food, gas etc. You will however find plenty of stops for bathrooms and places to rest up along the way. With that being said, park being extremely spread out can spend hours and hours driving around the park so make sure to load up on snacks & make sure your gas tank is full.
Stay. We don't have a camper and I don't feel safe sleeping anywhere else but home or a hotel so we booked the closest hotel to Joshua Tree National Park. All the hotels there are super affordable and locals will give you any tips you may want for visiting the park! We entered the park through Twenty Nine Palms which was the entrance that had many landmarks that we wanted to see, it was also the closest point from the hotel. Hotel doors to the park was around 15 mins total! 
Things to consider. There is NO WIFI. I really wish I saw someone post about this prior to us going but unfortunately no one did so once we drove in we had no idea what the landmarks were called that we wanted to see, GPS didn't work and we sort of got stranded with just a regular map lol. Map they give you at an entry will come in super handy and make sure to keep an eye out where you are at all times on it so that you know how to get back. I also suggest leaving the park way before sunset so you have plenty of time to drive all the way back through the park.
Entry cost. We paid $30 to enter which is valid for 7 days, you can go in and out of the park as much as you'd like just make sure to keep the receipt you get at the entrance.

I hope all these tips help you plan your getaway to Joshua Tree National park & you will be way more prepared than I was. It is absolutely a must-visit spot if you are in California and truly is one of the most beautiful parks I have seen myself!

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