Recently I made my inaugural visit to Joshua Tree National Park, which ended up being another amazing adventure for Team Outlast.Today. Being from Oregon, I have to make a point to travel to incredible National Parks we have in this country, so I had been talking with my brother who lives in California about making these trips happen on our next few visits. Joshua Tree is about 2 hours drive out of Los Angeles on the way towards Las Vegas, and sits in the middle of the Sonora and Mojave deserts. What we found in Joshua Tree ultimately made me feel both connected to nature while at the same time feeling like we were on another planet.
No doubt Yucca Valley California is a different scene than Santa Monica, where my usual LA-visits are headquartered. Both towns of Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree are small tourist based towns with hardcore locals who love their “valley” and feel it is a hidden gem. I don’t know about all that, but it was a fun place to visit with a few great bars and eateries. We went there to camp (even though it was winter) and stay in the park to experience both hiking, “scrambling” on the boulders, watch better climbers rock climb on the brilliant landscape of Joshua Tree, and enjoy some of the clearest sky’s for star-gazing I have ever experienced.
Tent camping in Joshua Tree was very easy. It wasn’t a hike-in type of camping because it is a highly protected and managed national park area, the camping was by reservation and in designated spots. Regardless, the camping was great and (I’ll say it again) it felt like we were in another country, if not on another planet. The vegetation was different, the rocks were different, heck, the horizon was different; all producing a unique and awe-inspiring experience that travelers and adventurers hope to get with each visit to a national park. Tent camping provided an incredible back-drop for the evening camp fire, as the fire shadows produce a dancing light on the rocks and shapes around us.
My take-a-ways from this weekend were threefold. 1. EVERY trip that you can take to any national park is ALWAYS worth while. Get out and visit National Parks, State Parks and Nature in general. 2. Joshua Tree redefined my perceptions on three-dimensional and spacial dimensions all together. Artists and creatives will undoubtedly be inspired by the natural landscapes found at this amazing region. And, 3. The Joshua Tree National Park is a mecca for Rock Climbing, Hiking and Star-Gazing!!! This is a must-stop on your adventure bucket-list!