Going to Joshua Tree, California, USA
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- Big Morongo Canyon PreserveTwentynine Palms-Morongo Valley, Californiarecommended Big Morongo Canyon PreserveThis real-life desert oasis sits on a fault line that created the canyon, and the channel for the water running through it. The 31,000 acres has a variety of habitats from desert to riparian. It's a ... read moretop spot for birdwatchers and is home to leaf-nosed bats, black bears, kangaroo rats, 3 species of quail, brown pelicans, hawks, and hosts of migrating species. I went on an early-morning bird walk lead by talented volunteers and enjoyed views of a red-tailed hawk's nest, lots of hummingbirds, and oriole nests. One of the 6 trails is wheelchair accessible, and the website features a virtual trail tour.
- Natural Sisters Cafe61695-B 29 Palms Hwy., Joshua Tree, CA 92252
recommended Joshua Tree National Park Visitors CenterIf you're spending some time in Joshua Tree it's worth it to stop in here for excellent maps, background on the geology, flora and fauna and for advice from the rangers. We got tips on easy trails for ... read moreme, and mountain biking trails for my husband.Barbara Kossy
These folks are the experts and can help you find just the sort of trail that suits your abilities and interests. Trails range from easy wheel chair trails to rock climbers routes.
recommended PioneertownBy far one of my favorite places in the state! This highly unusual little town was built as a live-in movie set for 1940s Old West films. Today, artists and eccentrics of all kinds call the various ... read morestaged components home, from the jail house to the general store and even the bordello. Plan a visit for a weekend during high season and you'll find afternoon reenactments based on the town's glory days. High school grade cowboy performances, to be sure. But that's part of the charm! If you're lucky, you'll have an opportunity to grab a cocktail and a game in the town's vintage bowling alley (oldest in the state of CA and the site of one of Ice Cube's most recent music videos, although rumor has it the alley was recently closed). Best of all: Pappy and Harriet's. This restaurant/music venue serves up serious BBQ and quality tunes with performers coming in from all parts and playing a wide range of genres. You'll find every type of visitor in the audience and on the dance floors (inside and out), from hipsters out of LA to military boys off the nearby base. If you're really looking to have a good time, be sure you book a room at the motel out back. Truly a one-of-a-kind California experience. Well worth the stop!Recommended for:Adventure TravelersMyrha Colt
Be sure you make a stop here on one side of your trip into the park or the other. It's one of my favorite music venues in the state. And a great place to grab dinner and check out the stars.
- Joshua Tree National Park74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, California, United Statesrecommended Joshua Tree National ParkJust about a 90-minute drive each way from Palm Springs, this park is one of the best places to go hiking in the California deserts. Straddling the transition zone between the upper Mojave and the ... read morelower Sonoran deserts, Joshua Tree has an unbeatable variety of desert flora and fauna. My favorite trails lead to hidden California fan-palm oases, but you can also hike to old Western mines, natural springs and of course, Joshua tree forests.Sara Benson
My favorite long day hike is to Lost Palms Oasis. For a shorter day hike, try 49 Palms Oasis and/or the nature loop around Barker Dam.