Joshua Tree Highlights and Travel Guide
When I was growing up, it seemed like my family visited a different US National Park every year, but somehow last week was my first time in Joshua Tree! I was out in LA visiting my brother, which is only about 2-3 hours from the desert. It’s unlike the mountainous landscapes I am used to, but equally as breathtaking.
The first thing I noticed when I got there was my extremely dry throat. Living in the southeast I am used to humidity. Those of you like me, drink 5x as much water as you normally do weeks before you go. This will save you a lot of pain and dehydration.
The main reason for our trip was rock climbing. As of now, my boyfriend and I only sport climb. For those of you that don’t know, sport climbing is when the climber clips into gear that is already bolted into the wall. Trad climbing is when the climber places their own gear into the wall. This is currently a little bit out of our league, since we haven’t been seriously climbing for too long. We were also with my brother who doesn’t climb at all, but is fearless, so I wasn’t too worried about him.
WHERE TO CLIMB
We had read that there is little sport climbing in Joshua Tree, and it is sketchy. Thanks to Nomad Ventures, which is right at the beginning of the park next to the visitor center, we were able to find two areas for sport climbing. The first place we went was called "Indian Cove." We did a couple top rope climbs that day thanks to some other climbers we met. Indian Cove is also great for camping and scrambling up rocks to see the sunset if you don't want to climb!
The next day we went to "East Siberia" which had a very long and difficult approach scrambling up some boulders. I had a great time because I love hiking off the beaten path. The good news is we actually found some reasonable sport climbing! Hallelujah! We climbed a couple of easier sport routes that were well bolted and safe.
WHERE TO CAMP
There are plenty of camping areas in the National Park, but they have to be reserved in advance. We were late to the game so we checked out a website called HipCamp. The first thing we found was this adorable trailer in the desert called DE/TOUR. It is the perfect spot for drinking a glass of wine on the porch after a long day of hiking. As an added bonus there are two super comfy hammocks out front! :)
WHERE TO EAT
We cooked our food most nights to save money, but the last night we splurged at Joshua Tree Saloon. It is a bar and grill with delicious burgers and ribs. The best part about it was the pool table and live music. When we were there, they were doing karaoke - such a fun atmosphere!
If you have a chance to get out to Joshua Tree, I highly recommend it. Feel free to reach out to me over email if you plan to go and have any other questions!