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Six Reasons Why You Should Visit Joshua Tree National Park

Six Reasons Why You Should Visit Joshua Tree National Park main image

Joshua Tree National Park is an otherworldly National Park in southern California, famous for its distinct trees (and inpsiring that U2 album your Dad likes talking about).

Ethereal at both sunrise and sunset, this National Park is one of the most magical in the US. Named after the unique trees scattered throughout the park, you'll remember your visit to Joshua Tree for the rest of your life. Whatever you do, bring a good camera as you'll get some amazing pictures while you're here.

Here are six compelling reasons to include a visit to Joshua Tree National Park on your US itinerary.

The trees

These Joshua trees are actually a type of Yucca, and were named by Mormons in the 1850s, who saw their gnarled branches in the arms of Joshua pointing to the promised land. Now these trees make for some pretty epic sights and lend the park a distinctive feel that can't be matched anywhere else.

The park

The park is made up of two distinct deserts: the higher Mojave Desert and the lower Colorado Desert. Each has its own ecosystem, whose characteristics are determined by their elevation. So you'll want to check out both. Be aware that this will take some time though. In total, there's over 3,000 kilometres of desert for you to explore.

The wildlife

As well as a wide variety of plants, the park is also home to a plethora of wildlife which have adapted and learned to survive in this desert landscape. You may come across black-tailed jackrabbits, scorpions, rattle snakes, tarantula, coyotes, non-venomous snakes, bighorn sheep, lizards, kangaroo rats, and lynx (just to name a few!).

The nighttime

There's very little light pollution in Joshua Tree, and this makes the night sky absolutely epic. You'd struggle to find a better place to go stargazing, so camp nearby and make sure you take the opportunity to do so - it will be one of the best stargazing experiences of your life. You can even see shooting stars!

The east side of the park is the best to place to base yourself as the nearest town (and source of light pollution) is 300 miles away. 

The hikes

This National Park has some of the best hikes in the west coast, so make sure to leave some time to hike a small section of the park. There are more than 100 miles of hiking and horse trails in the Indian Canyons, including panoramic vistas and 60ft waterfalls. Obivously you won't get to see them all, but it's worth doing a small, manageable route. Don't push yourself too hard and risk exhaustion or sunstroke.

There’s also Ryan Mountain, which offers a panoramic overview of Joshua Tree’s famous rock formations, and Warren Peak, where you can spot Mount San Jacinto.

The sunsets and sunrises

The park looks amazingly beautiful when its tinged in red and the sky is multicoloured. Try and visit for either a sunrise or sunset and you'll get an epic picture for your Instagram Story.

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Written by Meg D.

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