This weekend we again had the amazing chance to camp in Joshua Tree National Park. It’s a beautiful location in the desert, perfect for a weekend getaway from the city. Located in the meeting point between the dry, harsh Colorado Desert and the wetter Mojave, this national park hosts beautiful, unique ecosystems and breathtaking rock formations.
We drove there from Los Angeles on Friday. The trip took about 4 hours, since we made several long stops to rest. When we arrived, the sun was still up, which made setting up the tent easy. We put up Christmas lights on the ceiling, just because we can! (Thanks to our friend Anna who came up with the idea). Afterwards, we went for some hiking and took cool pictures as the sun sets. At night, we huddled around the bonfires, ate smores, and looked at the starry sky through our Astronomy professor’s telescope far away into the desert, where light pollution is scarce. I had a look at Venus and Jupiter with its four moons. It was stunning! For amateurs in astronomy, I suggest downloading Starwalk, a beautiful app showing the constellations in the sky.
The second day, we drove into the heart of the national park, where we hiked up rocks, went rock-climbing (our friends did, we were too scared), and took cool pictures. The landscape was impressive. Gigantic rocks rose up into the blue, blue sky, creating majestic formations. The desert was in bloom, so shrubs and cacti filled the landscape, creating a stark, otherworldly feel. I could almost pretend we were in Mars. Or maybe pretend that we are early settlers in the American Southwest, braving the deadly deserts.
The third day, we packed up fast and drove back home. This time it only took 2 hours. But on the way back, we had the chance to see beautiful wind farms. It was a very different sight than what you usually see in cities.
All in all, it had been a great trip. I recommend going here with some friends or family, as it is not too far from Los Angeles, Riverside, and other cities in the area. The campsite was easy to get to. And most importantly, the bathrooms are clean!