The Ultimate Guide to Joshua Tree National Park

10 things You Must See at Joshua Tree National Park Near our Palm Springs HotelIf you’ve never made the trek to Joshua Tree National Park, this winter might just be the perfect opportunity to do just that. As the majority of the northern hemisphere plunges headfirst into cold weather, many people find themselves longing for warm and sunny weather. If you’re looking for a luxurious and warm getaway, consider the desert paradise of Palm Springs.

The radiant warmth of the desert sun will be a welcome respite from those winter doldrums.  Stay at the Willows Historic Palm Springs Boutique Hotel, and you will enjoy the restorative power of nature, lounging poolside amidst the lush gardens. If you prefer a little adventure and activity, head out on a day-long adventure into Joshua Tree National Park.  No matter what brings you to Palm Springs, the privacy and tranquility of this luxurious hotel will delight even the most discerning traveler. Reward yourself this spring, and book a room at the luxurious Willows Palm Springs Inn.

7 Things to See in Joshua Tree National Park

Palm Springs itself is a fascinating destination, but there’s something enticing about the vast expanse of protected desert lands known as Joshua Tree National Park. These wildlands are home to an interesting variety of plants and animals and have been sculpted by centuries of wind and rain. Joshua Tree is only about an hour outside of Palm Springs and is more than worth the trip.  We recommend starting at the West entrance into the park and continuing through the South entrance, before heading back to Palm Springs.

10 things you Must See at Joshua Tree National ParkThough there is so much to see in Joshua Tree National Park, here are 7 things you simply must add to your list, and it makes for a packed one-day adventure in the park.

  1. Start your day with a trip to Hidden Valley. This part of the park is home to over 8000 climbing routes, making Joshua Tree a world-famous destination for rock climbers.  If you’d rather not scale boulders, the Hidden Valley Trail is a moderate 1-mile loop through these incredible rocks.
  2. After you’ve explored the valley, head to the Lost Horse Mine Trail, which will lead you to a well- preserved gold mine, sweeping views into Pleasant Valley, and burnt Joshua trees.  If you’re interested in additional hikes during your trip through the park, there are two other wonderful hikes worth considering, depending on your time and energy levels. One is Pine City, a 4 mile out-and-back that wanders through classic Mojave Desert.  The other is  Ryan Mountain, a 4 mile out-and-back hike that climbs to a highpoint in the park, and offers great views of Pleasant Valley, north towards the Wonderland of Rocks, and east into Pinto Basin.
  3. Next, it’s time to take in the views at Keys View, which is the highest point in the park. From here, you’ll enjoy incredible views of the Coachella Valley and the Salton Sea.
  4. From there, head to the Jumbo Rocks Area, which is home to one of the most popular and photographed rocks in the park, Skull Rock. It’s easily accessible for a quick photo just off the road.
  5. As you drive further south into the park on Pinto Basin Road, enjoy as the landscapes change before your eyes.  This is where the Mojave Desert merges into the Colorado Desert, where Joshua trees are replaced by cholla cacti, and where the large boulders smooth out into the rolling hills of the Little San Bernardino Mountains.
  6. Visit the Cholla Cactus Garden, and take a hike along the short nature trail.  It’s called one of the most dangerous hikes in the park, but certainly not because of it’s strenuous nature.  Just make sure you don’t touch any of the spines on the Teddy Bear Cholla.
  7. Visit the Cottonwood Springs Oasis before leaving the park.  It is one of the most unique ecosystems in the park.

The Best Hotel in Palm Springs

Return to the best hotel in Palm Springs after a day in Joshua Tree National ParkIt’s best to head up to Joshua Tree early in the day when you can still enjoy some silence and beat at least some of the desert heat. Take plenty of water and food, and plan to see either sunrise or sunset. You won’t regret taking the time to watch the way the sun-drenched glow of these desert landscapes. They are breathtaking.

When you’ve seen all you can for the day, return to the Inn for a relaxing night of luxury in Palm Springs. Book your room at The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn today.

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