We had been considering a quick trip to Death Valley this month and then decided to give Joshua Tree a look since neither of us had been there before, and it's closer, more like a two and a half hour drive versus the five hours to DV.
My research began weeks ago and I had narrowed it down to some of the trails I thought would be most interesting and the most accessible for the limited amount of time we had.
Up at about 3:30 am on Saturday morning, after showering, feeding the animals, and packing up photo gear and provisions for the day we hit the road a couple of hours later and rolled in at the Cottonwood Visitor Center at about 7:30 am.
We traveled from the south entrance, which is Colorado Desert side, to the north's Mojave Desert side, exiting at the town of Joshua Tree. Along with many 'Exhibits' along the road (otherwise known as points of interest), these are the sights and trails we hit:
It was a perfectly sunny 76 degree day with a light breeze. We laid down a blanket in the shade of a big boulder mid-day and ate our lunch. The rocks are fun to climb and they have a rough grippy surface. The landscape is also very navigable, with soft gravelly washes that make natural trails through canyons in the rocks, with plenty of pops of vivid wild-flower color everywhere.
We saw plenty of lizards, squirrels and ravens. We also saw a wonderful black-tailed jackrabbit aaaaand a huge desert tortoise crossing the road.
Future trips are definitely in store.
More photos on Flickr