I’m almost embarrassed to admit I had never been to Joshua Tree National Park which is only ~2 hours from LA. This rare jewel hidden deep in the desert is fascinating and freaky and hotter than hell (in June).
When I first got into Joshua Tree, I realized that I'd have a lot of freedom to sightsee, camp and hike because June is the off season. It’s dangerously hot in June! But that didn’t stop me.
I think I was one of 3 people in the Indian Cove Campground which has 101 campsites.
Joshua Tree National Park is essentially a big garden of Joshua Trees in the Mojave Desert. Which, at first, I thought was a bit strange. Why isn't there an Oak Tree National Park?
But, there is something mystical about these Seussian looking trees and the fact that they only grow in this specific unique climate. Very surreal.
The trees have this Keith Haring-like energy to them, almost as if each one is caught mid-dance:
And, I'd be remised if I did not mention that Joshua Tree is a rock climber's paradise! (Just not in June)
After a day or two of sweating, hiking, sweating, camping, sweating, hiking --- my hair started to reach for the sky and resemble the trees!
Maybe it was the heat stroke, but I started to see creatures in the desert flora. Seemed like the cacti turn into monsters when they don't get enough water.
Decaying cacti look weirdly otherworldly:
Some desert animal made a nice little camp in this small cave, using some especially caustic cacti to shield their nest from nasty predators:
Ran into a tiny toddler tumbleweed, that acted all timid when the camera started rolling.
Joshua Tree has these cute little creamy colored chameleons that blend in with the light sand.
How has this big boulder not toppled?
If you visit Joshua Tree, I highly recommend stopping by the Cholla Cactus Garden! More Seussian shrubbery!
One hiker I ran into said, "Yeah, it looks like someone just dropped a pile of rocks in random spots around the park. So true.
Overall, I had a blast exploring this national park, even in the hellish conditions.
Joshua Tree is a mystical must-see attraction!