I remember driving through Joshua Tree National Park on a family vacation as a youngster and being thoroughly unimpressed. I’m not sure if I was too young to appreciate the landscape (big deal another weird looking tree) or if my motion sickness from the drive tainted the experience (vomiting tends to do that, eww), but now that I’ve revisited it a few times as an adult I have completely fell in love with its wide open spaces, unusual terrain and otherworldly plant-life. More after the jump…
Rupe and I were getting a little itchy for some outdoor time, so we threw some bags in the car and made our way to the desert. We ended up staying at 29 Palms Inn, which is conveniently located just outside the Joshua Tree park entrance. Above is a photo inside the darling “Irene’s Adobe”, one of 20 different adobe bungalows and wood-framed cottages that make up their unique lodging options. A couple of other favorite choices are the “west end” for its privacy, and the “hermitage” for its bay windows. Avoid “the penthouse” if you are looking for a retreat, as it is located above the Inn’s office in a noisy spot that overlooks the pool and restaurant.
A sure highlight was being perched up on a pile of boulders while taking in the sunset as it splashed colors over the mountains in the distance and the desert right below us.
When we weren’t inside the park we also enjoyed meandering around 29 Palms Inn’s 70 acres of grounds that include an organic garden (that supplies herbs & produce for the onsite restaurant), a few hidden hammock resting spots, a pool, and the ancient oasis of Mara.
We stuck to the north side of the park this time (the best part in my opinion) and hiked around Jumbo Rocks, Split Rock, Hidden Valley, and Barker Dam. We also took a picnic lunch to Indian Cove. We didn’t plan a thing out ahead of time and it made the trip feel even more like an adventure. Sometimes it’s the spontaneous ones that end up being the best! Are you with me?
See more of our travels here.
Photos by Sarah Sherman Samuel