10 Hours in Joshua Tree

I have a lot of changes coming up this year and although I am excited, I have to admit I am also starting to get a little scared. I mentioned in a previous post that I will (hopefully) be moving to Sweden to be with my fiancé and I may or may not only have a few months left in Los Angeles. A friend suggested that I should explore as many places as possible while I’m still here. That was always my plan but its been two years since this whole process of moving began and I haven’t really made it around California. So, I wrote down all the places I want to visit and I’m trying to fit them into my schedule. I have a huge calendar in my room filled with all the dates and places I am aiming to go to in the next few months! I like to make lists and write everything down so it feels more real than just in my head.  

Two weeks ago, my friend Sarah and I explored Joshua Tree. Sarah and I met a few years ago at CorePower Yoga and we just recently found our way back way to each other. It’s not always easy to plan a trip, and it took us a few weeks to get our schedules coordinated. We had a plan to be there by sunrise, so we set off at the ungodly hour of 4am. 

Side note: waking up at 3:30 am is no joke. I had barely opened my eyes while Sarah was all ready to go and making delicious chocolate protein shakes. We made it just in time to see the first rays of sun in one the most beautiful places I have ever been. 

Joshua Tree is pure magic. However, since we got there so early, nobody was at the park entrance to give us a map or answer any questions. We went in anyway, expecting to just use our GPS, only to find out there was really bad reception (duhhh, of course). I have this fear of going into wooden areas and trails and losing reception, being in the middle of nowhere and what if something happens??!!! Especially in the dessert! What if we run out of water??? I think I have seen way too many movies where things go wrong, people get lost and die. I know this sounds super dramatic but it is a possibility. Sarah made fun of me for the crazy scenarios I came up with while hiking. 

Since we had no reception we listened to the same playlist for ten hours and although it was a good playlist, next time I’d be sure to download a few more playlists on my phone. I would also pack more snacks, grab a map for sure, and bring sunscreen!!! 

Once in the park our first stop was Keys View - a stunning view of Palm Springs and Indio. We were lucky the day was clear and the weather was just perfect. 

We made a quick stop here - I can’t remember the name of it but it doesn’t really matter because everywhere you see there are incredible giant rocks and beautiful trees!

Arch Rock was our next stop since we’ve read it was a must but it took us a while to find it. First of all, the GPS sent us towards a park exit so we had to come back around and this time we got a map!!! Then we found out that Arch Rock is not actually on the map. Luckily, a nice lady at the entrance gave us directions on how to get there. From the south entrance of the park it’s about 35 minutes, and once we were there we had to do a little bit of walking around to find the rock. It was stunning, I wish we had been there for sunrise AND sunset but we had to get going. 

Our last stop inside the park was Cholla Cactus Garden

At this point we were getting really tired so we decided to exit the park and grab lunch at Natural Sisters Cafe, a nice little place in downtown. 

We visited Sky Village Swap Meet, a flea market that is a world of its own, so many interesting things to look at including Bob’s Crystal Cave! 


On our way out of town we drove by this cute little boutique and had to stop to check it out. It’s called The End and once you walk in you are welcomed with such an amazing energy. The shop is full of beautiful pieces of jewelry, clothes, decorations, books, candles, you name it. 


Last stop was Cactus Mart!!! I became obsessed with this place. The people working there were extremely nice and helpful. Sarah ended up buying three cacti that we named Lulu, Lola and Lupita.

***Full disclosure: we had aimed to go to Joshua Tree and Salvation Mountain the same day but our first stop ended up being more than enough. By the time we were done in Joshua Tree we were both too tired to drive the two more hours to Salvation Mountain.***

We saw the sunrise, laughed, ate, hiked, took pictures and bought a few crystals and plants, and by the end of the day we were exhausted but every minute was magical. Such an amazing adventure just two hours away from home.