Joshua Tree National Park Photo Journal

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joshua tree sign
Entering the nearby town of Joshua Tree

During the recent holidays, we decided to forgo the New Year parties and spend some time away from the crowds. We packed our bags and set off on a road trip from our home in San Francisco down to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California.

Joshua Tree National Park is located around 140 miles (225 kilometers) to the east of Los Angeles in the middle of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. This large range of elevation makes for a varied landscape. The higher cooler Mojave, with its scattered Joshua trees and sporadic boulders, has a unique look and feel to it.

If you are into camping, hiking, and rock climbing, this place is epic. There are hundreds of trails and climbing routes for all levels of experience.

Our first Joshua tree sighting
Our first Joshua tree sighting!
wandering around the rocks
We wandered around the rocks discussing what they resembled. Sorta like watching clouds
similar to devils marbles
The rocks here reminded us of the Devil’s Marbles in Australia
strike a pose
Strike a pose
I decided to scale this boulder, only to get stuck at the top
Entering the National Park
Entering the National Park. $20 will get you a 7-day pass for a carload of people (or $10 per person walking in)
unique looking plant
The plants here were so unique looking
golden hour
The light was fantastic during the golden hour
lisette silhouette at joshua tree
The silhouette of Lisette and Joshua (tree that is)
couple enjoying sunset
A couple enjoying the sunset from the Key View lookout. On a clear day, you can see Mexico from here (apparently).
last rays of sunlight
Last rays of sunlight and boy was it getting cold
blue hour at joshua tree
During blue hour (minutes after the sun has set)
snow on the ground
The patches of snow on the ground tell you it’s cold. Brrrrr
joshua tree at night
Joshua Tree National Park is one of the best places in the US for stargazing. With very little light pollution you can see why in this shot.
joshua tree night sky
Lisette was simply looking at her phone for this picture. The night sky was incredible.
Bring your torch for some cool shots
Bring your torch for some cool shots
joshua tree road
The road through the park is excellent
One of the many varieties of cactus
climbing to get a better view
This was much steeper than it looks
cholla cactus garden
The Cholla Cactus Garden
cholla cactus garden
Don’t get too close, we watched plenty of people bleeding after being spiked with a thorn
Extremely spikey, beware!
dead joshua tree
It’s a harsh environment and not all survive
lisette taking a photo of a joshua tree
Leave no trace, take only photos
Some more Joshua trees
Some more Joshua trees
Desolate landscape of the Colorado Desert
The desolate landscape of the Colorado Desert
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Michael Glass

Michael is the founder of Backpacker Travel. He also runs walking tours in San Francisco and is a freelance travel writer. Michael is extremely passionate about travel and loves to explore festivals around the world.

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