When you think of National Parks worth visiting, you probably place locations like Yellowstone and Yosemite at the top of your list, along with the Grand Canyon and Glacier. Those are all certainly great options, and visiting each of them will give you the opportunity to make great memories. However, some of the lesser-known National Parks in the system will also allow you to see incredible sights, while also not encountering the same kinds of crowds.
One such park is Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. Joshua Tree is located near Palm Springs at the southern edge of the Mohave Desert. Unless you are a National Parks aficionado, you might not have even been aware that this location was included in the Parks system, as it was only added in 1994. While you won’t find any iconic locations within the park such as Old Faithful at Yellowstone or Half Dome at Yosemite, there is still plenty of stunning scenery to go around. In addition to the scenery, plenty of wildlife make their home in the park, including lizards, snakes, sheep, coyotes, rabbits, and more.
Easy to Reach
Among the many benefits of choosing Joshua Tree as your destination is the fact that it is easy to reach from a variety of destinations around the country. You can use I-10 to reach Joshua Tree from many points to the east, and you can use a combination of I-5 and I-10 to get to Joshua Tree from up and down the west coast. No matter where you are, you shouldn’t have much trouble putting together a route that will lead you into Southern California.
If you like it hot, Joshua Tree is a desirable destination. In the summer, the entire region frequently experiences temperatures that soar into the 100’s, and it isn’t uncommon to see days in the 70’s and 80’s even in the winter months. Rain is rare at Joshua Tree National Park, so you will have a great chance of seeing the sun when you are on your trip.
Plenty of Other Attractions
Once you are in Southern California, you certainly don’t need to limit your trip to just Joshua Tree National Park. After spending some time seeing sights in the park, you can expand your vacation to include many of the other great things to do and see throughout the region. Near Joshua Tree you can head into the Palm Springs area which offers golf, shopping, dining, and plenty of cultural events. Of course, just a short drive on I-10 to the west will take you right into Los Angeles, and San Diego is only a bit further south from there. In short, there is more do to and see in this part of the country than you could ever cover in a single trip.
Visiting Joshua Tree National Park is an experience that just might surprise you. You aren’t going to find the huge attractions that you find in some of the other National Parks, but you also aren’t going to find the big crowds, either. If you would like to explore a Park that many people never get the chance to see, consider putting Joshua Tree on your list.