Joshua Tree National Park is full of treasures both big and small, spiky and smooth. Never ending fields of of Joshua Trees give way to towering rock formations and cacti sprinkle the landscape like pieces of prickly confetti. Insects sing loudly, the sound echoing in your ears as your feet crunch along the sand and you gaze up at the towering Joshua Trees surrounding you.
Winding roads weave through fields of beautiful cholla cactus' ...their sharp prickles contradict their soft flowers. Bees hum in unison, feathered feet landing delicately on the extended arms of the cholla, reaching outwards and upwards toward the warmth of the sun.
Joshua Trees line the road that leads you up to the breathtaking scene of Keys View. The jagged edges of their shadows perfectly framing their narrow textured bodies. As you creep towards the edge of the pavement the vastness of the landscape squeezes a little air from your lungs. Visit Keys View at daybreak and you just might have place completely to yourself, with only the endless coffee coloured mountains and warm beating sun to keep you company.
Where: Joshua Tree National Park | Joshua Tree, California | USA
What to eat: Just before entering the West Entrance to the park, be sure to stop at Natural Sisters Cafe for a delicious egg bagel and smoothie to start your day off right. If you're lucky and snag a patio seat you just might get to hear some of Joshua Tree's finest performing on the sidewalk. Oh, and don't forget to grab a carrot cake for the road! For other snacks, stop at any of the local stores or bigger chains in Joshua Tree or Yucca Valley for a park picnic. Bring plenty of water!
* Pop into the thrift store just down the way from the Natural Sisters Cafe to hunt for some previously loved treasures.
[Shot] With: Nikon F100 | Kodak 400 film
• Careful not to disturb any rattlers, scorpions, and tarantulas as you explore the park; and be especially mindful of where you place your fingers and toes when clambering around the rock formations.
• Be sure not to miss the Cholla Cactus Garden located in the center of the park, accessed from any of the 3 main entrances.
• Bring snacks, a hat, and plenty of water into the park with you.