One National Park that I will continue to visit time and time again is Joshua Tree. Located in Southern California, here you can find a mecca of the iconic Joshua trees.
Joshua Tree National Park is a great place for people to hike, enjoy the scenery, rock climb and more. The park is located between the Colorado and Mohave deserts, offering a home to all kinds of different cacti and wildlife.
There are various spots to check out all over the park, which is roughly 800,000 acres big. Millions of people visit the park each year, but with that much foot traffic, there are always negatives that come with it. There is a lot of vandalism that occurs here and people littering. Please remember to pack in and pack out so these places will still be here for future generations.
Joshua trees only grow in the Mohave Desert. They only grow 2 to 5 inches every year, so you can imagine how old the Joshua tree is in the picture above! If you are lucky enough to see one of these cool trees, DO NOT climb on them or hang anything on them. They are very delicate and we don’t want to destroy these unique trees.
The Cholla Cactus Garden is a really fun stop but beware – these cacti fight back! This is an epic place for people watching because so many people get these cacti stuck on them…. sadly, I was one of them. Part of the cactus fell off and was on the ground and I stepped on it. The spikes are barbed so they’re really hard to get off, and I ended up getting it stuck on my hand when trying to get it off my shoe! Definitely wasn’t as bad as the girl who backed into one and got a whole bunch stuck on her butt. Despite their “fuzzy” appearance, these are some mean cacti, so watch your step!
Also in Joshua Tree is the Ocotillo Patch. You can find tons of large Ocotillo cacti here. Ocotillo cacti are not native to one specific desert, so you can find them throughout the Southwest. These tall cacti produce beautiful red flowers in the spring after it rains.
There is a ton to learn and do here in Joshua Tree National Park. It makes a great trip for the family any time of year. If you come with younger kids, keep an eye on them wandering around the cacti, or they will learn their lesson pretty fast! This beautiful park is only a few hours outside of Los Angeles, so it is a big spot for Southern Californians searching for adventure. If you check it out, just remember to respect the land and wildlife.