What Makes Joshua Tree National Park so Unique?

One of the national parks long on my list was Joshua Tree National Park. But I didn’t know too much about it except for its desert setting and the Dr. Suess-like trees that frequently show up in photographs. From what I could tell during preliminary research, the park isn’t known for its sweeping vistas akin to Yosemite, Zion and Grand Canyon. It obviously doesn’t host common national park features like lakes, waterfalls and rivers. I was skeptical.

We decided to see for ourselves during a recent spring break trip. We spent two full days in the park as a stopover between Death Valley and the Channel Islands. Our visit was in April: a little too early for wildflower blooms (boo), a little too early for rattlesnake appearances (yay), late enough for the daytime temps to reach Hot AF! Here are the features that make this park unique and worth your time. Now that I’m in the know.

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Road Trip: Death Valley, Joshua Tree and Channel Islands National Parks

A 9-day/600-mile road trip covering National Parks of Southern California – including Death Valley, Joshua Tree and the Channel Islands. Travelers included our family with 3 kids ages 9-15. Enjoyed hiking over sand dunes, watching Joshua Tree sunsets, and sea-kayaking. Stayed in a variety of accommodations. Month of travel: April.

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Road Trip: National Parks of Utah and Arizona

An 11-day/1600-mile road trip covering National Parks of Utah and Arizona – including Zion, Bryce, Arches and the Grand Canyon. Travelers included our family with 3 kids ages 6-13. Enjoyed hiking among and above hoodoos, canyons and arches. Stayed in a variety of accommodations. Month of travel: April.

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