The beginning of the year is always a clean slate. Tyler and I decided after all the holidays, food, shopping, and running around, it was time to go off the grid (and start 2017 with fresh eyes). We headed to Joshua Tree the first Friday of the New Year for a weekend of camping, hiking, and some alone time.
With heavy heat in the summer, January is a high traffic time of year to camp in Joshua Tree. It’s first come, first serve, but since we were driving from Los Angeles, we decided to camp in a site that we were able to reserve a spot. Black Rock was just outside Joshua Tree National Park and provided a beautiful, desert home for the weekend with a few hiking/walking trails.
We set up camp and did a small hike before the sun set. With different vegetation and terrain, the desert area was a nice change of pace to hike in. We headed back to camp, bundled up for the thirty degree temperature night and made a fire. When you camp, you always go to bed early because once the fire is out, there is not much more to do (plus you want to get warm).
In the morning we took our time making coffee, relaxing, and then headed to the park. Joshua Tree National Park is absolutely huge! With nearly 800,000 acres, the park is where the Colorado Desert meets the Mojave Desert and has rugged mountains of twisted rock and granite monoliths that pop up along the flat desert land. Popular for rock climbing and rock scrambling, there are many places for people to challenge themselves, along with a few easy hikes. Overall the park is beautiful and has a personality of its own, unlike any other park we have visited. It’s incredible to see how many people visit, explore, and appreciate the beauty of it.
After hiking the highest peak in the park (Ryan’s Mountain), we stumbled upon a dive bar that was not part of the plan, but a most visit. With every inch of the bar covered in knick knacks, the Joshua Tree Saloon serves up large dishes of BBQ, beer, and “The world’s best Bloody Mary”. We left the saloon, grabbed some more fire wood and headed back to camp.
In the morning we were going to do another hike, but after a weekend of camping, it’s always nice to head back home to your own bathroom and bed (and we scooped up Frank from the sitter on the way). I highly recommend visiting Joshua Tree National Park in the near future. It is a gorgeous park only a two hour drive from Los Angeles. It provides the space, terrain, and nature to clear your mind and get back to yourself. Just go before the heat rolls in.