Joshua Tree was definitely one of the most memorable places out of all the places we visited on our 2018 15-day family road trip! If you ask any of my three kids what their favorite parts of the trip were, Joshua Tree is always on the top of the list.
The park is very easy to enter and navigate. There was almost no one else in the park while we were there in June. We had stayed in Kingman, AZ the night prior; therefore, we had a 3 hour and 40 minute drive to the park that morning. We woke up early, stopped at a grocery store for a lunch to pack with us, and arrived at the park before noon.
Being from Tennessee, the landscape was drastically different than anything else we had ever seen. The contrast of the deep blue sky against the shapes and formations of rocks and trees as you look out over the horizon were unbelievable. Interesting little creatures hopped and crawled out of every shrub as we walked through the park. My boys loved finding all sorts of lizards, kangaroo rats, ground squirrels and jackrabbits. My daughter and I let out a couple squeals as lizards ran past our feet! We had hoped to see the bighorn sheep but they were no where to be found during our trip. There were several signs posted that many of them were being treated for a sickness that had spread among them.
First, we found the White Tank Campground and began the hike to Arch Rock. It was a very easy 10 minute hike. This trail is filled with jumbo rocks that my kids enjoyed climbing all over! Their excitement at this point of our trip was over the top! What kid doesn’t love climbing rocks!? But, these rocks are something from another world. It’s the goldmine of rocks for kids!
Next, we headed towards Barker Dam hiking trail. This is an easy, flat trail and is the only area with water in the park. The bighorn sheep are often found here. This is where we saw that amazing landscape I was describing earlier! If you don’t have a lot of time in the park, this trail is a good overview of what the park has to offer. You will find thousands of Joshua trees and cacti, animals of every kind and rocks of every shape and size!
This is a huge park with so much to offer. There are even 9 campgrounds and I’m pretty sure they are all amazing. We definitely wished we had a little longer than one afternoon at Joshua Tree. We only saw a tiny glimpse into its greatness!
That evening, we stayed in Twenty-nine Psalms at Fairfield Inn and Suites. We highly recommend this hotel. They upgraded our room for free and it was a wonderful experience! It is a very nice, new hotel.
We LOVED Joshua Tree National Park. It is definitely one you don’t want to leave off your itinerary if you are going to be anywhere near the park!
For more information on our 15-day family road trip, you can find the information here.