Two years ago while making our big move from Austin to L.A., we stopped for the night right outside of Joshua Tree. Our intention was to do a short hike there the next day and then finish our drive to our new apartment in El Segundo, but after 12+ hours of driving and a rather uncomfortable sleep, all we wanted to do the next day was press on to our new (and first!) home together.
Ever since then, I’ve been meaning to come back to Joshua Tree. It’s always seemed like one of California’s less “popular” parks, standing in the shadow of places like Yosemite and even Death Valley. Finally, we had a reason to come back to Joshua Tree (our friend’s wonderful wedding!) and do a bit of exploring.
Our Most Unique Airbnb Yet
How can you look at this airstream parked in the middle of the desert and think, “I want to live in that place right now”?
Once I found out it had AC, booking this sweet vintage Airstream was a done deal. It was very much a glamping situation, which was exactly what we needed for this trip since we didn’t want to schlep all of our camping gear down from Seattle for such a short stay.
The bed was a little smaller than we were used to, but we made it work. Our host is an artist who creates these crazy, colorful painted garments, so it was no surprise that the trailer was full of pops of color like this mustard yellow blanket.
That View, Though
One thing we didn’t notice in the listing was the amazing fire pit and view of Palm Springs, the San Jacinto mountains, and the wind farms below.
When our host mentioned there was a spot around the corner from the trailer that was perfect for watching the sunset, I didn’t expect something this amazing.
The sky turned this absurd shade of pink every night and lit up the desert around us. It was like our own private patch of wilderness.
Unfortunately, it was too windy to start a fire. Safety first, particularly when everything around you is crispy and ready to burn.
Lost Horse Mine Trail
We’d planned to do two hikes in Joshua Tree over the four days we were there, but ended up only doing one due to weather conditions (read: extremely, extremely brisk wind for which we were not prepared). I’m glad Lost Horse Mine was the one we chose to do!
This 6.6 mile trail starts out with a bit of climbing, offering hikers a stellar view of the park and the mountains beyond. It was still a little breezy on the day we went, which helped make the heat a little more bearable.
After a few miles, you reach the base of a short hill that leads up to the mine. It’s not a very hard climb and the mine is neat to look at up close. No photo of it because it was behind a chainlink fence, the sun was blasting my face, and I was ready to keep on going. Sorry, mine. You’ll get your photo shoot some other day.
Finally, in the last 2-3 miles, it levels off nearly completely and gives way to a quiet desert trail. This is where we spotted the most of the park’s signature Joshua Trees.
Daniel made a neat time lapse of our hike using his GoPro, so it’s almost like you can take the hike with us! See if you can spot the times where I’m spraying myself down with sunscreen that did next to nothing, we both still managed to get burned.
This trip was our last “big” one until at least the summer. We’ll be sticking to exploring closer to home, and possibly venturing to the southwest this summer to hike in Colorado.
Till next time!