Van Life

Van Life: Joshua Tree National Park

June 23, 2017
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From Marfa, we stopped in Tucson for the night, then headed to Joshua Tree, California. The moment we pulled in to the national park, we knew we would be coming back for a longer visit. I have never been to a more unique pace in my life.

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Unfortunately, our visit was cut short due to problems with Maeve, but we are already planning our return back.

About Joshua Tree

Van Life Joshua Tree Travel Blog Blogger Love You More Too

Joshua Tree is a national park where two different deserts, the Colorado and the Mojave, come together.  Each dessert looks very different and contains trees and vegetation specific to that desert. You find the Joshua Trees throughout the Mojave, or western part of the park. During the summer, the park is in off-season and it’s not crowded at all. Entrance is $25 for the week, or you can purchase an annual national park pass.

Van Life Joshua Tree Travel Blog Blogger Love You More Too

Van Life Joshua Tree Travel Blog Blogger Love You More Too

You will see mountains throughout the park, many with exposed granite. There are giant stacked rocks and mountains easy for bouldering. Everyone should experience the true uniqueness of this beautiful park.

Van Life Joshua Tree Travel Blog Blogger Love You More Too

Van Life Joshua Tree Travel Blog Blogger Love You More Too

Where to stay

If you are camping, stay in one of the eight campgrounds at Joshua Tree National Park. In the summer, all sites are first come, first serve.

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James Kaiser has an excellent guide to where to camp in Joshua Tree. We took his advice and found a spot (spot #1) in Hidden Valley. I love that it is in the middle of everything, surrounded by giant rocks, and covered in Joshua Trees. We appreciated the amount of shade, rocks and trees near our campsite, although I am sure most of the other campsites are also fantastic.

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What to do

Watch the sunset

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Colton and I celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary our night in Joshua Tree with dinner and a view of the sunset. The sky turns colors and the trees and mountains become silhouettes in Joshua Tree.

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Stargaze

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Get away from city life and enjoy one of nature’s oldest shows. Maybe you will get lucky and see a shooting star or a satellite.

Climb

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Climb the boulders and rocks at your campsite and beyond. There are a ton of climbing opportunities.

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Colton went for a quick night climb. Can you see his tiny silhouette?

Hike, bike, walk and ride

Mountain bike, hike, ride a horse, or take a nature walk through the desert and up the mountains. These are great ways to explore and get in some physical activity.

Take photos

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Joshua Tree provides an endless array of backdrops for breathtaking photos.

Van Life Joshua Tree Travel Blog Blogger Love You More Too

Van Life Joshua Tree Travel Blog Blogger Love You More Too

Van Life Joshua Tree Travel Blog Blogger Love You More Too

 

Check out our other stops on our Van Life trip, Big Bend National Park and Marfa, Texas

Also, read more about Maeve, our 1978 Volkswagen Westfalia

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PIN for Later

Have you been to Joshua Tree National Park? Will you visit? Leave me a comment below!

  • Julie Hood June 23, 2017 at 6:28 am

    This looks like an amazing trip, and I’m so impressed with those starry sky pics! I pinned this to my future adventures board…hopefully one day we’ll make it out there to see all those beautiful sights!!!

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 9:54 am

      Oh my gosh. It’s seriously breathtaking. You will love it.

  • ShootingStarsMag June 23, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Oh wow, these are beautiful photos. I’d love to watch the sunset!

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 9:54 am

      One of the highlights of the trip for sure.

  • Kimberly June 23, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Happy 9 year wedding anniversary! What a wonderful and memorable way to have spent it – watching that sunset! I would love to go there and just sit amongst all that nature. I’ve never seen anything like it other than pictures (which you take such fabulous ones and thank you for sharing!)

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 9:55 am

      Thank you!! It was a different way to celebrate than I initially expected, but I absolutely loved it.

  • Beth Kondrick June 23, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Happy anniversary! Your photos are amazing! I can just feel the peacefulness of everything here, the trees are lovely, the starry sky is incredible. And I love the VW Bus!!

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 9:55 am

      Thank you!! It’s such a fun adventure. We had a blast.

  • Corey | The Nostalgia Diaries June 23, 2017 at 10:20 am

    So stunning – it looks absolutely incredible (and admittedly, I’m sitting here humming some U2 while I type this :)) Also – that bus!!! LOVE!

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 9:56 am

      Haha. Thank you. We are pretty proud of her.

  • Olivia Shoemaker June 23, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Beautiful couple, cool van, amazing pictures! I love the roundness in the trees and boulders – reminds me of Dr. Seuss illustrations. I hope you enjoyed your anniversary there, looks like a great place to get lost. 🙂

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 9:56 am

      Aww. Thank you. The trees are like something out of Dr. Suess. Great description.

  • Mia June 23, 2017 at 11:35 am

    These photos are breathtaking! I have always wanted to visit Joshua Tree park, definitely gotta get out there! 🙂

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 9:58 am

      Thank you, Mia. It’s such a fun and unique place.

  • Theresa Bailey June 23, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    This looks amazing! I’d totally love to sleep out under the stars.

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 9:59 am

      Its a great way to reset for sure.

  • Bri @ My Life As June 23, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    What a gorgeous place!

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 9:59 am

      Thank you! I absolutely love it.

  • Annette Dattilo June 24, 2017 at 9:02 am

    What an amazing adventure! My hubby and au have been trying to research different places and this is great. So beautiful! I had to pin this one. Thank you for sharing!

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Of course!! I hope you visit. It’s so fun!

  • Ginger marie June 24, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    First of all, I LOVE MAEVE…even though she puts y’all through hell sometimes haha. But really, this place looks so relaxing and far from all the noise! Love how all of the things to do are so simple but breathtaking!

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Awh. Thank you. We like her too, but she is a finicky little girl. It’s a beautiful place for sure. 🙂

  • Jean June 24, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    What an amazing place to celebrate your anniversary! Love your night photos. Simply stunning

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Thank you!! We had so much fun.

  • Valerie June 24, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Such breathtaking photography! And that van! So happy to find your blog, will be subscribing 🙂

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Thank you so much. You are too sweet!

  • Andrea June 24, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Your photos are just stunning! I’ve always wanted to visit Joshua Tree National Park and stargaze like crazy, lol! I’m saving this for when I plan my Cali trip 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:09 am

      Thank you so much. It’s such a fun place, you have to see it.

  • Micki June 24, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Oh my gosh, these photos are gorgeous! I’ve heard people talk about Joshua Tree before, but I honestly had no idea it was so beautiful.

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:10 am

      It’s really beautiful. Such a fun place to visit.

  • Eliza Smith June 24, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Happy 9 year anniversary!! What great pictures. The vegetation there looks like nothing I have ever seen before, like it’s not on this planet. If I’m ever near that way I’ll have to visit 🙂

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Thank you!! It’s really like being on a different planet. Great description!

  • Jas from My Suitcase Journeys June 24, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Looks and sounds like such an amazing trip! I’m trying to plan a road trip to Utah/Arizona in September and ughh I wish I have more time for this too. So many things to see, so little time. Btw I absolutely adore your outfit girl!!!

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:14 am

      I know, you will just have to schedule another one to visit here later. Thank you so much!

  • Tracy June 24, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Happy Anniversary. Those pictures are stunning. And your van, all the feels, especially on the color on the outside, one of my all time favorite colors.

    Joshua Tree is somewhere I hope to visit one day in the future.

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:15 am

      Thank you. We are pretty proud of her. It’s a great spot!

  • Carrie June 24, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Love the sunset/night photos! I’ve been so close to Joshua Tree several times but never actually made it there…looks like I’ll have to correct that ASAP. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:19 am

      Thank you!! You will have to see it. It’s unlike anything else.

  • Amanda June 24, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    I love the van! This is such a gorgeous park! I’ve never been there, but if I’m ever out that way, it looks like something we would enjoy! Beautiful pictures!

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:19 am

      Thank you. It’s a must see place for all.

  • maegan June 24, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Love your campervan! I would love to lay under the stars and watch comments shoot by! How peaceful!

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:21 am

      It really as peaceful as it sounds.

  • Mia June 25, 2017 at 1:31 am

    Thank you for explaining what makes Joshua Tree so special! I knew it was super beautiful, but I didn’t know it was a essentially a desert estuary! Beautiful pictures and tips from your trip, it really looks like you had an amazing time 🙂

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:22 am

      Of course! It was such a magical place.

  • Shani | Sunshine & Munchkins June 25, 2017 at 10:07 am

    What a beautiful place! I’ve heard of Joshua Tree before but I don’t think I’ve ever read much about it before. Those evening and night shots are gorgeous.

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Thank you. You should plan a trip out here.

  • Brittany Daoud June 25, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Joshua Tree looks like a beautiful place to visit! I really want to go someday!

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:23 am

      It really is as pretty as it looks. You will love it.

  • Lona Benitez June 26, 2017 at 7:09 am

    I love a Joshua Tree skyline! Thanks for sharing-I definitely want to visit now!

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Of course! I hope you get to.

  • Rebecca Hicks June 27, 2017 at 10:13 am

    This park looks so gorgeous!! And Jessica, you are stunning. I love how Colton is able to capture your natural beauty in his pictures of you! <3 I can't wait to hear all about your trip, and hopefully Maeve is okay!

    • Jessica July 2, 2017 at 10:24 am

      Aww, Rebecca. Thank you. You are so sweet. 🙂