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California 101: Joshua Tree National Park

Rock climbing, camping, hiking, and stargazing—the area in and around Joshua Tree National Park offers endless fun

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Posted a year agoby John Godfrey

With a stunningly stark, almost witchy beauty, it’s easy to fall under Joshua Tree National Park's spell. We show you how to explore Indian Cove Nature Trail; climb at Echo Cove; hike among giant boulders on Arch Rock Trail; walk among cacti in Cholla Cactus Garden; relax at the Pioneertown Motel; kick back to live music at Pappy & Harriet’s; and watch the sunset at Keys View.

Before visiting the park, check out your options for entering. In addition to the heavily used west entrance near the Joshua Tree Visitors Center, there is also a north entrance, near the Oasis Visitors Center in Twentynine Palms, and a south entrance, near the intersection of Box Canyon Road and Interstate 10, which leads to the Cottonwood Visitors Center. You can avoid driving altogether and take advantage of the RoadRunner Shuttle Bus service that leaves from the Oasis Visitors Center and makes stops at over a dozen locations inside the park including Hemingway, Barker Dam, Ryan Mountain and Jumbo Rocks. And there’s a bonus: All entrance fees are waived for shuttle passengers. To enjoy your time in the park with sparser crowds, visit Joshua Tree midweek.

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