The Diamond in the Desert
Joshua Tree National Park is a unique national gem nestled between the Colorado and Mojave deserts overlooking California’s Coachella Valley. Exploring this vast 1,235 square mile wonder of the mostly remote desert is best started with an RV rental in Palm Springs. Just over 50 miles from either the north or south entrances of the Park, Palm Springs is an excellent basecamp to begin and end an adventure to one of Southern California’s most unique desert parks.
The dry, rugged landscape of Joshua Tree offers beautiful rock formations, miles of hiking, rock climbing for most skill levels, and jaw-dropping vistas. One of the most unique features of the park is its namesake, the Joshua tree.
A member of the Yucca genus, the Joshua tree received its name from Mormon settlers who were reminded by the trees’ sprawling, top-heavy branches of the Biblical story of Joshua raising his arms to Heaven in prayer. Once established, the trees are believed to have a lifespan of hundreds, if not thousands of years. Standing before these magnificent wonders in the utter stillness of the desert night, one can almost feel the trees channeling the energy of the heavens.
Luxury RV rentals in Palm Springs can offer comfortable camping accommodations for any of the nine campgrounds located within the park. With summer temperatures capable of topping well over 100 °F and barely dipping into the mid-70s, a luxury RV can offer a welcome respite if visiting Joshua Tree this time of year.
While the park is renowned for its unique landscape and bristled trees, a somewhat lesser known but equally majestic feature is its sunrises. Sunrises in Joshua Tree can paint the sky wondrous shades of fiery red, burnt orange and brilliant gold with clouds capturing the sun’s rays and casting dark, contrasting shadows along their trailing edges. All this takes place against the deep azure of the desert twilight sky.
Just under 430,000 square acres of the park are designated wilderness. The National Park Service requires overnight campers register at one of several registration board locations. Open fires are prohibited in the park, so campers must use camp stoves and are required to leave no trace of their campsite by carrying out everything they bring in. These restrictions protect the park’s delicate desert environment and can make an RV rental in Palm Springs a smart choice for the overnight park visitor.
The park has had its share of celebrity exposure, as well, with its otherworldly landscape and rugged rock formations appearing on album covers and in music videos. Interestingly, U2’s fifth album’s cover art was not shot in Joshua Tree National Park despite featuring a picture of the iconic tree and using its name in the album title. Nonetheless, the park’s attraction to artists of all types can be easily understood once one experiences its serene natural beauty.
Southern California boasts many natural and manmade attractions, but few can measure up to the stark beauty of its deserts. The rugged but serene landscapes make for a perfect destination for travelers wanting a unique vacation getaway. And an RV rental in Palm Springs can provide the perfect vehicle to transport vacationers to this mysterious land.