By LILIAN MOHR
Once again, I am not a fan of hiking in any way, shape or form, and yet I seem to keep finding myself halfway into a five-mile “walk” with the rest of my family in a national park in the middle of what appears to be nowhere. This time I happened to have ended up in Joshua Tree National Park.
With amazing national parks surrounding Redlands in every direction, Joshua Tree has certainly always been on my bucket list since I made the move to the West coast.
So we headed South to get to experience another famous California national park.
About an hour into the drive, we were in the town of Joshua Tree, window shopping and making our way to a farmers market that had tons of food, vendors and a variety of other unique items, like homemade candles and jewelry.
Everything about this town was relaxed, unique, rustic and some may even say a bit hippie, but it had a lot of amazing features that made it worth the trip.
There were several great cafes and restaurants to choose from, with a lot of options for almost every dietary restriction I can think of.
Along the main street, there were a lot of unique vintage stores, thrift shops, and several unique home furnishing stores. There were the normal tourist’s shops that had souvenirs and maps, but the true gems of this quaint town came from the quirky shops that line the streets with truly one-of-a-kind items.
After visiting a few stores we decided it was time to venture into the park.
After about a five mile drive into the park, we arrived at the hiking site. We had looked up some more relaxed hikes to do that allowed for a great experience of the amazing scenery but did not require rock scaling or cliff jumping. We found one that was only about a 1.3-mile loop, parked and started walking.
The hike was really beautiful and definitely lived up to the hype that Joshua Tree gets for its views. Although it was short, we were able to see the rock formations, cool desert wildlife and even a pond in between large cliffs that were a beautiful stopping place. We could sit and just take in the true beauty of the space around us.
This trip was a great way to visit Joshua Tree without having to do any crazy hiking. We got to experience the desert, which isn’t something we came across too frequently on the East coast and also got to know an interesting small town and all the amazing people that makeup Joshua Tree.