Joshua Tree National Park, CA



































I’ve been dreaming of visiting Joshua Tree for years now. (Anyone else who follows @lilystockman on Instagram will understand why! Her little pink house surrounded by Joshua trees always looks so dreamy!)

We spent two days exploring Joshua Tree National Park, each day staying late enough to watch the sun dip behind the mountains turning the sky pink and casting a magical glow onto the desert. Instead of writing about our time there, I thought I would share (with his permission) Quin’s journal entry about Joshua Tree. It’s interesting to read what he learned and loved about our time there:

Two days ago we drove to Joshua Tree National Park. It’s a desert in California with lots of cacti and Joshua Trees and desert plants. There were also loads of lizards. The biggest lizard there is called a Chuckwalla lizard. Easton tried to catch the lizards. We saw giant boulders and we got to climb on them, and we learned from Dada how they got there and how the rocks formed over many years. We learned that the Mormons gave the Joshua Tree its name because of a guy in the bible called Joshua. We stayed both nights to see the sun set. The sky got pink and it was beautiful behind the Joshua trees. We heard the coyotes howl and the cicadas buzz. It was fun. 


To Stay:

  • We stayed at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. It’s a 40-minute drive from Joshua Tree, but we didn’t mind the drive. We loved the breakfast in the hotel and the kids loved the pool!

To Eat:

  • We picked up wraps and sandwiches from the Natural Sisters Cafe in Joshua Tree and packed a picnic to eat in the park.
  • We ate Mexican food for dinner the first night at Las Palmas on our way from Joshua Tree to our hotel in Palm Springs.
  • Both mornings we ate breakfast at our hotel. The ricotta pancakes were so delicious!
  • We spent our last evening at Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown. We ate burgers and hot dogs and listened to live country western music, which was such a perfect way to end our road trip in the US.
  • We picked up organic fruit and local dates from a road-side fruit stand. The dates were so good!

To See/Do:

  • Hidden Valley Nature Trail: an easy one-mile loop with lots of interesting facts scattered along the walk.
  • Keys View: a viewpoint with panoramic views over the Coachella Valley (the kids learned about haze and why the valley has so much air pollution)
  • Skull Rock: another fun walk with loads of big boulders to climb on and between.

15 thoughts on “Joshua Tree National Park, CA

  1. Courtney, your photos are so lovely! Are you taking the pics on an iPhone? The light in the desert is something special. You’ve captured it nicely.

    • Thank you, Karen. The light in the desert really is so, so magical. The pink skies at sunset are especially pronounced there. Most of the photos on this blog are taken with my camera, a NikonD700. (All the photos I post on Instagram are iPhone photos). x

  2. Hey Court, I would love to re-read your blog on! So lovely to see the three bigger kids doing when they was so very little. Wishing you tons of luck and a very wonderful trip ahead. Love from Jakarta x

  3. Your children are going to be forever indebted to you for this magical opportunity and the wonderful photos you have of their life! I love following your journey and am seriously jealous of your healthy tans! Follow me on IG @SJG12345 if you’d like a glimpse into my little life in Oxford, England! xxx

  4. Really love following your travel adventures. Last night I was showing my oldest (12) the pictures of Joshua National Park, and he was very interested in all the different kinds of cacti and the shapes of the Joshua trees. He also wanted to know how the white stripe on the rock developed through time, so I explained. He really liked the journal by Quin and the explanation of the name’s origin. I just wanted to let you know that our kids are learning from your stories and pictures as well. So thank you so much for sharing.

  5. so happy to have discovered this I will be following along and enjoying your posts; and have such a longing to follow in your footsteps!!!! X

  6. Please ignore any negative comments that come your way. What you are doing with your family is beautiful and an inspiration. I love your posts here and on IG. Thank you for sharing your journey!

  7. Hi courtney! First of all, Thanks a lot for share your travel pics and IG ones and sorry for my bad / básic english🙈. I follow you since many years , recently i had been mom for first time and it was so hard for me first months but reading your blog and seeing your IG photos gives me peace and power to carry on ( of course my fam it was a Big support at that low momments for me but you also made me happy and gives me a very good point of view about maternity ) , So thanks a lot and keep travelling and enjoying ! ( i needed to tell you ) thanks babe 🙌🏼😊 Xxx
    A thankful spanish girl

  8. Courtney, I want to THANK YOU for sharing so much of yourselves and putting everything out there. We are planning a vacation out to Joshua Tree this Winter as an escape from the New England bitter cold and heavy snow. I just re-read this post on Joshua Tree before we book our mini-vaca and want to thank you for all the tips and pointers and sharing your experience with all of us. We have 2 children -4yrs and 2yrs- that we want to instill wanderlust in and your blog sure helps with that with all the pretty pictures you add in addition to the description and helpful tips for each location! Much love and peace to you and yours x

    • This is such a lovely comment, Jen. Thank you! How wonderful that you’re planning a trip to Joshua Tree. It is really such a special place. I’m so glad you found this post helpful. xx

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