A Tour of Joshua Tree National Park in Photos

Joshua Tree National Park may just be one of my favorite national parks, and favorite corners of California, to visit. I know, for those who’ve visited WTG before, it probably seems like I say that about everywhere I go. However, there’s something different about Joshua Tree than other places I continue to revisit. With Joshua Tree, there’s a certain beauty mixed with rawness, and often extreme conditions, that are incomparable to any other national park.

On paper, Joshua Tree may not seem that special. For starters, Joshua Tree National Park is one of the youngest national parks in America, declared a national park just a couple decades ago in 1994.

Perhaps most unusual, however, is the fact that the Southern California national park is named after a tree. But it’s not just any tree, but rather the Yucca brevifolia (aka Joshua Tree), native to the region, and what you won't find in any other region of the world. 

The Joshua Tree is arguably one of the most unusual-looking trees in the world. In fact, the name comes from Mormon settlers crossing the Mojave Desert during the mid-19th century, remarking that the tree reminded them of the biblical character of Joshua, reaching his hands toward the sky in prayer.


But what I love most about Joshua Tree National Park is the diversity of landscape. The uniqueness begins with Joshua Tree National Park’s desert landscape, where both the Colorado and Mojave deserts converge. Beyond that desert landscape, some notable points of interest include Jumbo Rocks (the name is literal), Barker Dam (yes, a dam in the desert), and Keys View, which offers panoramic views of the Coachella Valley, the San Andreas Fault, and a couple of Southern California's tallest peaks, San Jacinto and San Gorgonio.

The real beauty, however, is once the sun starts to set. The sunsets over Joshua Tree National Park, and the expansive, star-filled night sky, are among the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

But enough of my take on Joshua Tree National Park. I’ll let the photos do the talking. See some of my favorite photos below from my recent long weekend in Joshua Tree National Park. (Yes, those are slackliners below high above the rocks.)

Ryan Mountain Joshua Tree
Ryan Mountain Trail Joshua Tree
Barker Dam in Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree sunset
new moon joshua tree
stars Joshua Tree
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