Palm Springs Afternoon Out – Joshua Tree National Park





We were told by many people that we couldn’t go to Palm Springs and not go to Joshua Tree, so on the Saturday, after checking out of the Ace, and before checking into the Colony Palms, we drove out of Palm Spings, turned right at the wind farm (who would have guessed that so many wind farm fans read this blog?) and continued on the road through the desert and a slice of small-town America.

I only wish I’d been quick enough to photograph the teabaggers with the sign for ‘Less Gov, More God’. My first ever teabaggers! We don’t have teabaggers in Seattle.

It takes about an hour and a half to get to Joshua Tree and we were surprised to find that it was in fact cooler than Palm Springs, being higher up and much more windy. I’m not sure if this is always the case, but it might be worth bearing in mind if you’re sweltering down in the valley.

The park is named after the small stunted tree which dots the landscape as far as the eye can see. Vistas like this are so awesome and alien and strange to British eyes and so different from the cosy, cuddliness of Seattle. This is the America that I don’t even begin to understand, but which, I suspect, is an essential component of the American character.






According to the small book of walks we bought at the Visitor Center, we could quite easily have spent several days exploring the park. However, on the recommendation of a family at the hotel we decided to walk through Hidden Valley. This was a well-signposted, 1 mile loop through a rock-enclosed valley which was once apparently and excitingly the lair of cattle-rustlers. 

This was the perfect length of hike for the Minx and I can’t recommend it highly enough for small kids. Lots of tiny lizards and cute chipmunks to observe and loads of ROCKS. TO. CLIMB. 


Joshua Tree1


I liked it too, as the incredible rock formation brought out my inner Ansel Adams


Joshua Tree




 {To me, and to most other Brits I suspect, the Joshua Tree means U2. Here is my own small tribute to those irritating Irish rocksters. Why an album full of Irish angst is named after this park, goodness only knows, but that didn’t stop me having ‘With or Without You’ going round in my head for most of the day}.


And here’s another fix for all you wind farm junkies.


In other tales from our trip to Palm Springs, check out

The Ace Hotel and Swim Club here.

The Colony Palms Hotel here.

Out and About in Palm Springs here

The Aerial Tramway here.

Next week we will be concluding this series with lunch at the Parker, designed by Jonathan Adler.



  1. says

    glad you made it to JT too. it’s a stunning place. those stones look like wrinkly shar-peis to me. we have a rocknroll story about JT too. it’s now very magical to us. i’ll try to toddle back with an april pic if i don’t forget!

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