Palm Springs and Joshua Tree Park

Palms Springs is definitely a great weekend getaway.  It is also very different than many people may think.  It is much more than just ritzy golf clubs and celebrity events.

We stayed at the Ritz Carlton which overlooks the city and valleys.

It also has great evening entertainment, activities and host guests that will help you even star watch which is quite a delight.

Of course, I snuck in an afternoon run, but you need to be in good shape, because with the elevation and hard core trails, it is quite a workout!

The city is much larger than I ever thought, but there are tons of great stores and restaurants to check out.  The variety and diversity of all the stores, hotels and restaurants is quite large…and I am still not sure I could figure out this Hotel which was close to where we ate last night, and nobody seemed to be there, but the sign said “Open”.  I guess I digress…

Now, one of the highlights of the area is the Joshua Tree National Park which is about 1.5 hour drive east from Palm Springs.

It has some amazing hiking choices and trails available for everyone.  It is a huge park and only costs $30 per car to visit.  But warning, arrive early as the entrance lines can be a mile long if you wait too long on a weekend.

We chose to first hire the Barker Dam trail.

The views and hidden spots are quite amazing and it is hard to not stay in park and checking out more trails to explore more of the history of the area.

You can even find and closely observe Native American petroglyphs in the area which was a surprise find!

Overall, it is not too technical, the only challenge is where to stop taking pictures and selfies because there are so many memorable landscapes and foliage.

This overall area and part of California is very different, very western and very unique and not what many people would expect.

We stopped for a break and for some lunch in Yucca, which is almost a mid western US time of culture and environment.

Not what we expected only 30 minutes away from Palm Springs, but clearly a different landscape.  We even stopped by Pioneer Town for a few minutes to check out the old movie set and compliment to the overall culture and people of Yucca Valley.

Summary: Palm Springs is a wonderful place to explore, but be advised as you adventure and research the broader area, it is much more diverse and different than you would ever expect or see on television.

 

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