Last Saturday we finally took a trip to Joshua Tree National Park in Riverside County. We drove there from my In-Laws home in the Imperial Valley and it took us about 2 hrs. We started in the Westgate entrance and drove through the whole park, following the main road. Along the way, there was lots to see.
Usually there is a $15 per car to enter the park. Lucky us, we went there during National park week and got to enter for free. But $15 are definitely worth it!
There are a bunch of hiking trails, but even if you aren't too much into hiking, there are many things to see that don't require a lot of walking (I still wouldn't recommend wearing heels or flip flops).
When you enter the park they give you a map and most of the "attractions" are clearly labeled and easy to find. Here is a map that helped me to plan the trip.
Dog are allowed in the park, but not on the trails. We brought our dog with us and we didn't know of that rule. You dogs can be up to 100ft from the main road. We hadn't planned on doing too much long hiking anyways, so it was ok. But if you can, it's definitely recommended to not bring your pooch.
After entering the park, our first stop was Barker Dam. We left our car in the parking lot and after a short hike, we reached the beautiful dam. Pretty much everything in Joshua Tree Park is brown, so this little green spot seems like an oasis. We even spotted some ducks!
If you walk around the dam, you get this awesome view of the park!
After the Dam, we headed to the Jumbo Rocks. Its a campground and you can park right there (no hiking trail here). We climbed on rocks and enjoyed breathtaking views.
The so-called Skull Rock can be easily seen from the main road. It looks pretty cool from this angle. If you're right in front of it, it doesn't not resemble a skull as much.
The Arch Rock was the last item on our 'to-see" list. The map that we received at the entrance did not have this rock listed and there were no signs for it. If you want to go, just drive to the White Tank camp ground and Arch Rock is just a short hike from there.