None of that happened - but there I was... Flown out last second to Hollywood, California USA after spending a few weeks on the road. I was on tour with the band Friday Night Fever and I was filming a documentary called “Dreamin’,” a short film based on their life, goals and journey thus far. As the tour was coming to an end, the band members had an offer to record with a well-known producer. The guys, who had become family to me by this point, flew me out there to find out that nearly all of the filming ideas that we had generated would not actually happen due to multiple reasons. (Photo above by David Mays/iStock)
History in a nutshell
Humans have occupied the area encompassed by Joshua Tree National Park's nearly 800,000 acres for at least 5,000 years. The first group known to inhabit the area was the Pinto Culture, followed by the Serrano, the Chemehuevi, and the Cahuilla.
In the 1800s, cattlemen drove their cows into the area for the ample grass available at the time and built water impoundments for them. Miners dug tunnels through the earth looking for gold and made tracks across the desert with their trucks. Homesteaders began filing claims in the 1900s. They built cabins, dug wells, and planted crops.
Each group left its mark upon the land and contributed to the rich cultural history of Joshua Tree National Park. The park protects 501 archeological sites, 88 historic structures, 19 cultural landscapes, and houses 123,253 items in its museum collections.
(cited from History & Culture of Joshua Tree National Park http://www.nps.gov/jotr/historyculture/, 2012)
Joshua Tree National Park is pretty HUGE - after entering the park, it took me 45 minutes of driving down winding paths until I reached many of the park’s attractions. Some of the most notable ones are Keys View, Jumbo Rocks and the Cholla Cactus Garden. Not only does Joshua Tree offer wondrous camping, hiking and climbing opportunities, it also provides a relatively untouched insight into the great American desert from when it was once the last frontier.
If you ever find yourself near Los Angeles or in need of a sweet visit to the desert, I recommend visiting the Joshua Tree National Park. I loved my visit and would definitely visit again - but I will make damn sure to bring a lot more water with me next time.
The park is named after the yucca brevifolia, also known as the yucca palm tree. The trees (shown in the above photos) are unique desert plants which take on tree-like qualities, as I’m sure you can see.
Best time to visit - March and April - Joshua Tree is good to visit nearly year round, but during this time period you can catch the fresh blooms at pleasant temperatures
Prices - Vehicle permits range $5-15 for a 7 day pass, $30 for annual pass - senior, day access and volunteer passes are also available
Hours - Open all the time, all year - visitor centers are open 8a-4 or 5p
More travel information - http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/
Website - http://www.nps.gov/jotr/
My recommendation - Unfortunately, I only had enough time to visit for a few hours - I recommend staying a weekend, 3 days - and camp!