Joshua Tree National Park Journals

Joshua Tree in July

A July 2002 trip to Joshua Tree National Park by tmhhmt

jurassic house Photo, Joshua Tree National Park, California More Photos
Quote: I often visit Joshua Tree in the winter but I'd always refused to go in the summer because of the heat. I was wrong. It's a great time to go if you stay in mid-day.

Joshua Tree in July

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Overview

morning in joshua tree Photo, Joshua Tree National Park, California
Quote:
The best part of the weekend was the bit I balked at doing. A local astronomy group - the Andromeda Society - was doing a sunset to midnight talk in the middle of the park at a picnic ground. Club members bring their telescopes to the park (ranging in size from smallish to the size of the bed of a large pick-up truck). They focus the telescopes on whatever is going on overhead, do a slightly humorous lecture, point at stars with a laser, scream when a shooting star or satellite runs overhead, tell astronomy jokes. Lots of people showed up both campers & locals and it was truly a family event with an age range of 3 to 80. With a gorgeous sunset, flawless weather (it had cooled to 8...Read More
Quote:
Previously I'd only been to this restaurant in the winter... then they have a buffet. I don't like buffets because there is nothing like old steam table food to ruin one's gastro-intestinal health. BUT because the place is so very busy with climbers and such the food is always fresh and quite decent (not fabulous but good). Summer means ordering off the menu and getting the entire restaurant to yourself(ves) even at 7pm on a Saturday night. The food was still good but not fabulous and you can get an ice cold beer to go with your pad thai. Caveat: don't order the fried wonton, they're terrible and unless you like your food really freakishly spicy order medium hot - I like peppery food but ther...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 15, 2002

Royal Siam Thai Cuisine
61599 29 Palms Hwy
Joshua Tree National Park, California

Cabazon Outlets

Attraction | "Cabazon Outlet"

Quote:
There used to be just one mall, one huge outdoor mall with so many places to spend money it was crazy. Now there are two malls (or maybe there are three?) next door to each other & so, even more places to spend your money. If you forget your underwear, need some Crate & Barrel mugs or wear out your hiking boots around the park (or need a Donna Karan fix) you can get it all at Cabazon. It's off the 10 fwy just west of Palm Springs and is a great air conditioned place to spend the heat of the day when hanging out in either place. From Joshua Tree it's a 30-40 minute drive down route 62 to the 10. FYI there is very little in the way of shopping in Joshua Tree - though ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 15, 2002

Cabazon Outlets
48750 Seminole Drive #100
Cabazon, California 92230
(951) 922-3000

Joshua Tree National Park

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Attraction | "Star Gazing with the Andromeda Society"

Joshua Tree National Park Photo, Twentynine Palms, California
Quote:
Every Saturday after the new moon in Joshua Tree National Park at the Hidden Valley Nature Trail (the rangers will direct you from the gate when you pay entrance fee) the Andromeda Society hosts a star gazing party (it's free by the way). It starts at sunset and ends quite late, around midnight. Members bring their personal telescopes, focus them on the stars and planets, then allow people to look through them. There's a short lecture, bad jokes, bats, coyotes, lizards, snakes and there are mountain climbers with flashlights on the rocks. The club members will answer any questions you have & point out the same stars over and over without getting impatient. There's a guy named Sam Davidson wh...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 15, 2002

Joshua Tree National Park
74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, California 92277
(760) 367-5500

Best Way to Deal with the Heat!

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Get up early, really early - between 5 & 6. The weather will be flawless, the temperature in the 60s or 70s. Walk, hike, bike, wear yourself out. Between 8 & 9 the sun will hit you full force and the temperature will start toward the 90s. Have breakfast at Crossroads. After breakfast take a nap, go to the movies, read a book, get a manicure in Yucca or 29 Palms but whatever you do, do it with the air conditioning ON or in a swimming pool with lots of waterproof sunscreen on. Around 5 you can head up to the high altitude parts of the park - the temperature is lower and it'll take you a while to get there. The sun doesn't go down until 8-ish so you...Read More

Highway Patrol

Story/Tip

Quote:
There is a highway patrol office in the middle of Joshua Tree on route 62 (the main drag). In other words, you can get tickets easily. I've never gotten one because I'm paranoid but I always see people getting pulled over around there. A friend of mine who lives there half the year tells me the Highway Patrol knows the locals from the non-locals & then tickets accordingly... but who knows.
jurassic house Photo, Joshua Tree National Park, California
Quote:
Take Route 62 to a street called Cascade, make a right (east) onto Cascade. Go to the end and you'll hit a dirt road, make a left and in front of you, about a quarter mile is the oddest house ever. Well, maybe not ever. It's owned by an artist of the 'limited edition painting of a lone Navajo in winter' type of prints. It's been under construction for over 10 years and still isn't finished. One of the neighbors told me the architect called it 'jurassic architecture' and that it has already cost over $15 million. Anyway it's built into the hills and the rocks and is somewhere between a mushroom and a space ship and a boulder in looks. The home-owners family lives at ...Read More

Park Center

Story/Tip

Quote:
Not affiliated with the park but think they share profits with the park. This place was closed for a remodeling when I was in town recently but didn't want to neglect mentioning it. They sell guide books of the park & surrounding areas, maps & etc., also a decent cup of cappucino. In the winter it's usually quite busy and opens very early.

Next door is a thrift store with really cheap books in case you're in need of low price entertainment.