Boondocking at Joshua Tree National Park – Twentynine Palms, CA

After our short but sweet visit at Anza Borrego, it was time to move on to Joshua Tree National Park! We decided to boondock because we had read about some good boondocking spots very close to the park entrance. While we were at Joshua Tree, it was fairly cold. But far worse than the cold was the WIND! It whipped day and night, especially where we were boondocking. It seemed to be less severe in the park itself. At this point, we still had Trudy, and there was quite a bit of noise inside when it was windy outside. Check out our boondocking spot though:

Boondocking outside of Joshua Tree NP

Although there were some other RV’s around (and lots of off-road vehicles), we had a very large spot to ourselves for the majority of our stay. We didn’t spend too much time outside while at the RV due to the poor weather conditions. I tried to go for a walk and my hat blew right off of my head, if that gives you any idea.

Calla, Tim, and Trudy

This boondocking spot was a “meh” compared to some of the other ones we’ve had. The road to get in was very rutted, probably from people getting stuck in the mud. We couldn’t make it back very far from the main road because the road conditions were so poor. I also noticed that there was more trash in this boondocking spot than I’ve seen elsewhere. It seems like people go way back into the BLM land, then offload an old mattress, broken fridge, or rusted car frame. It’s such a shame that people use BLM land as their personal dumpster. Overall, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the best we’ve seen, either.

View from our boondocking spot. This old RV made it look like a scene from Breaking Bad.
Crazy picture I took while out on my walk. It looks like a moonwalk or something.

Visiting Joshua Tree National Park

The real reason we boondocked on the moon with bad weather and wind: to visit Joshua Tree! We were so excited about this National Park, and it did not disappoint. We’ve since been to many that have been more impressive, but at the time when we saw Joshua Tree, it was the most impressive thing we had seen thus far.

We spent the day at the park and did a couple of short hikes and ate lunch. Joshua Tree is a very large park, and we only saw a fraction of it. I wish we would have had time to go on longer hikes, but we were constrained on time.

Tim and Calla at the Visitor’s Center

The iconic Joshua Tree is the namesake of the part. The Joshua Tree is a specialized yucca, and it only grows in the Mojave desert. We saw Joshua Trees in St. George, Utah, which also lies in the Mojave (but barely).

Amongst the Joshua Trees
Joshua Tree National Park also has a lot of cool rock formations. You can climb on them freely.
Just a girl, her water bottle, and some rocks

Barker Dam was really cool. It was weird to see a body of water in the desert. There is a trail around it that’s a little over a mile. We learned the hard way that this trail is not stroller friendly and we had to ditch our stroller partway through.

Family picture at Barker Dam in Joshua Tree NP
Barker Dam Panorama
Exploring the dam
Little girl amongst many Joshua Trees

Our visit to Joshua Tree was somewhat abbreviated because right around this time (mid-March 2018) we were in search of a new RV. Southern California had a dealer that had many units that interested us (mostly Grand Design bunkhouses) and Tim drove a couple hours each way to go to that dealer. This is the downside of only having one car…when Tim was gone, Calla and I had to spend the day at the RV! When Tim returned from the dealer, we discussed options and were ready to make a deal on a new Grand Design. That’s when the phone rang and the owner of the used RV we originally wanted (The Fox) said that it was back on the market because the deal fell through.

The next day, we drove back to Phoenix and the madness of selling Trudy and buying The Fox began! So Joshua Tree was the end to our brief venture into Southern California! Although the weather was chilly, I’m glad we were not there during the summer. The heat there can be pretty oppressive!

See Calla and Tim? They look so tiny!

Date Visited: Mid-March 2018

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