A City Dweller's Guide to the Perfect Joshua Tree Weekend Trip

Photographer

Ramon Barcenas

Camera

Contax T3

Film

Kodak Portra 400

A City Dweller's Guide to the Perfect Joshua Tree Weekend Trip

Making the most of Joshua Tree NP and the Yucca Valley with a modern airbnb, sunrise hikes, and succulent shopping

A City Dweller's Guide to the Perfect Joshua Tree Weekend Trip

Author

Ramon Barcenas

Photographer

Ramon Barcenas

Camera

Contax T3

Film

Kodak Portra 400

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Ramon Barcenas is a NYC-based designer with an affinity for analog photography.

Joshua Tree serves as the perfect weekend getaway for those looking to refresh and unwind, especially for those of us who call the East Coast home. The consistent weather, extensive opportunities for outdoor adventure, and surreal natural landscape, in addition to its close proximity to Palm Springs, make Joshua Tree and the surrounding Yucca Valley about as good as it gets—you know, if you're into that sort of thing.

On a whim, my friends and I recently decided to go for a long weekend, clearing our schedules to make way for sun filled landscapes and clear blue skies. Wide open spaces allowed us to kick back and revel at all the desert had to offer.

We did it right. The following is a list of do's and don'ts for a weekend stay in Joshua Tree, so you can too.

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DO stay at the Rock Reach House in Yucca Valley, just outside the national park. Previously featured on Field Mag, the modern prefab is nestled in the hills, perfect for hiking during the day and stargazing at night.

DON'T forget to bring a swimsuit. The house has a hot tub that's especially ideal for watching the sun set across the surrounding mountain side.

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DO spend some time exploring the landcape and rock climbing while staying at the Rock Reach House, before you head to Joshua Tree National Park. Hiking around Yucca Valley is fairly light and the views are splendid.

DON'T try to climb the many rocks and boulders barefoot, or with soft leather shoes, because both will get torn up. Trail runners offer a nice balance of traction and comfort.

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DO wake up at 5am to watch the sun rise. The warm hues that hit the rocks provide all the warmth you need (but bring a hoodie too, just in case).

DON'T Sleep in. Seriously, wake up, take in the view, then nap during the day once the temps rise.

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DO take advantage of the spring weather and head out to the National Park in the morning and explore all day. The sunlight paints a sharp contrast along the walls of boulders.

DON'T forget to bring a hoodie and sunscreen. The sun is at its brightest at noon, yet temps can stay comfortably cool well into the afternoon.

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DO stop at Cactus Mart. This may be the most important tip, tbh.

DON'T take any plants from Joshua Tree National Park or any other natural zone. You can build your own cactus at Cactus Mart, they have it all. Remember, always observe L.N.T. principles and respect Mother Nature.

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BONUS DO: Always observe L.N.T. principles and respect Mother Nature. Every little action adds up in the long run :)

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Published 05-02-2019

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