Stargazing at Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park - Night Sky - by Lian Law

Living in cities, it is almost impossible to have a good view of the stars. You would have to go to a place like Joshua Tree NP for a fantastic view of the heavens. 

In this high desert, it is very easy to avoid the glare of human civilization. Just walk a few feet away from any road or camp, and you are in total darkness. Also, the skies are clear most nights of the year due to the low rainfall. 

Joshua Tree National Park

This 800,000 acres park straddles the Mojave and Sonoran deserts in California. It is home to the most stunning rock piles, mountain ranges, desert views and an unexpected oasis here and there. 

Within the NP boundaries, you can enjoy an abundance of hiking and biking trails, bouldering and camping. The park is also a world-famous destination for rock climbers.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

nullPalm Springs and the surrounding area offer a lot of leisure and adventure opportunities and require many articles to cover the whole spectrum of activities.

After enjoying expansive desert views on the valley floor, get ready to be transported to a totally different world at the San Jacinto alpine forest. The state-of-the-art rotating tram cars pick you up from the Valley Station - suspended from a 2 mile stretch of steel cables - and deposit you at the Mountain Station. The trip will take you from an elevation of about 2,600 feet (806 m) to about 8,500 feet (2,596 m. You will experience a temperature drop of about 40 degrees. This is similar to traveling from the Sonora desert to the Canadian tundra in 11 minutes.

San Clemente State Beach

It’s a park. It’s a beach. It’s a campground. It’s all of the above and much more.

an Clemente SB - Ocean View

San Clemente State Beach is one of the rare places where everything aligns perfectly to make your visit unforgettable. You will want to come back again and again.

The “State Beach” offers campsites atop the bluffs with breathtaking views of the ocean. The camp has aroundSan Clemente State Beach 160 campsites which are divided into groups, RV and tent areas. The campground is beautifully laid out with paved roads connecting the various areas. Each campsite has a fire ring, picnic table, shade ramada and shade trees - with drinking and washing water nearby. Bathrooms – with hot showers - are never too far.

Tip: This park is extremely popular. You will need to make reservations many months ahead of time. Go to ReserveAmerica’s website and book your camp sites up to a year in advance.

Oceano Dunes SVRA

nullSVRA stands for State Vehicular Recreation Area, which really means lots of fun and adventure for you and I.

Oceano Dunes is around 3 hours drive north of Los Angeles CA - right next to Pismo Beach. The beautiful scenery along the way will make those 3 hours pass quickly.

Ocotillo Wells SVRA

nullSVRA stands for State Vehicular Recreation Area, which really means lots of fun and adventure for you and I.

Ocotillo Wells is part of the much larger “Anza-Borrego Desert State Park”. It was set aside for off-road vehicle recreation. It is a great place to experience the solitude of the beautiful desert, gaze at the stars or go wild with your 4-wheel drive SUV, ATV or dirt bike.

The park is a long drive from LA and Orange Counties, but closer to San Diego and Palm Springs.

Back to Nature

nullSouthern California offers many back to nature getaways. You can hike to a secluded area for some peace and quiet. You can take the kids to the park for some fun and games or some light fishing. You can go to the nearby beaches to stroll next to the waves, or take the plunge and enjoy some swimming and surfing. You can go to the mountains to hike or play in the snow.

This section will provide information about some of those activities. See the sub-topics for more detailed descriptions.