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Some questions about Joshua Tree

Parma, Italy
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Some questions about Joshua Tree

Hello everybody! My boyfriend and I will be in Joshua Tree NP for a night in mid-June. We will be arriving from LA (we are planning to leave at around 2-3pm or so), and I have a few questions on how best to organize our stay.

1. Would you recommend driving straight to the park? Or should be stop at the Palm Spring Aerial Tramway? Is it worth it?

2. Should we visit the park on that day (so late afternoon/sunset), or would it be better to wait until next morning and visit at sunrise? Either way, I guess we would have about 3 hours.

3. Which are the best spots for stargazing, possible closer to either the West or North entrance? I read that the night sky in the park is spectaculer, but can't find anything about the best viewpoints.

Thank you very much in advance for your help!

Martina

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4 replies to this topic
Desert Southwest US
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1. Re: Some questions about Joshua Tree

If you're leaving the L.A. area at 2-3 PM, you will be pressed for time and should go straight to JTNP. To do both the tramway and JTNP would be diluting the experience of either, if you have but a single night. Are you spending the night inside the park, e.g. camping?

Here is a pretty good article the Desert Sun published awhile back:

desertsun.com/story/…

And some park info on stargazing:

joshuatree.guide/guide-to-the-night-sky/

Be sure to check the moon phase to see how much ambient moonlight there will be that could impact the stargazing experience.

Edited: 05 February 2017, 00:55
Parma, Italy
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2. Re: Some questions about Joshua Tree

Thank you for the quick reply and the useful links tahquitz! Sadly we won't be spending the night inside the park! I was thinking about either Yucca Valley or Twentynine Palms. That is the reason why I was asking about a nice spot for stargazing closer to one of the entrances.

The idea is getting into the park, driving from the West entrance to the Northern one (stopping along the way and taking some minor hikes), waiting for the sunset, check in at the hotel and then drive back to the park for stargazing. Or stargaze right after sunset, I'm not sure what would make more sense.

Edited: 05 February 2017, 01:54
Desert Southwest US
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3. Re: Some questions about Joshua Tree

There are some cool places to stay outside the park. Roughley Manor is one of them.

Www.campbellhouse29palms.com

Costa Mesa...
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4. Re: Some questions about Joshua Tree

Stargazing is best late at night, not right after sunset, as it takes awhile after sunset for the remaining light to fade away. In summer, we try to go after 10. Try to position yourself leaning back, so as not to get neck pain. But the desert's not a great place to lay unprotected on the ground - too many critters.

After you turn off all the car lights / flashlight it takes about 1/2 hour for your eyes to fully adjust. If you can wrap your flashlight in red cellophane, even better, but it's not commonly available (we get it online).

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