Thanksgiving at Joshua Tree

We went down to Joshua Tree National Park over the long Thanksgiving weekend, which is becoming something of a tradition for us (see Thanksgiving at MacKerricher, Thanksgiving at Lassen). This was our campsite, complete with joshua trees.

Joshua Tree National Park campsite
Our campsite, complete with joshua trees

We met up at the park with our friends Julie, Patrice, and their daughter Eva. They drove separately but camped and cooked out with us for two of the three nights we were there.

Stephanie, Justin, Julie, Patrice and Eva at Joshua Tree National Park
Stephanie, Justin, Julie, Patrice and Eva

Here’s a panorama of Hidden Valley, our hike on Friday. I didn’t know what to expect from Joshua Tree (other than joshua trees). Turns out it’s well known (especially among climbers) for its piles of eroded granite rocks. Everywhere we looked we saw people on rocks, some professional, some just goofing off—like us.

Hidden Valley panorama

Hidden Valley panorama

Stephanie, Eva, and Patrice posing on and under a rock arch
Patrice, Stephanie, and Eva posing on and under Arch Rock

On Saturday we hiked out to the Fortynine Palms Oasis. Along the way, two tarantulas crossed our paths!

Tarantula at Joshua Tree National Park
Tarantula 1
Tarantula at Joshua Tree National Park
Tarantula 2
View from the Fortynine Palms Oasis trail
View from the Fortynine Palms Oasis trail
Fortynine Palms Oasis in sight
The oasis in sight!

Compared to the hot desert sun (even in late November), it felt air conditioned in the shade of the palms. We all sat down to eat our well-earned sandwiches. It was a mile and a half to the oasis, with about 300 feet of elevation gain and loss just getting there—which we’d repeat on the way out.

Justin in the Fortynine Palms Oasis
Cooling off at the oasis


Whoa, that oasis is so cool.

I know. It was better than I imagined. Like something out of cartoons. Hard to take a picture of though, given the angle of the winter sun.

The campsites in joshua tree are the best i saw through our usa-trip this year !! Beautiful between the rocks and the trees !! Greatings from Germany… iam a little bit jealous ;-)

Angelika, ha, glad to hear back from you, and glad your trip was a success. It sounds like I’m following in your footsteps around the US. Someday I’ll have to do the same in Germany.

oh no ! ;-)) you can’t do the same in germany…the campsites are realy awful !!! the nature isn’t approximately compare. But if you want to visit Germany let me know about! We are living on a touristik route it’s called – beer and castle street ;-))) – hey and we have a free room in our house for friendly travelers !!
(Don’t try to visit oktoberfest in munich – this will be a horrible trip, if you cant make reservations for the great beerhalls.)

No? I’m sure Germany must have some beautiful sights? I would probably start with the UNESCO World Heritage sites

Yes we have nice sights – of course !! If you are interestet on old castles-churches – and old historic towns (also breweries) ;-)- you are right there ! We also have some nice places of nature, but nothing you can compare with i have seen in the US !! One of the important things is…you are allowed to drive your car with over 125 miles/hour..on some “highways” there is no speed limit – i love this realy ;-)).. bye ! I will visit your blog soon – in the next days we will drive to the alps for skiing. yeeep ;-)


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