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Joshua Tree National Forest

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murrayskinner

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Posted: 2005-08-16 19:39:00   

I am travelling to Las Vegas and Palm Desert next month and was planning an excursion to Josua Tree National Forest. Is it worthwhile??? Any other ideas?

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eirekay

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Posted: 2005-08-18 03:31:00   

Joshua Tree is beautiful for its stark contrasts - there are acres of desert, broken by these surreal oasis. Herds of Big Horn sheep roam free through sections of it. Even the desert itself offers contrast - there are three distinctly different types of desert. There are also several areas, such as Queen's Ranch and mining encampments, that have been retained from the 1800s. In the spring the cactus bloom which is spectacular to see.



If you intend to hike, get a VERY early start. It gets hot and you are completely exposed - there is NO shade. On the flip side, the star gazing is incredible throughout the Park. There is a Geological Trail that you can drive and the formations are spectacular! As I recall, it is a dirt/gravel road and takes an hour or so.



Other ideas for the Palm Springs area - you can rent ATVs right before you enter Palm Springs. It is terrific to motor around the desert for a couple of hours. There is an aerial tram you can take to the top of a peak that offers some wonderful views. From the top of the Tram, there are a number of hiking trails. If you like animals, there is the Living Desert Zoo which displays only animals from the surrounding desert, but in a natural environment. It is nicely done as zoos go.



In Palm Springs itself, there is an old section that harkens back to the days of early Hollywood and has been nicely maintained. The houses surrounding that strip have been recently restored by a number of homeowners, giving you a feel for the chic grandeur of the late 40s and early 50s. The architecture is very cool in an Eisenhower kind of way.



My mother lives in Palm Springs so we go fairly oftern - If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.



Eire

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murrayskinner

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Posted: 2005-08-18 13:29:00   

Thanks for the input on the Palm Springs area. Not the most exotic of destinations but tying some R and R in with a wedding. I checked out your site - cool!



Murray

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