Day 35 – Big Bear Lake to Joshua Tree Nat Park

Overland Camping Roadtrip Blog

Travel Day 35:

Total km driven to date: 7100km

Total km walked to date: 270.32km

Big Bear Lake, CA – Joshua Tree National Park, CA

137km drive

11.88km on foot

                Getting tired of Big Bear I’ve decided to pack up and go to Joshua Tree National Park. I can’t be this close to the park and not at least go down and check it out, its one of my favourite places and if you haven’t been make sure to put it on your list, it is one of the most amazing places I have ever been. We got underway and headed back down Hwy-18 winding down to Lucerne Valley, next stop Yucca Valley for gas and food. Passed by Boone Rd. on the way but didnt turn in. For those of you that dont know Boone Rd is where the annual King of the Hammers event is held every January, which is an awesome event, “Burningman for Motorheads” where 60,000+ people gather in the middle of Johnson Valley for what is turning into the largest offroad race in the world. But thats for another blog post at another time. We continued on our way and stopped for much needed supplies and then into Joshua Tree, the park is only about 15km from Yucca Valley or 100km from Palm Springs (to the West Entrance that I used). This is their slow time of year and the booth at the entrance wasn’t even open and there is way less people around than when I was here in January (their high season due to the heat).

We did a bit of sightseeing and then turned into Hidden Valley campground to find a place for the night. Unfortunately I had to pay for a spot, but considering its the first time paying for camping in 35 nights on the road I’m doing pretty good. It was $15 for a spot nestled in between the boulders and under the Joshua Trees (That is on top of the $20 park fee if you do not have the annual pass). I think it was worth it, this is one of the coolest campgrounds I have ever been in, some spots are very private depending on how the boulders lay and the campground is only 1/3rd full anyways. There is a bit of a wind blowing and with my easy-up and the shade it is only about 31* which isn’t bad at all. I’m typing this under the shade of some Joshua Trees in my camp and I headed out for a hike at sunset to take some photos with my epic rock climbing dog.

I came back to camp for a couple hours to work on photos until it got fully dark and I headed back out for some star photos at around 10:30. About 2km from camp in the middle of the desert in the pitch black surrounded by Joshua Trees and all of a sudden coyotes start howling all around me. It was a moment I will never forget as long as I live and a huge highlight of my trip so far, I have goosebumps just thinking about how eerie and beautiful it was.

Things are good, did I mention I love Joshua Tree!

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