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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Joshua Tree National Park in 1 day

So you want to go to Joshua Tree National Park? 
Oh, and you only have one day.  
You came to the right spot. 

Well in KW fashion I am also always trying to cram as much adventure into a day as possible.  Welcome to the guide that will get you into and through the park in one day while seeing some of the bigger sites.  In one day you can fit in an auto tour of the park with a short but steady hike, a cactus stroll and a chance to climb around some rocks shaped like skulls.  With a lot of sites right off the main drive and an early start and a plan, you can get a good taste of Joshua Tree in just one day.  

Of course, you can spend a week in the park, hiking every trail and seeing all the sites of this amazing National Park.  But I have a whole lot of National Parks to see and not a ton of time.  This is going to be an Auto Tour that combines both deserts in a day, hiking and photographing your way around the major sites of the park.  I loved the varied terrain in the park and the auto tour that let us get a glimpse of both deserts.  The hike to Ryan Mountain was a crowd favorite as the views of the desert below were phenomenal.  The Cholla Cactus Garden was another favorite as who knew cactus could be so darn cute.  Skeleton Rock was an easy chance to stretch our legs and scramble around some of the large boulders in the park.    But before I give away all my travel plans and share my "one day itinerary", let's talk a little bit about the park and it's famous Joshua Trees.




Thursday, May 18, 2017

Hike up Ryan Mountain - Joshua Tree National Park

Views from the summit 

What would a KW trip to a National Park be without a hike?  It would be a sad one of course.  Thankfully, we had just enough time to squeeze in one of the park's most popular hikes before the rain came in.  One of the first things I (almost) always do when visiting a new National Park is stop at the Visitor's Center.  I love to look at the exhibits, check out the shop, and best of all, talk to the rangers.  

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cholla Cactus Garden - Joshua Tree National Park


Until this trip, I never thought cactus could be, well, really stinking cute.  This trip to Cholla Cactus Garden proved just that.  If you are traveling to Joshua Tree National Park, this quick little walk to a garden of ridiculously adorable cactus should be on your list.  While not an exciting hike or grand adventure, this was probably one of my favorite stops in Joshua Tree National Park. 


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Skull Rock - Joshua Tree National Park, California


One thing I really wanted to do while in LA was, in fact, leave LA and drive nearly three hours to the nearest National Park, Joshua Tree.  As I mentioned in my last post I wanted to see California but I really had zero interest in LA or your typical city/touristy sights (no Hollywood Sign or Beverly Hills for me).  

Any chance I have to visit a National Park I jump on it.  One of the first things I did when I planned my California Trip was to see the closest National Park to LAX and Joshua Tree won the ticket.  Joshua Tree isn't the most glamorous of National Parks but for all the desert lovers out there (yep, that's a thing) it is a fantastic park.  From the famous Dr. Suess like Joshua Trees to spectacular hikes and rock formations, Joshua Tree National Park deserves at least a day in your Southern California Itinerary.  I am working on a "24 hours in Joshua Tree" post but for now, I wanted to post about my favorite stops, sights, and hikes within the park.  

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hiking to Sandstone Peak- Santa Monica, California


If you have been following this blog for a little while, you probably know I am not much of a city person.  The crowds, the traffic, the prices, the garbage, the crime... I could go on and on. You may be thinking "didn't you live in a city Katie,  downtown in fact? " Yes, I lived in a city downtown for two years but Salt Lake City is such an easy city compared to some of our country's big cities like New York and Los Angeles.  With that being said, I still like to visit and can definitely appreciate a city for a day or two.  I love the various food and sheer amount of things to do, aspects you can find in just about any city.  

When I had the chance to visit Los Angeles, I jumped at the opportunity for these reasons.  The first thing a few people said to me was "you don't seem like an LA kind of gal".  Yes, yes they were all right.  I was excited to see the city but let's be honest, within five minutes I was researching the best hikes and outdoor activities in the area.  I was staying in Santa Monica just outside of LA and within minutes, had found some great hikes and activities in the area.