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With an area about the size of Rhode Island, Joshua Tree National Park is a huge playground of natural wonders. The night before we went there, we had a ringside seat to the playground in the heavens, with a clear view of stars trekking across the sky, thanks to our camping spot on BLM land with no city lights to bamboozle the eyes.

Starry Night at Joshua Tree
Boondocking under the stars on BLM land near Joshua Tree National Park
Cholla Cacti
Cholla Cactus

Then it was off to Joshua Tree, which coincidentally has a good many of those botanical scarecrows called Joshua Trees, as well as Cholla cacti and other dreamscape flora. The rock formations take on a life of their own, with names like Skull Rock and Tulip Rock and The Face, and whatever names your imagination can bestow on them. There are many hiking trails of various lengths and levels of challenge, all of which give you a chance to take in the eerie natural splendor, and a few traces of history left behind by miners and explorers in times past.

We went to Joshua Tree in February, when there were a few traces of snow on the ground, adding another touch of beauty to this unique landscape.