Into the Desert

One of the most amazing things about Joshua Tree National Park is you can tailor your visit to your preferences. You can take leisurely short strolls through impressive rock formations, or you can find thrill by climbing stories high. No matter what you choose to do, you’ll find the natural beauty is unparalleled and the options are endless.

Jumbo Rocks Campground
One of the largest campgrounds in the park, Jumbo Rocks has 124 campsites. It’s the perfect home base for numerous trails that lead to stunning rock structures, including Skull Rock. But aside from the beautiful wildlife, there’s not much. This campground doesn’t have showers, potable water, running toilets, trash service or cell service. There is, however, a rudimentary amphitheater where you can take a seat and enjoy the scene. Reservations are required.


Le Chacuel
There is no shortage of places to stay in the park. But if you’re looking for a balance among luxury, aesthetics and privacy, Le Chacuel is the spot. With outdoor showers and private chefs (optional), “Le Chacuel [is] a space influenced only by the desert and old-world desert living,” according to the website. “Almost everything has been hand-made custom for this space and much of the furniture you’ll experience throughout the property was cast and crew designed and built.” There are four bedrooms, a gorgeous living room, a pool, and minimal but inspiring landscaping dotted with outdoor furniture.

For more information, visit


Cliffhanger Guides
If you’re looking to ramp up the adventure, check out Cliffhanger Guides for an experience like no other. This guiding outfit has thought of everything for both the novice and experienced rock climber. From harnesses and helmets to a fresh lunch, they make it easy to enjoy the park from up high. The expert guides review safety information and walk you through the process of scaling giant walls while making it fun for all. “We are a small, independent, owner-operated rock-climbing guide service dedicated to providing the most personalized, safe, and fun rock-climbing adventures in Joshua Tree National Park.” The company offers half-day and full-day excursions.

For more information, visit


Stargazing Joshua Tree Tours
In Joshua Tree, the night is just as amazing as the daytime. With very little light and noise pollution, you can see the stars from a brand-new perspective. The folks at Stargazing will show you everything from the rings of Saturn and comets to star clusters and the Milky Way. In addition, their cutting-edge digital telescopes are easy to use, so guests can try their hand at scanning the night sky. Their home base is the Morongo Basin, which is an ideal place from which to gaze at a variety of features within the two-hour tour.

For more information, visit


Arch Rock Trail
This trail is a fairly short hike, clocking in at just under a mile. The main feature is Arch Rock, which sounds exactly like what it is. The National Park Service mentions, “The loop also has educational wayside signs along the trail describing the unique geology and characteristics in the area.” It is worth noting that there is very little shade on this trail, so it’s imperative to check the weather before you begin and bring plenty of water if you go in the warmer months. This trail is also very family-friendly in case you have some little hikers with you.


Skull Rock Trail
Located on a 1.7-mile trail known for its famous, eponymous rock structure, the geological phenomenon is surrounded by a variety of cacti and flowers that bloom at different times all year long. According to the National Park Service, “It began long ago when rain drops accumulated in tiny depressions and started to erode the granite. As more rock eroded, more water accumulated, leading to more erosion until, as time passed, two hollowed-out eye sockets formed, and the rock began to resemble a skull.” It’s the perfect mild trail for those who want to see a signature site within the park.

More Reflections

Continue reading Reflections and don’t forget to check back
every two weeks for more articles.

Bellevue Club


  • M-F:
  • SA:
  • SU:
  • 5 A.M. – 11 P.M.
  • 6 A.M. – 11 P.M.
  • 6 A.M. – 9 P.M.
11200 Southeast Sixth Street,
Bellevue, WA 98004