Travelogue: Joshua Tree National Park 2017

While this website is mostly about yoga, it's also about families. And I'd like to share what my family and I are up to occasionally. I have a goal to travel to at least 18 national parks with my son. So far we've been to Yosemite and Olympic National Parks. Here's a look at our most recent trip to Joshua Tree.  

The park was so busy for the Christmas holiday that rangers stopped distributing passes the day we arrived. After sitting in stand-still traffic waiting to get in, we turned around and went back to our AirBNB which was just a few miles away from the park entrance. The trail in the back of the house was just as scenic as inside the official borders of the park. 

Here are my parents who joined us for our trip. 

Harlem was most interested by the ground: the ants, rocks, rabbit poop. I guess it makes sense that the ground is what he can see best. We didn't make it very far on the trail.


The next day we woke up early, ate a hearty breakfast, and packed our lunches and lots of water. We began the day with a mile loop hike on the Hidden Valley Trail. 

Hidden Valley was once used by cattle rustlers' as a hide-out. The flat trail is surrounded by giant boulders that provide shade, a rarity in Joshua Tree. The rocks are also really fun to climb on. I highly recommend this area for families visiting with young children. 

How adorable are my parents? My mom is super supportive of my yoga aspirations. Here she is in tree pose, which I also taught Harlem how to do, video here


The mile loop took us quite a long time with a distracted toddler who demanded to be carried the last quarter of the mile. We all took turns carrying him on our backs. But it was manageable. And there are shaded picnic areas just outside the trail where we stopped and ate lunch. 


Afterwards we continued our drive to Keys View. Harlem fell asleep in the car so we took turns going out to see the panorama of the Coachella Valley. 

While Harlem continued his nap, my parents sat in the car with him, so Russell and I could take a walk and little rock scramble to see Skull Rock. 

On the third day of our short trip to Joshua Tree we took in the beauty of Barker Dam. 

We love exploring nature as a family. I'm not sure how much Harlem will remember but the memories are priceless for us. While it's a lot of work to travel with a toddler and we're not able to hike as much as we'd like and our excursions are cut short by his nap schedule, it's amazing to be able to see these places through the eyes of our child.

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Comments: 1
  • #1

    Vicki Kondo (Tuesday, 30 January 2018 10:15)

    Seeing toddlers with a chance to nurture their minds and souls in this way is so beautiful and critical to well being. Hope it inspires many . Just exquisite!