The magical Joshua Tree National Park. We stayed about an hour away at the Thousand Trails in Palm Springs and made a day trip up to and through Joshua Tree from south to north. Going that direction was really interesting because you get to see the landscape and vegetation change dramatically as you climb up into the park. We made several stops along the way and enjoyed every one for different reasons.
The visitor center at the southern entrance had a bunch of great information and a nice little nature hike out back. We walked the loop and got a quick introduction to all of the desert plants. The Cholla Cactus Garden was our next stop up the road and it was really awesome (and a little scary) to walk through the thousands of cactuses in that area. A bit farther north we found some really fun rocks to climb around on near White Tank. Next up was a failed attempt at finding the Hall of Horrors and then a big rain storm rolled in so we headed home.
We will definitely return to Joshua Tree in the future. The entire Palm Springs area was beautiful, but there was a pretty magical quality to the park itself.