I'm going to be going to Joshua Tree National Park for a weekend with some girlfriends. I want to get the most out of it- the hiking, the camping, the views, the food (though I'm sure we will mostly be campfire cooking!). I would love any recommendations for some off-the-beaten path sights to see. Thanks!
Check out the keys ranch guided walking tour very awesome.
If you are hiking there are a ton of trails to go on, if you are biking there are a bunch of trails geared towards different levels of skill.
Lastly, when you get there sign up for the ranger programs or at least get a list that interests you. They are geared towards all levels and interests.
It is the desert, be careful, it can be a hostile place if you are not prepared.
I just got back from a day trip to J-tree, and it was awesome. We explored and hiked random areas, but definitely make sure you stop at Keys View for beautiful views that overlook all of Coachella Valley.
Also, on the way home, we stopped at Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace in Yucca Valley. This place was awesome. Live music, good bbq and in the back you can walk a street where I'm told they film a lot of the country western films.
Hope this helps, and enjoy!
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On your way back from camping, be sure to check out Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace in Pioneertown. Take a look at their schedule to catch musicians in town, or just take in a great American style meal.