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  • Dalit Gliksman

Weekend Getaway to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park

Yucca trees older than you can imagine, and mountains that fill your heart with joy. This weekend is for true desert lovers.

From San Diego, drive 50 min to Temecula town, for a sip of wine. Walk Temecula old town and grab lunch at 1909 Temecula or The Goat and Vine.

Three beautiful wineries to visit; Europa Village Wineries & Resort, Baily Vinyard & Winery, and Callaway Vinyard & Winery if you're into a short wine tasting tour.

Europa Village Wineries & Resort, Temecula

Temecula Old Town

From Temecula drive 2h to Joshua Tree National Park, during the summer make sure to plan your visit to the park afternoon [from 05:00 PM] or early morning since it gets boiling [the park is open 24/7]. During fall and winter, the temperatures can get very low so be prepared with warm clothes.

AutoCamp Joshua Tree National Park

I stayed one night at AutoCamp and it was a 5-Star experience, with an outdoor pool that makes it a real oasis. Airbnb also offers beautiful vacation rentals at ridiculous prices.

What to do in Joshua Tree Park; start from Skull Rock, a super easy and flat hike. Keep driving towards Cap Rock while enjoying the magnificent landscape of the Yucca Joshua Trees.

Skull Rock, Joshua Tree National Park
The average age of the Yucca tree in the park is 200 years old. The oldest recorded Joshua tree lived to be an astonishing 1000 years old!

The best sunset view will be at Keys View. There are many campers in the park, so you won't find yourself alone in the dark.

If you've got more time or an additional day, visit Cholla Cactus Garden which is located on the other side of the park.

You'll never feel old next to a 200 years old tree

From Joshua Tree drive 45min to the most beautiful desert mountains of Palm Springs. If you're visiting during summer time, make sure to book accommodation with a pool to refresh in the warm hours of the day. I stayed at V Sonder which was great.

V Sonder, Palm Springs

What to do in Palm Springs?

Hiking in Palm Springs is recommended early morning [start the trail by 09:00]. many of the trails offer ice-cold springs to chill after the hike; get updated from the park website on the water flow condition [the springs can get dry during August so make sure to plan ahead]

  • Andreas Canyon is a beautiful oasis within palm trees forest that surrounds you under the magnificent mountains of Palm Springs. The hike is a very easy trail [2 miles round trip] with water and hidden shaded spots to rest along the trail.

In winter, hike to the Hot Stone Pools of Indian Potrero trail [difficult]

  • Tahquitz Canyon a sister canyon to Andreas, a more moderate hike in summer, and easier to hike when the temperature is lower. Overall the trail is easy, 50 min to climb up to the falls, and 35 min to go down.

  • If you're into super advanced hiking, don't miss the Cactus Cloud trail.

Take the Aerial Tramway to go up to Mount San Jacinto at 10,834f and view the whole area from the top. During the day, you can hike and explore the mountain trails and even camp.

It gets very cold around sunset [2c/ 33f], so don't forget a warm coat.

The View from Mount San Jacinto

Where to eat?

Rooster and Pig is a great spot for Vietnamese dinner [open 5 PM - 9 PM]. For lunch, go to El Patron for crated tacos.

Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey looks promising but I didn't have enough time to try it.

El Patron craft tacos

I can't wait to visit this incredible places again. Enjoy!

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