|If you want to add a little activity to punctuate your relaxation,
Joshua Tree offers some unique options.
Spend the day biking, walking, horseback riding, sunning, kite-flying, or birdwatching. Take a rock-climbing class and try your hand at one of the many local hiking trails. Try a desert museum or art gallery. Shop for antiques, thriftstore treasures or cactus specimens at one of the many cactus nurseries.
The Air Force Flight Test Center Museum
The Air Force Flight Test Center Museum is an Air Force Field Museum with a mission to interpret the history of Air Force flight test and Edwards Air Force Base. The museum features several displays, a small library, a theater, and gift shop and is open 9 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday (closed on federal holidays). Admission is free. For more information call
Amargosa Opera House
From October through mid-May, talented painter and dancer Marta Becket performs a one-woman show of ballet and pantomime at the Amargosa Opera House (a converted movie theater) in Death Valley Junction.
Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
Highway 62 at East Drive, Morongo Valley
Open daily 7:30 a.m. - sunset. Free!
Birders flock to Big Morongo where several natural springs and a year-round stream attract birds rarely seen elsewhere. This 29,000 acre nature preserve has 2 billion year rock old formations. The water and surrounding lush vegetation also make the canyon a perfect home for a number of desert mammals and several species of reptiles and amphibians.
Dedicated in 1991, Blackbird Airpark features the world's only display of a Lockheed SR-71A together with its predecessor, A-12 and the once ultra-secret D-21 drone. The A-12 on display is the first Blackbird to fly. It was used as a test aircraft throughout its career and never flew an operational mission. The SR-71A on display was delivered to Strategic Air Command in 1968 and flew operational missions with the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base in California until its retirement in 1987.
Blackbird Airpark is located at Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, and is staffed by museum volunteers. The park is open 10 am to 5 pm Friday through Sunday (weather permitting) and is closed on federal holidays. Admission is free. For more information call (661) 277-8050.
Desert Christ Park
Near Mohawk Trail
This little park has drawn travellers for over forty years to wander among its collection of giant biblical statuary and tableaus.
Desert View Tower
The historic Desert View Tower in the Imperial Valley offers a sweeping bird's-eye view of the desert. In a four-level desert museum below the observation deck, you can learn all about what you are seeing, including some rock carvings from the 1920s.
Joshua Tree Didgeridoo Festival (October)
We can only recommend this small but growing festival to those that are already lovers of the low-humming and buzzing didgeridoo. Even if you've never heard of this Australian instrument/lifestyle, check out the festival website and decide for yourself. 7 min drive.
Belfield Boulevard, Landers
Considered to be the largest solitary boulder on this earth, this 23,000 ton mass was seen as sacred by Native Americans who once lived in the Mojave Desert near Landers, California. In the 1950s, it was a popular gathering point for UFO believers.
Giant Rock is about 3 miles north of the Integratron. The rock and surrounding area are public land. There is not much to do at the rock itself. The room that once existed beneath the rock has been filled in. However, immediately adjacent to the rock is a hillside of big boulders, whichcan be fun to scramble through.
The Giant is about 12-15 miles north of Yucca Valley. From the junction of Routes 62 and 247, go 12.5 miles north on 247 to Linn Road. Turn east on Linn Road, and go three miles until you see the domed building (the Integratron). Continue east on Linn Road, which turns to dirt. Bear left at the first fork. About 1.5 miles later, you'll encounter another fork. Keep right here and you'll find the rock.
760.364.2282 2200 Belfield Boulevard, Landers
Tour the greenhouses of one of the best known Orchid producers in the nation. Many species available for purchase and shipping
|The Hi-Desert Playhouse
Hi-Desert Nature Museum
Located in Yucca Valley
Tue-Sun 10 am to 5 pm. Free Admission.
This museum is a family oriented facility with collections and exhibitions related to the high desert's unique natural and historical elements. The museum has a full range of educational activities for visitors of all ages. The museum encourages questions and active participation. It has has a live desert mini-zoo. and a gift shop specializing in desert and southwestern items.
Joshua Tree & Southern Railroad Museum
Joshua Tree National Park
A visit to the park will never disappoint. Joshua Tree National Park, which sprawls across the lower Colorado Desert and the higher Mojave, is a vast place to enjoy the desert. For all its harshness the desert is a land of surprising variety and complexity, a land of extreme fragility. Viewed from the roadside, the desert only hints at its hidden vitality. To the close observer, however, a tiny flower bud or the lizard's frantic dash reveals Joshua Tree National Park as a place of beauty and life. Take your time as you travel through this area. Joshua Tree National Park provides a space for finding freedom from everyday routines, space for self-discovery, and a refuge for the human spirit. Let the desert take hold of you.
Oasis of Mara
Once a thriving Indian village, the Oasis of Mara later brought prospectors and homesteaders. It is now part of Joshua Tree National Park Headquarters Visitor Center.
Self-guided walking tours. Free!
|Joshua Tree Rock Climbing School
760.366.4745 or 800.890.4745
Experience the exciting sport of rock climbing. An adventure that delivers great fun, breathtaking scenery, and physical and mental stimulation with spiritual and emotional rewards.
The emphasis at Joshua Tree Rock Climbing School is to create a safe, fun experience. JTRCS is the only locally based guide service. They contract with local guides who are are skilled rock climbers and instructors, making your safety their prime concern.
The Living Desert
760.346.5694 47-900 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert
Not to be missed! This is an incredible zoo and 1,200 acre desert conservation center with lush botanical gardens. See over 130 animal species, including Big Horn Sheep, Coyotes, Mountain Lions, and Golden Eagles.
Youll see remarkable plants, animals, places and natural phenomena associated with deserts and learn how The Living Desert is helping to interpret and protect them. There isnt a single word to describe all that The Living Desert is and does. We must string words together, like beads: zoo and endangered species conservation center botanical gardens natural history museum wilderness park nature preserve education center. '
About 55 minutes from Green Acres Ranch, out towards Palm Springs.
Interested in viewing Native American rock art? The Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest displays ancient American Indian petrogylphs and also provides tours of the nearby China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station where thousands of rock art figures have been carved into "Big Petroglyph" and "Little Petroglyph" canyons.
|Mitchell Caverns Natural Preserve
Explore a cave! Mitchell Caverns Natural Preserve is located 16 miles from Hwy. 40 on Essex Road. Tours begin every day at 1:30 pm. Originally established by Jack Mitchell, these caverns are now part of the Providence Mountains State Recreation Area.
The Mysterious Integraton
Belfield Boulevard, Landers
This white dome was designed by George Van Tassell as a rejuvenation machine and and is open to the public for tours and demonstrations. It is owned by an organization that is trying to preserve Van Tassel's legacy. They offer regularly scheduled public tours. According to some, there is not much to see, since the project remains forever "unfinished". Inside, there are two wooden floors with a few museum-type displays. A tour guide turns on an electrical device and asks everyone to meditate and try to feel the Integraton-focused energy.
Noah Purifoy filled 2 1/2 acres of the high desert in Joshua Tree with a sculpture garden that has grown out of the earthy concerns of his life, using cast-off junk like tires, car parts, bowling balls, foam rubber, iron, shoes, and old clothes bleached in the sun, as well as construction materials like steel, aluminum, weathered wood, glass bricks, Astroturf, chicken wire, old windows, adobe and aluminum.
The mission of the Noah Purifoy Foundation is to preserve and maintain the environment of sculptures Noah created in the high desert of Joshua tree, California as a permanent cultural center and sculpture park to be open to the public and to promote greater public appreciation for the values to be found in Purifoy's work over four decades as artist and educator. See Noah here.
Oasis of Murals
The "Oasis of Murals" is like an outdoor gallery, using the sides of buildings in Twentynine Palms as its walls. Painted by world-class artists, the murals portray the community's rich history.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
1 Tramway Road, Palm Springs
Enjoy the most spectacular views of the desert from the top of Mt. San Jacinto - the steepest mountain in North America! Ride the rotating cars to the summit to hike in this alpine wilderness.
Just five miles northwest of Yucca Valley on Pioneertown Road is the setting of many western movies filmed during the 1940's and 1950's. A replica of How the West once was, this small town was built by Roy Rogers and Gene Autry in the 1940s as a permanent set for many old western movies.
Some of the old storefronts can still be seen, and the visitor's imagination can drift back to the old west. This is the site of the famous OK Corral, where the Shootout was filmed in the movie of the same name. Today Pioneertown is a community of private residences, retaining its Old West image. There's still lots of horse back riding activity there on weekends
Stop for a cool beverage, hearty food and a busy roster of live entertainment at Pappy and Harriet's, and view the dozens of Old West artifacts that decorate this old tavern.
| Simi Dabah
Simi has been welding steel sculptures from industrial scrap for over 30 years. Witness his brilliance on eight acres of land on SunFair Road, just a few miles from Green Acres. A must-see and a good, long walk (45 min) if you have the time.See Simi here.
| Twenty Mule Team Museum
At the Twenty Mule Team Museum in Boron, videos and exhibits take you back before the turn of the twentieth century. The museum sits on the site of an old borate mining camp. The Borax Museum in Boron is another interesting stop.
|Big Bear Lake + The San Bernardino National Forest
The largest lake in Southern California is one of the true treasures of the 737,280 acre National Forest. An incredible alpine location for skiing (both snow and water), hiking, boating, swimming, biking, and fishing.
| Other Info
Copper Mountain Campus
Acommunity college where visitors are always welcome.
Blue Skies Country Club
18 hole golf course open to the public
Originally Morongo Indian Village, now a public park
Rural community, especially inviting horse riding buffs
29 Palms Historical Society Museum
Artifacts, memorabilia. Tues.-Sun 1 - 4 pm