When we think of famous Joshua's, Josh Hartnett and Josh Hutcherson are usually top of mind, closely followed by Joshua Tree National Park. Okay, so that last one is probably a slim chance, but if we learned anything at all from those multiple-choice tests in high school, the outlier is usually the correct answer.
A place where two very different desert ecosystems, the Colorado and the Mojave combine, Joshua Tree National Park is anything but average. With its rugged rocks and palm oases, you might recognize the terrain from films like Seven Psychopaths starring Colin Farrell, or that season five episode of Entourage where the boys use psychadelics in the desert. Yup, that was here, as was the annual psychadelic music festival, Desert Daze, which featured bands like Three Oh Sees, Night Beats, and Foxygen this past October.
While famous movie stars and band members may be few, there's a plethora of wildlife across the 800,000 acres of park, including snakes, coyotes, and blacktailed jackrabbits. Plant life is surprisingly just as varied, but of course the iconic Joshua Tree takes most of the fame (clearly).
Trails are plentiful at the park, with 191 miles of hiking trails varying in intensity from a light leisurely walk to a hard-hitting hike. A popular choice is Ryan Mountain, a challenging hike that takes roughly one day to complete, but guarantees Insta-worthy views of Queen, Lost Horse, and Pleasant valleys. If you'd rather stay in the comfort of your air-conditioned car, you can drive just 20 minutes into the park to reach Keys View: a viewpoint with panoramic vistas of the San Andreas Fault, Coachella Valley, and the Salton Sea. Oh, and keep an eye out for Adrian Grenier while you're up there... you never know.