Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park in 5

February 10, 2010, 8:00 am

An arid, solitary tract of sweeping mesas, eerie rock formations, and those strangely beautiful trees for which this land is named, Joshua Tree National Park comprises some 800,000 acres bridging two of North America's largest deserts - the Colorado and the Mojave. The park feels utterly remote but is surprisingly accessible, just an hour or so from the neatly manicured golf courses and posh spa resorts of Palm Springs.

Explore the meandering backcountry roads, palm-shaded oases, and hulking boulder-scapes, however, and you'll feel transported from the man-made sprawl of Southern California. A key destination among photographers, hikers, mountain-bikers, and rock-climbers, Joshua Tree ranks among America's most visually arresting, singular settings.