Paradise for the Strange and Exotic

What do vegan hippies, elite athletes, marines in training, and astral travelers have in common? A home in Yucca Valley, of course, next to one of America’s most beloved national parks!

Take a lesson with Joshua Tree Rock Climbing School to learn how to scale the face of these rocks, or simply scramble up their stair-step edges, and navigate the caves inside them.

Take a field class or nature hike to learn more about the unusual formations, glowing cacti and mythic stick-figure trees in the park.

Around Town

Outside the park, grab a healthy vegetarian lunch, granola, and smoothie at Natural Sisters Cafe or a country-casual burger at the Joshua Tree Saloon before perusing the weekly farmer’s market and craft fair outside.

Then, see what’s happening at the artist retreat center the Lou Harrison House, or visit a Frank Lloyd Wright property known as the Institute of Mentalphysics for a fascinating journey of discovery inside your own mind.

At a Stone’s Throw

Head a little bit further for a surreal adventure in the town of Landers at the Integratron, a giant desert igloo built on an “energy vortex” by a fusion of art, science and magic, according to its German architect designer.

The unusual retreat center hosts musicians, sound baths, astronomers, meditation retreats and intrepid explorers looking for the keys to the universe and the wisdom of Nikola Tesla. You can also visit a giant, seven-story boulder nearby, where you might just find yourself joining a UFO conference.

So what are you waiting for? Joshua Tree’s north entrance is just under an hour from Sky Valley. Whatever you discover in Joshua Tree, you’ll find this unconventional desert lush with creative energy and experience.