What a spectacular place Joshua Tree National Park is! Beautiful trees, cacti, rock formations, wildlife and more. If you’re visiting southern California, I recommend a stop at Joshua Tree. Here are a few pointers of where to photograph and visit in the park:
- Hidden Valley: Yes, it’s a popular area, but for good reason. The joshua trees are abundant and there are fun rock formations to add to your photos. Get the trees at sunrise or sunset for that beautiful silhouette. If you visit the park during the full moon, add it to your photo! Put it between the branches or station it between trees. It can really add to your photo with the beautiful colors found at sunset. I was in awe at the beauty. Thankful for my photographs to take me back to that moment whenever I look at them. HINT: Find a joshua tree that has less “arms” to really highlight the silhouette.
- Chulla Gardens: This place was otherworldly. I highly recommend making it further south in the park to see it for yourself. You crest a little hill and there they are! I was amazed by it. Be careful though as these things stick to ANYTHING. Stay clear of it even on your clothing or shoes. If you do get one stuck to something, use a tool to get it off and NOT your hands. I suggest you take some macro shots of these cacti. The mountains with the gardens make for some neat shots too. I think a sunrise shoot here would be great. Experiment and see what you come up with on your own. After all, your photography should reflect your eye.
- Arch rock: You can reach the arch rock from the White Tank campground. The trail to it is well marked and located off campsite 9. Be careful parking around here as there isn’t much besides the campground sites. There is a 1/2 mile nature trail to see the rock. I suggest exploring the whole trail and a little bit on the rocks around the arch rock. It is really a neat area with lots of neat photographic opportunities.
- Barker Dam: I enjoyed the hike on the 1.3 mile nature trail around Barker Dam. It was full of all kinds of photographic opportunities. From the dam to the cacti to the vista around you of the desert. Stop and take a look around you. See what you can find that catches your eye. Make sure to bring plenty of water as temperatures can be high and it’s a desert. Drink, drink, drink.