Okay, so it’s not exactly in Yuma, but Joshua Tree National Park is too great of a place to not visit and it’s only 3-4 hours away. We took a quick trip this weekend and I’m so glad we did! (Although it was really cold!!) Not exactly the time of year I’d recommend, but due to my husbands crazy work schedule, we didn’t have a lot of choice. It took us about 3 1/2 hours to get to the South entrance and we camped at the Cottonwood Springs campground right near the South entrance. The campgrounds further into the park, like Jumbo Rock and Arch Rock, look spectacular – you could set up your tent right next to the huge rock! But they fill up quick and it’s first come, first serve. If you head up, plan accordingly. The boys had a blast “exploring” and climbing rocks. The rocks are huge and have a roughness to them that make them easy to climb (they’re not slippery). Park admission is $15 per car for 7 days and camping spots are $10-15 a night.
Cave paintings at Barker Dam
Despite the cold, we had a blast. We made the trip educational too by picking up (available at one of the visitor centers) and filling out a section of the Jr. Ranger Activity Booklet that was geared toward their ages. To finish off the trip, we stopped by the West Visitor’s Center so that they could turn in their Jr. Ranger booklets and receive their first Jr. Ranger badges – plus they got a free book about a Joshua Tree – very cool!
There is still so much more to do and see and we can’t wait to go back!