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What to Do in the Joshua Tree Desert

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We recommend taking the Twentynine Palms Highway from Palm Springs, then circling down through Joshua Tree National Park. Here’s how to stay entertained along the way.
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California, USA
There are dozens of hiking options within Joshua Tree, but a ranger favorite is 49 Palms Oasis, a three-mile round-trip trek that leads to a true oasis of fan palms and shallow pools. This appeared in the October 2015 issue
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83131 Amboy Rd, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277, USA
To get to Palms Restaurant, drive to what feels like the end of the earth, then keep going. There you’ll find a sprawling bar and concert venue that’s as quirky as it is secluded. The decor (old-time telephone booths, saloon-style signs), a killer...
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62121 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, CA 92252, USA
Designer Blake Simpson crafted Mojave Sands over nearly a decade, and his detail-oriented vision is evident everywhere, from the perforated metal fencing to the hand-sculpted black walnut bed frames. Amenities are slim, but what the motel lacks in...
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53688 Pioneertown Rd, Pioneertown, CA 92268, USA
There’s a reason you’ll find Pappy & Harriet’s in almost every guide to the desert: This Pioneertown roadhouse attracts some of the most diverse acts that roll through SoCal. Eating Santa Maria–style barbecue in a faux saloon—part of an old...
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At Elf’s hideaway gallery, Art Queen, you can explore the World Famous Crochet Museum, buy a silkscreened “What Would Cher Do?” tank top, and wander through her found-object sculptures, such as the military vehicle turned concert stage. This...
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Her High Desert Test Sites is a combination studio, home, and public workshop that hosts artists from all over the world. Check the calendar for frequent community events or sign up for a tour of the 80 acres, where you’ll explore sculptures and...
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61705 CA-62, Joshua Tree, CA 92252, USA
A potter and longtime Joshua Tree resident, Bosworth sells his textured, geometric-patterned planters, vases, and mugs at BKB Ceramics, not far from High Desert Test Sites. This appeared in the October 2015 issue.
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2477 Belfield Blvd, Landers, CA 92285, USA
UFO advocate, George Van Tassel, began constructing the Integratron in the 1950s after an alien encounter with “Solgonda” who bestowed upon him the secrets of rejuvenation and time travel. The all-wood white dome structure contrasts with the blue...