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  • Writer's pictureKathy Condon

Joshua Trees are Calling from Palm Springs

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

One of the most asked questions: I have a half day available. What would you do with the time?

One-Half Day Trip to High Desert from Palm Springs

There continues to be controversy about whether the area 40 miles from Palm Springs should be called the high desert. Recently, the community has embraced the phrase Joshua Tree Gateway Communities for describing this 100 mile stretch on Highway 62.

In any case, let me share with you my adventure, just yesterday, I highly recommend. You will need your own car. This particular journey is NOT taking you into Joshua Tree National Park.

We Are Off

My traveling companion picked me up at my home in Palm Springs at 10:00 a.m. We headed straight North on Indian Canyon Drive. It dead-ends at Hwy 62. Turn right, and you are on the way.

As you head up the winding mountain, the passenger should keep an eye open for Big Horn Sheep grazing on the floor of the canyon.

Joshua Trees are found at elevations of 2,000 to 6,000 feet, so you will start seeing them as you go up the mountain. I’m writing this at the end of March and they are beginning to blossom. If you have never seen a Joshua tree, even when they are not blooming, it is worth the trip to see these magnificent trees.

If you want to get up close and personal with a Joshua tree, without going to the National Park, as you come over the mountain into Yucca Valley, you will see places to pull over and get a closer look.

Once you take you Joshua tree photos, get back on Hwy 62, head east until you get to Old Women Springs Road. Turn left, and you are on then on the way to the Gublers Orchid Farm. It is 15 miles from the town of Yucca Valley in Landers. As a visitor, you will find it interesting to see the change in the landscape.

Gubler Orchids Greenhouses in Landers

Yes, there is an amazing orchid farm in the desert that grows and ships orchids to Lowes and Ralphs in Southern California. Frankly, people don’t know about this place. I guess that is why I might even call this The Palm Spring Insider Guide Secret places.

When you see the sign for Landers, turn right. Go straight until you see the well-marked sign to turn left to the orchid farm. It’s down about a mile on the left. There is plenty of easy parking. Don’t be alarm when no one in the parking lot. People just don’t know about this place. It is just before the Integratron if you have been there for their sound baths.

By the way, wear closed-toed shoes. Without them you can view the gorgeous showroom, but you will not be allowed into the greenhouses, so you would miss the tour.

When we arrive, this particular day, there was a sign on the door, We’re open; but please call this number, and we will greet you at the door shortly. We called, and they graciously opened the door. We looked around the showroom and then we were off on our terrific 20 to 25-minute tour.

We purchased a couple award-winning orchids in the showroom. There is a large selection of sizes and varieties available.

I could go on and on about the tour, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. Let’s just say, no matter how many times I go there or who I take, we walk away thinking I’m so glad we did make an effort to come here.

Retrace your steps; go back down the mountain to Hwy 62. Once there, turn left and head to the town of Joshua Tree. Travel about six miles and you’ll see the town at the foot of the hill. Keep your eye open as you travel through the town. The Saloon is at the far end on the right. There is plenty of parking.

This is the place where the serious hikers stop, and people wanting a feeling of the Old West without going to Pioneer town. I have a different motive; however, for I’m determined to have my friend experience deep-fried dill pickles.

As suspected, he agreed they were tasty, real dill pickles and a new, fun experience. Lots of items on the menu so the most discriminating eater, can find something here.

Time to head back to Palm Springs.

Our entire trip was 4.5 hours. So plenty of time to relax around the pool, then get ready for Happy Hour or dinner.

If you choose to spend more time in the Joshua Tree area and have an RV, you might want to check out this link about camping in Joshua Tree National Park

Kathy Condon is a travel writer and blogger. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guider Her book, It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News . 760-902-3094

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