One-Day Joshua Tree Excursion From the O.C.
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Featured review from tesstress
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I turned out to be an entire day. There were only 4 of us and the driver/docent. We first stopped at Morongo Reserve where we hiked around. It was a swamp land with underground water so there was much vegetation and wildlife, including birds. That took about 40 minutes and we only hiked one side. There was a set path so regular flat shoes would be fine. We then drove a bit and stopped at an orchid farm in the middle of the desert which was located inside of a large hot house. They are the suppliers for Home Depot and such. The prices were reasonable, so I bought a couple small orchids and I knew nothing about them until the knowledgeable sell woman told me how to care for them, and 4 months later they are still in full bloom. Then we moved on to a country western street which looked like Virginia City where you could buy fossils and artwork and roam around looking at antique machinery on display. Most of the stores were closed and it was just one street, but interesting just the same since it was in the middle of nowhere. We then drove on to see outdoor sculptures, again in the middle of the desert, which was done by Noah Purifoy that witnessed the Watts Riots in Watts, LA in the 60's (so I was told). He then was a docent for the Watts Towers for several years and decided to create his own art out in the desert. He took some of the debris from the riots and people gave him other things as well. There is maybe about an acre of land divided in sections where he has created art from trash. Overall it looked dirty to me and an architect he isn't, but still interesting and unexpected. It you want to see some photos people have taken, visit the website: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32544-d3194289-Reviews-Noah_Purifoy_s_Outdoor_sculpture_Museum-Joshua_Tree_California.html
Then we got something to eat at a cafe type place and on to Joshua Tree. We hiked around, learned a little about some of the flowers and the difference between a Yucca and a Joshua tree. We also read about the dam where ranchers tried unsuccessfully to ranch cattle in the desert. There was also a vista point where you can see the entire valley below, and a lot of seismic activity is going on. It was also very very windy up there. We then left the Joshua area and went to another café to get a something to eat. This place has the best coffee I have ever tasted. If I remember correctly they have a local grower that brings the beans in. My husband and I are going to make a special trip back there to purchase some. A store next to them sold the beans, but they were closed when we got there. We got back about 10pm. Long day, but well worth the price.
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It was our first time to join bus tour and we had a great time. Aaron drove us there and shown us many places. Since the group size was not big, we were very comfortable. The whole tour was over 12 hours. Joshua Tree has lot of places and things...continued
Please eat breakfast ahead of time and bring money for lunch and dinner. You’re encouraged to bring at least $30 in cash for optional activities.
Also recommended to bring are a water bottle, snacks, sunscreen and other sun protection. Please dress appropriately for outdoor weather. Not all locations will have air-conditioning. Some physical activity and walking in the sun will take place.
The excursion runs 10-12 hours, depending on traffic.
Down-to-earth and passionate tour guides
Take in the vastness of 360_° _natural landscapes
Enjoy the ride in comfort with air conditioning
Discover ever-changing desert art of this unique community
Climb around mountains of huge monzo-granite boulders
Enjoy beginner to moderate level hiking
Explore the majestic Mojave Desert
Experience historic and cultural sites along the way
Check out alien architecture with ‘healing powers’
Go back in time at popular old western movie set
See cool stuff while on hikes: old pictographs, seasonal rock climbers
_Check out the stellar Goldstar member reviews of this tour from Los Angeles._