Joshua Tree National Park
This is where our USA Photo Tour 2013 started. After a 3 hour drive from LA, we reached the Entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. The park entrance fee is $15 per vehicle, but if you plan on visiting several parks, there is an anual pass available for $80, which can get you access to any National Park run by the government. This proved to be a money saver for us as we visited several parks during our tour. You can buy this pass at any entrance gate to the National Park or Visitor's Centre.
There is not a huge choice of accommodation in this park, only camping unless you want to commute to and from the nearest towns. The campsites are very basic with no running water so make sure you are well prepared for your stay here. If you want to make a campfire, make sure you bring your own firewood, usually you can buy it at any gas station or supermarket. Prices for a small bundle range from $5 to $8.
We decided to stay at the Jumbo Rocks campsite which is well located almost in the middle of the park. It is close to all of the Park's main attractions. Bare in mind, that this is a first come, first serve campsite so to secure your spot, be sure to book in advance. The fee for a night is $10 and it is limited to 6 people, 3 tents and 2 cars.
Our reccommended Points of Interest:
Most attractions are located on the north-west side of the park so it is a good idea to enter the park from either Joshua Tree Visitor Centre or Oasis Visitor Centre Entrance. Joshua Tree Visitor Centre is closer to LA.
This rock formation is only a short walk from the campsite. These rocks are best photograped in the late afternoon as they get a nice golden colour from the setting sun.
You can just wonder around the camp and find lots of interesting areas for photography or you can even watch rockclimbers in action because Joshua Tree NP is known as an excellent rock climbing area. There is always something happening.
We were lucky to find a great campsite under an interesting rock formation with a bent tree close by which offered us great opportunities for photography, even for some night shots. For night photography, we had a prime location as we only had to take a few steps to this place. There are no artificial lights in the whole area so the stars are quite bright and spectacular.