Road Trip Guide: Starry, Van-Life Nights in Joshua Tree

I’ve been to Joshua Tree National Park a few times, but this road trip was special. I no longer see this park as just a wild place to explore and to play. Engaging with local residents opened my eyes to see the thriving arts and culture, and also some of the issues they are facing. It was a real educational adventure! There were some challenging times since plans were constantly shifting, and even on the last day, it felt like I was just getting started. Looking back, I see that I was learning to let go and really try to be with the present moment.

? Road Trip Run-Down


Road trip: 5 properties, 1 desert (Joshua Tree), 1 sweet campervan from Escape
Destinations: Shambala Desert View, CA • Horse With No Name, CA • Copper Mountain Camp, CA • Downtown J-Tree Camping, CA • Landers Nightscape, CA
Driving distance: ~250 miles
Trip length: 7 days
Road trippers: 2
Theme song:
Most essential item: Cellphone
Best meal: My partner made veggie tacos and veggie soup with ramen broth!
Must-see spots: Cholla Cactus Garden inside the park at sunset. The light just makes it all look kind of unreal and dreamy. • Hike to Barker Dam early morning before it gets crowded. You’ll see a diversity of geological features, plants, and may even see wildlife (I saw rabbits and coyotes). • Hike Ryan Mountain. Drive to Keys View for a panoramic view of mountains and the Coachella Valley. • Try the Glass Outhouse in Twentynine Palms. • Reserve a soundbath session at The Integratron in Landers or relax in one of their hammocks.
Favorite memory: My partner and I drove into a dirt road inside the park. We pulled over, prepared sandwiches to eat for lunch. We relaxed in the Escape Campervan bed afterwards, with the side doors open, while looking at the Joshua trees. We ended up taking an afternoon nap in the silence. It was so simple and peaceful.

⛺ Trip Supplies


Vehicle: Mavericks Ford Dippy from our friends at Escape CampervansClothing:down jacket fleece pajamas sweatpants hiking skirt basic shirts wind jacket scarf hiking boots waterproof jacket & pants hat beanie wool socks handkerchief camp booties sandals (for public showers) Kitchen: water bottle filters for pour-over coffee thermos matches biodegradable soap sponge water jugs paper towel baby wipes lysol wipes trash bags grocery bagToiletries: vitamins & medications lotion hand sanitizer toothbrush & toothpaste Gear & Misc daypack twinkle lights aux cord with iphone lightning adapter GPS journal and pen leisure reading cell phone charger car power inverter car socket USB power adapter camera tripod extra batteries power bank watercoloring kit laptop America the Beautiful parks pass Parks Passport notebook maps & printed guides big plastic container for item organization small camp blankets tent What I forgot to bring: sunglasses lip balm with SPF 15 gloves

? Views from the Road


Horse With No Name



Copper Mountain Camp



Downtown Joshua Tree Camping



Shambala Desert View



This trip wouldn’t have been possible without Escape Campervans! Rent your own fully-equipped, custom-built, and uniquely hand-painted campervans from one of their 10 locations through the US and Canada 🙂 ✨Follow more of Stepfanie’s adventures on her Hipcamp profile and Instagram.
Hipcamp Staff

Hipcamp is an online marketplace where you can list, discover, and book campsites and accommodations on private and public land. Hipcamp is your go-to guide to getting outside. If you’re a landowner, Hipcamp creates new revenue streams for your business, which can help conserve your land and keep it wild. #FindYourselfOutside #LeaveItBetter

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