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

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

? 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.

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