A Non-Beer Guide to Joshua Tree

It’s no secret I love a good beercation; regardless of where I go or the purpose I’m there, I always find a way to plan my trips relating to beer stops.

I’ll admit, it’s easy for me to get carried away when it comes to hitting up beer spots. Spending most of my trips at breweries or restaurants¬† (aka eating all the things too…) that serve up those tasty brews becomes a bit of an obsession… and we all know how easy it is to drink everything in sight!

Two weekends ago I made my way down to Joshua Tree (with good company) and, for the first time in a while, planned a trip around adventures… and NOT beer. I had the chance to really soak up all that beauty that’s in that ridiculously gorgeous desert, wake up not hung over and focus on being a little more present.

It’s crazy how much time we spend on social media– I’m the first to admit that I’m a little too obsessed, and how easy it is to spend your time focusing on things that aren’t even relevant to your own life! While this trip wasn’t 100% phone free, not focusing so much on beer and seeking out beer spots made it a bit easier to relax a little.

I spent one full day romping around Joshua Tree; trying to find the best *short* hikes that wouldn’t take up all our time, finding the dopest sites and trying to stay hydrated kept us constantly on the go and looking for more adventure.

Here are a few places you need to see:

Hidden Valley – Joshua Tree

This one mile loop isn’t strenuous but, trust me, it’s full of all the beautiful things you could want in Joshua Tree! This trail winds through huge boulders, joshua trees and cactus; it’s believed to be a cattle rustlers’ hideout and you can see by the surrounding boulders that it would be perfect for…. hiding cattle? I have no idea… I’m not a cattle thiefin’ maniac. But regardless, it was freakin’ hot and down right beautiful.

Barker Dam – Joshua Tree

Barker Dam is another short and relatively easy hike full of desert dreams. The hike is only 1.5 miles and is pretty flat, minus some boulder scrambling to the left of the dam. This dam was built in the 1900’s by a cattleman and helps to create a reservoir of water in the middle of the desert. It’s kind of like a mini oasis amongst the boulders and was so damn pretty!

Cholla Cactus Garden – Joshua Tree

I was honestly the most excited for the Cholla Cactus Gardens (and ended up getting zero cool pictures that weren’t showcasing beer) but this tiny loop through the cacti was beyond dreamy. I just gotta ask- why do cactus look SO inviting?! Like, I wanted to touch all of them. The Cholla Cactus is nicknamed the Teddy Bear Cactus and honestly that’s just plain rude. Driving from the North to these gardens the landscape changes from Joshua Trees as far as the eye can see, to these Cholla Cacti and mountains in the distance; this is also the point where the Mojave and Colorado Deserts meet… so like damn…

Keys View – Joshua Tree

The final stop in the actual park was Keys View- and probably one of the most incredible sunsets I have ever experienced. The drive to Keys View is about 20 minutes off the main road in Joshua Tree and winds through thousands of Joshua Trees and leaves you at the top of the San Bernadino Mountains looking out over Coachella Valley.

Yep, Coachella is an actually PLACE and not just a desert festival… I’m shook.

If you’re around for sunset (which you absolutely should), this spot is definitely worth your while! I mean, JUST LOOK AT IT.

Moorten Botanical Garden – Palm Springs

On our way out of Joshua Tree, we stopped in at Palm Springs to check out Moorten Botanical Gardens. If you like nature, cacti, turtles and other boujee things, this is the place for you! Well… boujee minus the turtles? It’s $5 to get in and you get to take a self-guided walk around the outdoor gardens and see all the native plants to the deserts around! Also, this place has the worlds first Cactarium. A GREEN HOUSE FULL OF THOSE LITTLE SUCKERS. I died. I wanted to just live there forever!


At the end of the little tour, we found a few turtles munchin’ on salad and I even got to pick out my very own cactus to purchase and take home with me! So get like me.

Okay okay.. of course I had to incorporate some beer in to the trip. I’M NOT INSANE. On the way back from the desert of all beautiful deserts, we stopped in LA to meet up with my beer friend (beerhikechill) and to check out Mumford Brewing.

Their brewery is in Skid Row (a neighborhood in LA that’s a little… sketch) but holy moly did I fall for this place! The taproom vibe was chill, the dudes behind the bar were super friendly and funny and their beer is downright delicious. We snagged a few pints, snapped some pictures and stole some beers for the road! If you’re in LA you gotta check them out!

While I love my beercations and miss them dearly, I discovered how fun ACTUAL vacations can be. Stomping around the desert and looking at all things nature really was refreshing (minus the 105 degree heat and the 45 gallons of water I drank).

Things I learned on this trip:

  • Not everything has to revolve around beer. And when it’s not all about beer, that doesn’t mean I’m losing beer focus (or constantly thinking about that devilishly tasty bev)
  • I need to GET.OFF.MY.PHONE (imagine claps where the periods are)
  • The desert is f*cking hot
  • I can go a few days WITHOUT getting sunburnt– I KNOW! I’m shocked too!!
  • Being present is more important than instagram stories
  • Boujee AirBnB’s are ALWAYS worth it (just look at these pictures!

Hopefully I didn’t lose you. And if you followed these little adventures, I hope you can soak up the majestic Joshua Tree National Park.


Cheers Xx

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