Friday, January 6, 2017

Joshua Tree - NYE 2016 camping

I want to be a rational human being who doesn't think that how any particular day goes really has any particular bearing on the rest of your year. But there's something about the transition to the new year that gets me. I want it to feel kind of weighty, but also celebratory and serene and reflective. We did it right this year and took a trip out to Joshua Tree. We got in Friday night, spent Saturday scrambling around the rocks and the expected rain even held off long enough to let us enjoy a long NYE happy hour by the fire. (We don't really do "glamping" but I made an exception and packed a couple of our nice champagne coupes for the occasion.) It rained all night, but cleared up for a perfect New Year's Day camp breakfast.

indian cove
rock scrambling
camp grilled cheese
rainy day lunch
camp lunch
NYE 2016 happy hour

You can't really go wrong with Joshua Tree camping, in my opinion. We stayed at Indian Cove this time. The sites are great (if you check the site list you can actually see pictures of all of them, which is really helpful), with plenty of vault toilets scattered around. There's no potable water available in camp, although apparently you can get water at the ranger station about 1.5 miles away. It gets really busy this time of year, so reservations are your best bet. We booked our site months in advance to make sure we got one. If you're planning on having a few people join you, make sure you check the site photos carefully. Although technically you're permitted to have two cars per site, some sites can really only accommodate a single car. We stayed at 96 and were pretty happy with it.

Campsites are dog friendly, but they aren't allowed on the trails - bummer. This can be a deal breaker if you have dogs unless you have a big enough group that someone is willing to hang out at the campsite during the day. For this trip, we didn't really hike, just scrambled around the rocks at the campground (with Circe in her backpack).

If you're into rock climbing, Indian Cove has some great options. D loves it, but I'm terrified of sheer heights, so I can't do it. Oddly, I'm fine clambering over giant piles of boulders, hence the rock scrambling.

I like to take January to think about goals for the year, but we're both on board with continuing our 2016 resolution of fitting in as many short camping trips as we can.


  1. That looks like a wonderful weekend! Good for you for having adventures.

  2. Happy New Year! I enjoy reading your blog, especially the camping posts. It's inspiring me to do a lot more camping this summer. Question: Where did you get those amazing grilled cheese sandwich baskets?

    1. We just found ours in my dad's camping equipment and I have no idea where it's from but it's really similar to this one. There are tons of sizes and shapes available if you want something different - I think the best term for searching is "grill basket". After searching I'm tempted by the one that makes quesadillas!


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