Travel

Discover the Top Stargazing Spots in Joshua Tree

Even though most of my Joshua Tree National Park memories are from hiking and rock climbing during the day, my favorite memory there happened in the dark. In November 2021, I ran a night half-marathon through the park. A significant portion of the course was on loose sand, so as the miles passed, the temptation to DNF grew stronger and stronger. The thing that kept my head (and my burning legs) in the race? The meteor shower sparkling above. I made it to the finish line by keeping one eye on the sky and catching the occasional shooting star.

Today, every time I return to the park, I’m really looking forward to what happens after the sun sets. I want as much time with Joshua Tree’s starry skies as I can get-it is an International Dark Sky Park, after all.

Theoretically, you could go stargazing anywhere within the park. It’s at a high enough elevation (the highest point is the summit of Quail Mountain at 5,800 feet) and far enough from major cities that there isn’t a lot of light pollution. There are plenty of roadside pullouts that make spontaneous stargazing convenient if you just want a quick peek, but there are some downsides to its accessibility. Read more…

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