Joshua Tree is an eclectic community that welcomes visitors to the immense 800,000-acre Joshua Tree National Park wilderness preserve. The iconic trees are believed to have been named by Mormon pioneers who thought the tree was reminiscent of the biblical character Joshua waving his arms towards the heavens. However they acquired the name, the Joshua Tree groves can only be found here, and are estimated to be between 500 and 900 years old!
This quirky, artistic refuge is a tourist destination and yogi mecca. It is also a favorite, year round destination for rock climbers. Vacationers from Europe join weekenders from nearby Palm Springs, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas to take in the art galleries and tucked away restaurants in addition to spending time in the park.
It’s about ten degrees cooler in Joshua Tree than the lower desert communities, and a bit warmer in the winter as well. There is enough local shopping here to meet your day-to-day needs, and a Von’s grocery store as well. If you need more options, head “down the hill” a bit to next door Yucca Valley, or slightly farther to Palm Springs. Those who choose to live on base at 29 Palms typically come to Joshua Tree to hang out and explore.
Joshua Tree has a great mix of about half military families and half locals. There is a lot of coming and going, with people leaving for the weekends to Palm Springs, Los Angeles, San Diego, or even Las Vegas, and just as many people coming in for a visit. There is an abundance of land here so you might even find yourself next door to an animal rescuer or equestrian.
The homes here are mostly older and date back to the 1980s, but that’s not to say newer homes aren’t available. There are a few master planned subdivisions with new construction and swimming pools. A lot of the homes are set on acreage and it’s common to have six or more acres between you and your closest neighbor. The yards are sandy with cacti and, of course, the revered Joshua Trees.