Backpacking Juniper Flats in Joshua Tree National Park

So this was going to be my first backpacking trip in Joshua Tree. Yes, you can say I was super excited. I have been to Joshua Tree many times. But all of the other times we car camped. So I meet my friends at the Joshua Tree visitor center around 11 am. We were supposed to meet a little earlier but something happened to the one group and they ended up being a little late but it didn’t affect the trip at all. After meeting up we drove to Juniper Flats which is where we were going to do our one overnight backpacking trip.

We were in the parking lot and we were getting our gear out and talking to other people that were in the parking lot. They were from Europe and they were asking us questions. I love to be able to talk with people from other places. I think that is one of the many joys that I get from my travels. I meet so many really awesome people. After getting everything ready, we filled out the backcountry camping registration.

To fill out the tag permit you have to do 3 things.
1. Take the permit from the box and fill it out. If you are leaving a vehicle in the parking lot be sure to include the vehicle info on the permit also
2. Drop the tag copy in the box slot
3. Attach the original waterproof tag to your pack.

Then after we had everything finished the fun was about to begin at Juniper Flats. The four of us set off west. There are a lot of great thing about backpacking, but one is you don’t know how far or where you will end up. You just go and do what you want. So in the group, there was 2 guys and 2 girls. The 2 girls were a little faster than us. Not because the guys were slow. It was because there were so many flowers out in the desert and we both were stopping every so many feet because we would see another flower that we wanted to take a picture of. The desert was covered with flowers. I think we but I now I felt like we were in heaven.

So after just an awesome hike about 5 to 6 miles in we finally found a place that looked like we should camp and spend the night there. We all looked around and found the perfect spots for our tents. This place was perfect. We had everything we needed. Everyone went in their direction of where they were setting up their tent and everyone got things setup. After we all came together to cook and just enjoy the late afternoon. It was probably around 5ish and the weather was great, the company was great and the food I made taste good.

Then when everyone was done, everyone got everything cleaned up and put away. The 2 girls decided to go rest and that was the last we saw them the rest of the night. I have to say they really missed out staying in their tent the whole time. When it started to get a little dark my great friend and I decided to have some drinks and enjoy the weather and the sunset. Nature didn’t disappoint at all.

I have to say it was a great night just being able to spend time with such a great friend and be able to talk and have a great time. It was really priceless. There was another group of backpackers we say pass when we were setting up camp and we watched them go another couple of miles past what we did. But the fun is when it gets really dark and only your group and the other group is around. We tried to find out where they were camping. So we would yell and then turn the flashlights on and wave it around. Then we would wait to see if we would get a reply back. It makes you wonder how it was 100’s of years ago.

The next morning we packed up and got ready to head out. Again the weather was great and the flowers were out. It was just another great hike with tons of stops to be able to look, talk and take pictures of the flowers blooming in the desert.

After the 5-6 mile hike back and getting to the car in the Juniper Flats parking lot. It was finally time to rest and get everything packed into the car. This is a must do trip if you backpack. Joshua Tree never disappoints. Thank you Joshua Tree for another memorable trip.

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