Winter sunshine months are the perfect time for exploring the rugged desert landscape surrounding Palm Springs.  One of our favorites is exploring some of the 80,000 preserved acres that make up Joshua Tree National Park.  Less than an hour away from Santiago, the park straddles the cactus-studded Colorado Desert and the Mohave Desert and gets its name from the region’s twisted, bristled Joshua Trees.

Joshua Tree National Park is a stunning expanse of natural desert beauty that has been preserved for the people for over 80 years, and there are plenty of reasons for you to check it out on your next visit to Santiago.

From the park’s iconic and distinctive namesake trees to the breathtaking granite rock formations, from the desert wildlife to the flourishing cacti and desert plants, there’s much more to see than you might expect. Everyone from curbside photo-taker to enthusiastic back-country hikers should take time to visit this special place near Palm Springs.

This protected area encompasses over 1,200 square miles of the stunning Mojave Desert. Over 1.3 million visitors enter the park each year to experience Joshua Tree's scenic vistas, which are easily accessible via paved roads that traverse the length of the park.

Definitely visit one of the Park's Visitor Centers in order to plan your time at the park most wisely. Whether you're all about hiking, camping, photography, rock climbing or simply enjoying the serene desert scenery, the helpful Park Rangers will give you the park map and let you know the best spots to visit for your interests, and you can find out if there are special programs or tours available.

You can also find more information and helpful resources on the park's website: The Plan Your Visit page is especially helpful.

Below you'll find some of the frequent Santiago Resort Guest, Toby J. Morris' images of Joshua Tree. Toby is a fine art nature and landscape photographer out of Las Vegas, and he's photographed 31 of the 61 National Parks, as well as numerous National Monuments. You can find his Joshua Tree images available for purchase at