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Day Trip to Joshua Tree

This event was suggested by member Joseph. We've done it many times and it's one of our most popular outings. Diana will be helping us with coordinating this event.

NOTE: WE WILL BE MEETING AT THE JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK VISITORS CENTER ON PARK BLVD AT 12:30 PM

If you are carpooling with us, meet at Grantville Trolley Station at 7:45 to carpool to Joshua Tree. Leave a note here if you are planning on driving and have room for passengers OR if you are a passenger seeking a ride.

Bring a hat & sunscreen, money (for gas, food, etc.) and snacks for the day. Drive time is approximately 2 1/2 hours each way.

We typically stop somewhere for dinner in Joshua Tree (or nearby) afterwards. This is optional.

We also typically return after dark, so prepare for a full day of fun!

If you plan to drive there on your own, leave a message and we will formulate a plan to meet you outside the park before we enter or inside at a designated location & time. Everyone else should meet at 12:30 at the visitors center. You can purchase sandwiches and other food right next door to take into the park or bring your own with you.

NOTE: Cellphone service is not reliable inside the park.

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  • Dan C.

    NOTE: If you were one of the ones who joined us for the dinner at Applebee's, they finally contacted me with $10 Applebee's vouchers to get to you to make up for the bad service. You'll need to contact me to make arrangements to get it or to let me know if you don't want it. Up to you.

    November 10, 2012

    • Dan C.

      Up to you, but I think the envelope thing works best. Saves you the gas money!

      November 13, 2012

    • Phyllis Z.

      OK I'll send u an envelope. Not feeling well I will probably cancel tonight. See how I feel.

      November 13, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Totally as an aside from the enjoyment of the photos of the day, I wanted to let the folks who went to Applebee's know that I've been contacted by their General Manager after I left a review on their Facebook page. I'll be sure to let you all know what transpires when I call him today...

    October 22, 2012

    • Jim

      BTW, to those of you who called and spoke to the manager Jerry - was there any explanation for their FU service?

      October 22, 2012

    • Dan C.

      I don't think Jerry had the chance to talk to his employees yet. Not that knowing a reason (if there actually was one) is going to change anything about the experience. ...We may never know the real story.

      October 22, 2012

  • Diana

    So sorry to have missed you guys. Very happy you had such beautiful weather. You captured my corner of heaven very well. LOVE the different perspectives on my familiarly tread trails. Hope to connect next time. I'll give a shout out when I'm in San D again. Maybe some would be interested in joining me for a Balboa Park shoot.... Cheers!

    1 · October 21, 2012

    • Dan C.

      You missed a fun time Diana but I know you were along in spirit ;o) - See you in November when I return with Margaret.

      October 22, 2012

    • Sam W.

      To bad that you could not have joined us Diana. I will join you for a Balboa Shoot, if I am free. Keep me posted.

      October 22, 2012

  • Phyllis Z.

    The Applebee encounter was a bad moment, other than that I wanted to let everyone know I enjoyed The JT photo trip, (had a blast) and say thanks for all the photo tips too. Looking forward to the next adventure. Great photos everyone.

    1 · October 22, 2012

  • Cindhi H.

    Awesome day in the park and great people. Had fun, learned something, listen to live music, ate some food.

    October 21, 2012

  • Sam W.

    The weather was great. There were many photo ops. Thanks to Dan for the ride.

    October 21, 2012

  • Gary S.

    i loved the park
    mised the meet up and didnt find any one in the park but i had a great time

    October 21, 2012

    • Dan C.

      We were all at the designated meetup spot in front of the JT Welcome Center (some of us got there early) and stayed till about 1:00. Not sure why you didn't find us Gary but glad you got to tour anyway.

      October 21, 2012

  • Gary S.

    would have beem nice to shoot with the group

    October 21, 2012

  • Robert O.

    Great to shoot with you this weekend

    October 21, 2012

  • Aitor A.

    Hi!
    I live in Palm Springs near the entrance to the Joshua Tree.
    Where can we meet?
    I have a 7 places SUV so I offer to drive inside the national park.
    Let me now an hour and place to meet please.
    Thank you!

    October 19, 2012

    • Aitor A.

      Thank you Dan, see you all tomorrow!

      1 · October 19, 2012

    • Dan C.

      Nice meeting you Aitor and we look forward to seeing you down in San Diego soon!

      October 21, 2012

  • Dan C.

    Fabulous day up at Joshua Tree and we all managed to stay together as a group till sunset! Most of us ended up going to Pappy & Harriets http://www.pappyandharriets.com/ over in Pioneertown, for some music (The Farmers were playing) and some food. Unfortunately they were all booked for dining but the music was great and several of us got to be roadies for the band :o) - We opted for Applebee's for dinner and were treated to some of the worst service ever (1 1/2 hr wait for food when the place was near-empty). Everything but Applebee's rates 5 stars*****!

    October 21, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    The car pool arrangements didn't work for me, and I stayed home. Thought I was confirmed in a car pool, and showed up this morning to find one too many people try to ride in the car. Hope you all have a good time, I'll go some other time.

    October 20, 2012

  • Karen

    Sorry, my GPS wasn't working well and I got lost (visiting from Sacramento). Finally arrived at 8:32am but no one was there. Hope it'll work out next time, have fun.

    October 20, 2012

    • Dan C.

      Sorry you didn't make it Karen. We waited till about 8:25 and then figured nobody else was going to show up. If you'd have called or texted we'd have waited for you. Hope to see you for another event.

      October 21, 2012

  • Jim

    Special thanks to Cindhi for her exemplary feat of driving three sleepy passengers from Yucca Valley to Escondido, arriving after 2 AM !

    1 · October 21, 2012

  • Jim

    Thank you Dan for organizing this trip and acting as tour guide and errant sheep herder! A pleasant trip with great scenery, fantastic people, and continual good times. Even that unconscionable two-hour wait at Appleby's was remarkably tolerable because of the fun company.

    October 21, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    What an outstanding day...

    October 21, 2012

  • Sheila Newbery Redheaded P.

    Have fun everyone I'll go another time

    October 20, 2012

  • Phyllis Z.

    Sorry, To all that depended on a possible ride. My car is acting up. Stalled on me this morning on my way to my photography class. I am hoping you will be planning another road trip soon.

    October 19, 2012

    • Phyllis Z.

      If someone has a spot for me to drive up 'll go (share costs). Just don't want to take chances with car on long drive till checked out. Let me know.

      October 19, 2012

    • Dan C.

      Should be seats available.

      October 19, 2012

  • Jeff R.

    So is everyone else still meeting at 7:30 at Granville? If it's a 2:40 minute drive or so from Granville, can't we meet up a little later? 7:30 would put us there before 10:30 if we're meeting around 12:30.

    October 19, 2012

    • Sam W.

      Meeting at 8am at Grantville, to arrange carpools. It will probably be closer to 9am before we actually leave.

      October 19, 2012

    • Dan C.

      We meet at the station at 8:00. If you get there early you'll have a better shot at getting a seat with someone arriving early too. We'll leave by 8:30 or earlier if everyone has arrived. That leaves time for a few stops for photos and/or"pit stops" along the way.

      October 19, 2012

  • Phyllis Z.

    I will meet up 8AM at Grantville and hopefully I'll have a ride. I was planning to drive but my car stalled this morning. I'll drive next time.

    1 · October 19, 2012

  • Karen

    I'll be at Grantville Trolley Station at 7:45 tomorrow. I am still looking for ride...

    1 · October 19, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi I need a ride for 2 if you can help my number is[masked]

    October 19, 2012

  • Miles B.

    hi everyone still looking for a ride tommrow morning pls let me know here is my number[masked]

    October 19, 2012

  • Dan C.

    Looks like Diana will not be able to make it due to illness, but alas, I will be going and will be guiding those of you who like to be herded like cats in the desert ;o) - I will have 2 possibly 3 seats available for riders who are meeting at the trolley station. Bring cash! - Everyone will meet me at the Joshua Tree National Park Visitors Center at 12:30. I will be sending everyone who is signed up, my phone number.

    October 19, 2012

  • Cindhi H.

    Hi everyone, this will be such a great trip! I am driving from Escondido. For anyone that needs a ride I drive a coup but the back seat is surprisingly comfortable and there is plenty of room for everyone's gear in the trunk. I will be heading straight out to the desert, not going to the station.

    October 17, 2012

    • Cindhi H.

      Oops, hit return. Two things - (1) head count. I have room for three in addition to myself. (2) Robert posted a shorter route that will take 1 hour less driving time so we can meet at 9am and have time to get coffee or take a break along the way for facilities and snacks.

      October 19, 2012

    • Cindhi H.

      Dicks S.G. 9am, my phone number is (760)[masked]

      October 19, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll be at the Grantville Station tomorrow morning, with gas and lunch money in hand!

    October 19, 2012

  • Dan C.

    Going through the threads here, it looks like Doug, Dwayne, Jeff, David, Cindhi, Robert & Phyllis are offering to drive. Check their locations (some are North County) and get in touch with them for rides or just go to the trolley station and see who else might be offering rides there. You can also check the Northern Group's event page.

    October 18, 2012

    • Dan C.

      For those that have not been there before and are driving, the easiest way is the 15 (north) to the 215 (north), to the 10 (east), to the 62 north (Morongo Valley/Joshua Tree). Look for signs in Joshua Tree for the Joshua Tree Visitors Center on Park Blvd. (on the right side).

      October 18, 2012

    • Cindhi H.

      Thanks for the new route Robert. It's much shorter than the original I got from google maps. I can sleep in a bit.

      October 19, 2012

  • Jeff R.

    I am in La Mesa, and have a 2dr Accord. Not the MOST comfortable, but not terrible if you're 6'0" or under. I suppose I can drive, and have room for 3. It's 172 miles each way (3.5 hours according to google). Cover the gas and a few bucks for the park admission and we're good to go.

    October 18, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone still looking for a ride? I am willing to drive and can take two people if we share expenses. Leave from Panera Bread in Escondido (Auto Pkwy/ Valley Pkwy - Target shopping center 1 block west of I-15)

    October 18, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Lets plan on riding together. I have a smallish Honda Fit, but it gets good gas mileage and is actually roomy. I'm agreeable to being a passenger or driving. Depending on which route we take it's between 144 - 177 miles each way. I agree that we should meet between 8:30 - 9am

      October 18, 2012

    • Jim

      Cindhi, David, whichever of you drives, if you have an available seat, could I pls grab a ride with you? Of course I'll chip in, and will meet you at the Target shopping center about 8:45.

      October 18, 2012

  • Miles B.

    still looking to arrange for a ride, anyone has room for me.

    October 18, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm still trying to set up a ride, but I'm in East County, so the Grantville Trolley Station is where I'll be. I'm getting a little concerned that no one is volunteering to drive from there...

    October 18, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm also in Escondido and need a ride if posibole can hep with gas

    October 17, 2012

    • Dan C.

      Mike: See Cindhi's message right below.

      October 17, 2012

  • Diana

    Another thing to know: It's $15 to enter the park for a day pass (I believe it's good for 3 days). Unless, of course, you might have an annual np pass. The fees can be paid in the visitor center or at the fee booth when you go in.

    October 17, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    As for water, should we think about coolers? While I'm sure we'll be doing a good deal of hiking, I also think we'll be spending a lpot of time around the vehicles, too...

    October 17, 2012

    • Diana

      Bringing coolers for drinks and munchies is an excellent idea. Lovely places to picnic as well.

      October 17, 2012

  • Diana

    Sorry, one more comment: I won't be staying the entire time. It's my son's closing night for the play he is in. Momma-time trumps play-time.

    Oh yes, and bring plenty of water. You won't find any in the park. I don't recommend just sodas or juices or teas. You might end up getting a headache. This dry air is a far cry different on the sinuses than your coastal vibe. Stay hydrated even if you don't feel thirsty.

    Camping: If you want to camp but do not have reservations, beware - this is our busy season. Campgrounds fill up fast and usually all through reservations.

    http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/camping.htm

    1 · October 17, 2012

  • Diana

    Places to eat in JT:

    Pie for the People - NY style homemade pizza on the north side of the highway. Look left at the Park Blvd light. Take out or eat in. Inside/outside patio dining. Nice spot.

    Natural Sisters - organic, vegan food. Fresh sandwiches, salads, and soups. Will box to go.

    CrossRoads - variety of food. So-so in my book. Funky vibe if you are looking to sit in to eat.

    Richochet - corner of Sunset and the highway. Super funky. Homemade dishes. Tiny place but worth the visit. I am partial to their Aztec Mocha coffee....

    Santas - Mexican. Between Sunset and Park right on the highway.

    Thai Restaurant - in the "strip mall", right side of highway before you hit the Park Blvd light. I like their food. Usually have weekend buffet bar 'in season' at a good price.

    In Yucca Valley:
    The usual fast food joints.

    Kimi Grill at the Travel Lodge has a decent sushi bar and Japanese menu. We eat there frequently. Has space for larger groups.

    1 · October 17, 2012

  • Diana

    HI all....weather looks to be beautiful. Sunny skies - 70s-low 80's range. Sunny skies which doesn't make for easy photographing conditions with all the reflective light in the park. Sunday will be up to 10 degrees cooler. Wear layered clothing and make sure you have sturdy shoes for traipsing about in the park.

    Don't forget about the Farmers' Market nearby the visitor center for street shooting and fresh goodies.

    I am assuming everyone is meeting at 12:30 at JTVC? We'll have about 6 hours of light. It's still pretty strong right now. Later afternoon wil make for more interesting shots.

    Nights are cool but comfortable. You are in luck with the weather!

    1 · October 17, 2012

  • Beverly B

    How many people are staying, camping out to do night photography?

    October 16, 2012

    • Dan C.

      Beverly: There is a discussion on that in a lower thread here on the event page.

      October 16, 2012

    • Beverly B

      Thanks,

      October 16, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    In response to the e-mail that Dan has sent out, I'll chime in and say that I am going, however I am unable to drive. I will happily chip in for gas, and will even buy lunch (or dinner, however it works out) for whoever's driving. I'll be getting to the trolley station nice and early, too...

    1 · October 16, 2012

  • Robert O.

    Will be going up on our own. Would like to connect up with the group. Please let me know if there are any updates on where and when to meet.
    Looking forward to it.

    October 16, 2012

  • Oby

    Maybe we should have a list of those willing to give rides to jtnp?

    1 · October 16, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looks like most people replying here are looking for a ride. That doesn't bode well. Is there any way to get a good idea on just how many drivers there will be to accomodate the 32 people who are signed up to attend?

    October 15, 2012

  • Karen

    I am coming from La Jalla and looking for ride. Does anybody I can carpool with? I would love to share the fees.

    October 15, 2012

  • George

    This looks like so much fun! I have always wanted to go to Joshua Tree.

    October 14, 2012

  • Kelly Clark M.

    Would like To go- coming from Encinitas, would love to catch a ride w someone and would of course help chip in for gas

    October 13, 2012

  • Oby

    I should be good to go! Does anyone has room for me in their car?

    October 13, 2012

  • Jeff R.

    This would be my first meetup. I just recently picked up photography as a hobby, and shoot here and there on the weekends for fun. Are rookies welcome to this event? If so, I'd probably need to catch a ride.

    October 9, 2012

    • Sam W.

      No way, possibly a Joshua Tree trip without Dan, say it isnt so.....

      October 9, 2012

    • Dan C.

      I may be covering the Lt. Dan Band's appearance locally that day.

      October 9, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm thinking about riding to JTNP by motorcycle. Anyone else have a motorcycle, and want to join me for a ride at a casual pace?

    October 8, 2012

  • Jerry V.

    I plan on taking my pickup which has room for 3 riders but the those in the back seat need to be on the shorter side to be comfortable.

    Plenty of room in the back or the truck and it has a lockable cover.

    September 12, 2012

    • Jerry V.

      Grrr - cannot make the trip now

      October 7, 2012

  • Dwayne A.

    Is anyone interested in staying overnight in the Joshua tree area? If possible i'd like to get Night shots (stars) and maybe the sunrise in the morning...let me know...

    September 25, 2012

    • Robert O.

      The last time I went up there we just found a hotel in 29 palms a few miles out of the park. It cators mainly to the military base near there. I have camped up there with the boy scouts a few times. Can be cold.
      I don’t know what I prefer the comfort of the hotel room. Or the encouragement of night photography of camping.

      A quick net search had rooms at supper 8 for $55. Just as a clue. It would have been better to get reservations closer to the park.

      October 2, 2012

    • Robert O.

      Any body else considering more than a day trip?

      October 2, 2012

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