Joshua Tree National Park After Dark

Joshua Tree’s True Colors Show at Night

After the sun sets, Joshua Tree turns into something wildly different. Half of the park’s beauty lies in the night sky.

As day turns to dusk at Jumbo Rocks, the rocks themselves begin to look like the heads of men turned upward, foreshadowing the coming stars that will soon light up the canvass of the night. We took a walk down the narrow road by our campsite, noticing these granite faces, eager to lay out on the rocks and look up ourselves.

Jumbo Rocks Campground Is a Perfect Platform To Watch the Night Sky

Before the sun disappeared completely, we found a suitable boulder for stargazing. The rock still giving off a bit of stale warmth from the day. We watched each star appear as the light slowly dimmed, trying to find the brightest one when even brighter stars began to shine through by the second.

When the sun completely gave way to night, the stars took the role of lighting up the sky. One of the greatest things about the desert is that there is no light pollution. Everything that is meant to be seen above earth can be seen, and I’m sure I will never witness as many stars as I did lying on that rock in Joshua Tree. Countless pinholes in an ethereal blanket pulled over the earth and tucked around the edges.

The rock became cold as we exhausted its leftover heat. With Liz beginning to shiver by my side, it was time to walk back to the tent and turn in for the night. And so we did, with our heads tilted up towards the stars still, content with our place in the desert on earth for the moment. We crawled into our tent and lay on our backs to fall asleep. The faces in the boulders remain eternally with upward posture, timelessly watching the sky not bounded by the need to sleep.

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