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  1. Default Las Vegas to LA via Joshua Tree

    My husband, 5 year old and I are driving to LA from Las Vegas via Joshua Tree.
    Anyone have any suggestions as to sights to see en route to Joshua Tree from Vegas? What is the best route?

    Also - once in Joshua Tree - any suggestions for highlights? No climbing or hiking for us - don't think the kiddie can do it.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Two Parks

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Truth be told, we don't really believe in a single, one-size-fits-all, 'best' of anything around here. But since there are actually only a couple of possible routes that meet your criteria, let me suggest the following. Leave Las Vegas on I-15 south to the Cima Road exit in California and take that through Mojave National Preserve by way of Kelso (see the park's map on its website.) Continue south on Kelbaker road to exit the park and cross I-40, turning right on National Trails Highway to Amboy, then south on Amboy Rd. to Twentynine Palms, turning left (south again) onto Utah Trails Rd and entering Joshua Tree. Go all the way through the park on El Dorado Mine Rd to I-10 west into Los Angeles. For both Mojave and Joshua Tree, I'd recommend that you contact the parks before you start on your trip to ask them what they recommend for your 5 year old's abilities, being sure to ask if they have a Junior Ranger program and if you can get the materials sent to you.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Thanks so much!
    Are the roads you suggested well traveled?
    Highways?
    Back roads?
    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Those Roads

    For the most part, the roads I suggested are paved and maintained two lane roads. I wouldn't call them highways, and I certainly wouldn't call them well traveled. You will have them to yourselves by and large, but there will occasionally be other traffic, including park employees.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I'd recommend you leave LV with a full tank of gas. If you have to buy gas out in the desert, you will probably be paying $4+ a gallon. I came through there last month and the Chevron at the Cima Rd exit off I-15 was at $3.99. Your next chance for reasonably priced gas is in 29 Palms. That's also a good place for a lunch stop. The town center is just west of Utah Trails Rd between Amboy Rd and SR-62.

    The Mojave Preserve is free, but Joshua Tree has a $15 admission fee for the whole car.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default hiking

    I would really encourage you to do a little hiking with your 5 year old. At that age there is no reason he can't go along on a hike -after all, he probably has more energy than you do at this point! Now of course that doesn't mean that you should be looking for expert level multi-hour climbs, but every national park has a good variety of trails with all sorts of skill levels. Plus taking a short mile long hike will probably be a welcome break for him after being couped up in a car for long periods of time.

  7. Default

    Thanks everyone!
    We are really looking forward!

  8. Default

    Another question - - Does any recommend a good route from Joshua Tree to West LA?
    Thanks!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I-10 all the way is as good as any. Leave Joshua Tree via the south entrance. Figure about 3 hours, longer in rush hour.

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