Joshua Tree National Park
It takes about 50 minutes to drive from Palm Springs to Joshua Tree National Park and it’s worth it. The most scenic part is the north end, accessible via Park Blvd in the tiny town of Joshua Tree. If you want to hike, Ryan Mountain takes just over an hour to the top and will reward you with the best views of the park. Or just park anywhere along the road and walk among the amazing boulders.
Recommendation: The big rocks and Joshua Trees are mostly at the north end of the park. You can enter at Park Blvd off of Highway 62 and drive across the north end til you exit at Twentynine Palms. Midway through, there is a road south that you might take as far as the amazing Cholla Garden (gorgeous, but don’t touch them). If you get hungry, Crossroads Cafe and Country Kitchen are great for breakfast or lunch. Plan at least a half day for your trip as the park is quite large and there is much to see.