We live in a community located in the High Desert area of the San Bernardino County in Southern California. We are a little far from the ocean but there are some very nice areas within a few hours of driving. Joshua Tree National Park is located about 76 miles South East from us. We went there several times during the last 12 months and returned for a visit a few weeks ago. All pictures were taken with my pentax K10D. What a great tool.
The park includes parts of two deserts, each with an ecosystem whose characteristics are determined, for the most part, by elevation. Below 3,000 feet, the Colorado Desert covers the eastern part of the park and features natural gardens of various cactus and desert plants. The Little San Bernardino Mountains run through the southwest edge of the park.
The higher moisture and slightly cooler temperatures of the Mojave Desert is the unique habitat of the Joshua from which the park is name after. In addition to Joshua tree forests, the western part of the park includes some of the most interesting geologic formations found in California's deserts. The foremost geologic features of this landscape are hills of bare rock, usually broken up into boulders.
The park is extremely popular with rock climbers referred to it as "JT" by locals. It is the best traditional winter climbing destination in the United States, no doubt. Thousands of climbers from all over the world come here every winter.
To sum it all up, JT is a unique area that presents unique photographic opportunities. If you are living in California or Colorado and even Nevada, you should visit the park. If you are living elsewhere, if you ever come to California, you should plan for a visit to JT.