From the Salton Sea we drove towards Joshua Tree National Park. We entered from the south end of the park and kept expecting to eventually be stopped at an entry kiosk. Having been to other national parks that stop traffic to pay before entering it was weird to not come across such an entrance.
They do expect you to stop at the visitor center to pay the entry fee though. We have the “America the Beautiful” pass so didn’t need to stop. (Check it out! One time fee for unlimited entry into all the national parks for 1 whole year.)
We hiked the Cholla Cactus Garden trail, Arch Rock Nature trail, Hidden Valley Trail and Barker Dam Trail.
We almost got lost trying to get to the arch on the Arch Rock Nature Trail. It’s a short hike, but we were having fun climbing random rocks and got turned around. Good thing we pre-loaded the map on the Google maps app. Always a good backup when no reception is expected.