In the nation’s largest county, San Bernardino, and about 2 hours drive East of Los Angeles, dwells a desert landscape with a timeless vibe that attracts a broad mix of artists, tourists, and desert lovers: Yucca Valley. Over the years, Yucca Valley has experienced dramatic changes, spreading from an isolated way station into a blooming oasis in a desert community. Regardless of the transformations, the surrounding mountains, and desert add to the town of Yucca Valley a sensation of timelessness, and peaceful homeland feel.

LOS ANGELES: YUCCA VALLEY, OUT OF THE DESERT

Yucca Valley is nested among a group of communities including Joshua Tree, Landers, and Twentynine Palms. In the 1880s, a small pox epidemic decimated the indian tribes of Chemuvei and Serrano who at the time occupied the Morongo Basin, where lies today Joshua Tree Natinoal Park. While the desertic area was prospected by English colonies and Chinese homesteaders, the end of World War II will mark a turn in the history of Yucca Valley. War veterans with health problems soon took residence, followed by the affluence of filmmakers taking up the desertic landscape to the screens for western movies.

LOS ANGELES: YUCCA VALLEY, OUT OF THE DESERT

LOS ANGELES: YUCCA VALLEY, OUT OF THE DESERT

But what makes Yucca Valley quite a famous town in California? First, the very historic Route 62 and Old Woman Spring Road have been considered as essential artery not only for motion picture set, but also for the unique scenic spectacle they offer. Secondly, Yucca Valley is expanding, springing up the desert landscape, and attracting more tourists than ever before. Finally, if you are an explorer, Joshua Tree National Park should be on your list of places to visit when in California. The 794,000 acres consists of two desert systems, Colorado and Mojave ecosystems, both offering an intriguing and appealing geology.

What to do?
Visit Joshua Tree National Park, Pioneertown, Twentynine Palms Art Gallery, Palm Springs. Camp at the Black Rock Canyon and Cottonwood campgrounds. Go for a hike at Joshua Tree Maze Loop, Inspiration Peak, Eureka Peak.

Where to eat?
Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, Route 62 Old Timer Diner

3 Interesting facts
– In June 28, 1992 at 11:57:34, the 7.6 magnitude earthquake was recorded as the most devastating earthquake in the region.
– The iconic Joshua tree, is a member of the lily family. Legend says that Mormon travelers named the tree after the biblical figure of Joshua.
– Yucca takes its origin from “yuca“, a Caribbean-Indian name for the tapioca plant. Yucca is also the creole word for cassava.

[All photos are by Isabelle A. Barros]

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