Chances are you’ve never taken a road trip with the expressed intent of taking a bath. But in the Yucca Valley area there’s a place where you can take a “bath” you’ll never forget! The city of Yucca Valley is not only the gateway to the vast Joshua Tree National Park, a stunningly beautiful chunk of the high Mojave Desert, but also the place where the Old West and the New Age collide seamlessly. Best of all, the Yucca Valley area attractions are just off the highway near Indio and make for some potential extra fun if you’re planning a trip to the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Here are some things you might enjoy:

You Need a Bath! The historic domed building known as the Integratron (2477 Belfield Blvd., Landers; was built in the ’50s out in the desert at a spot where the Mojave’s geomagnetic forces are said to align. Energy and sound are focused and amplified by the structure, and the facility offers a 30-minute “sound bath” where pure quartz crystal “singing bowls” are played live, bathing your body in acoustically perfect sound while you relax yoga style. The results are waves of peace, increased balance and awareness and deep relaxation of the mind and body. Public (group) sound baths start at $10 per person.

Pioneertown: Pioneertown (, located just outside of Yucca Valley, is a tiny Old West town and movie set where dozens of Western films starring old-time cowboys like Gene Autry and the Cisco Kid were produced. Roy Rogers, although he never filmed here, was often on the set and stayed in the Pioneertown Motel (5040 Curtis Road, Pioneertown;, still in existence and still renting quaint rooms. Visitors can take self-guided tours of Pioneertown any day, and every Saturday from April through October (They’ll be there during Coachella.), the Pioneertown Posse puts on a Wild West show complete with gunfights and singing cowboys. Pioneertown is also home to Pappy and Harriet’s Restaurant, a good place to get grub, but also a concert venue that has hosted shows by Robert Plant, Billy Corgan, the Eagles of Death Metal, the Donnas and the Arctic Monkeys.

The Joshua Tree National Park: The otherworldly landscape of the Joshua Tree National Park (, besides being filled with countless examples of its namesake, is strewn with huge boulders and rock piles and has become a favorite destination for rock climbers, with bolting allowed in certain areas with a permit. A scenic view can be had anywhere in the park but a stop at the Keys View overlook affords a vista that takes in the Salton Sea and, on a clear day, Mexico. The park has nine campgrounds, a dozen nature trails and six hiking trails. Ranger-led tours to the Keys Ranch, a surprisingly well-maintained, early 20th century homestead, are also available. The park charges an entry fee.

Take a Class: If you like what you see in the Yucca Valley area and would like to spend some additional time there furthering your education, you can do so through the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park ( The institute offers field classes in Creative Arts, Cultural History, Desert Survival and Natural Science where you can take courses like “Desert Snakes: Fangs, Rattle and More.” Some classes are for college credit, and there’s usually a selection of classes available at half price.

Sushi and a Bed: Yucca Valley is the jumping-off place for all of the above activities, and the city is big enough that you can satisfy your shopping, dining and drinking desires easily. The rates at the Yucca Valley Travelodge (54850 29 Palms Highway; are student friendly, and the motel has a game room, an extensive fitness center, a large, heated pool and (wait for it…) a sushi bar! Extended stay suites and furnished apartments are also available if you’d like to make the Travelodge your headquarters during Coachella.

There’s a California Welcome Center in Yucca Valley (56711 29 Palms Highway) that can provide you with maps and other information, and the city’s Chamber of Commerce has additional information available at