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  • Sunset at Mojave Desert in Twentynine Palms, CA

2020 has been one for the record books. Regardless of how you were affected by quarantines, lockdowns, and sheltering in place, it’s been a lot to process. Have you been taking time for yourself to reflect on what you really want? Are you stuck in a creative rut? Are you ready to make 2021 your Year of Creative Exploration? Sydney + Barry Williams have been hiking and brainstorming for years and it has revolutionized the way they live their lives and the way they do business. By combining mindset techniques acquired as a Division 1 athlete, competitive skydiver, and corporate executive, incorporating playful techniques from improv (“yes, and!”), and encouraging mindful movement, they’ve developed a personal reflection format to help you unlock your best ideas, open the flow of creativity, and improve your mental, spiritual, and physical health.

This weekend retreat is a combination of guided self-discovery exercises, hiking, wilderness wellness practices, and community support.

Learn more and register today!

 

If you enjoy photography and are fascinated by the desert night sky, this two-day hands-on workshop is for you! Noted TWAN sky photographer Dennis Mammana will teach participants how to use even the simplest of cameras to create magnificent celestial portraits without resorting to composites and fakery. The class will begin with tips for setting up and shooting the night sky including a few personal tricks of the trade. That evening, participants will head to the park to try out their new knowledge under the real night sky. The next morning, the class will look at images from the previous night, discuss their pros and cons, and try out some basic image processing techniques in Adobe Lightroom that will make your photos pop. Any camera, digital or film, will work, if it can be adjusted manually, used with a tripod, remote control, and can take exposures of 15, 30, or more seconds. Students should have a good working knowledge of their equipment prior to taking this class. Students need to provide their own camera, tripod, camera equipment, and dress in layers as the nights can be cold.

Please bring a flash drive to share a field class image or two with the class on Sunday, if you’d like to get some personal tips.

Register today!

Join us for a day of photography in two special desert places off the beaten track: Whitewater Preserve, and Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve. From the Whitewater River, to McCallum pond in an oasis of California fan palms, you’ll experience the beauty of water in the desert. Winter is an excellent season to photograph the low desert, with its cool temperatures, longer shadows and views of distant peaks.

The day consists of photographic field sessions, group instruction and one-on-one assistance from your instructor. Your questions will be answered! You’ll learn tips and techniques for controlling sharpness, exposure, making panoramic photographs, and using lenses, along with creative exercises in photographing the desert landscape. Class begins in the morning close to the rugged cliffs of Whitewater Preserve. After lunch, we relocate to Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve for afternoon field sessions among stately palms. Hiking at each preserve is easy – to moderate; we’ll be walking on trails that are mainly level. Participants are encouraged to bring a tripod with their camera(s)

Register today!

Stretch your legs and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Cottonwood Mountains with Ted Reeves, in this all-day field class. Reeves will discuss the geologic history of Joshua Tree National Park, and the rocks and plants of the Cottonwood Mountains. We will also discuss some human history of the Cottonwood Spring area during the late 1800s. Participants will walk six miles through the rolling hills of the Colorado Desert to see mills, mines, and more. Along the trail, Reeves will share the adaptations of plants and animals to the desert environment. A portion of the walk will follow a prominent freight road built in the 1880s. Attendees will learn what is known about the road’s creation and use. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn how geology is connected to cultural history at Cottonwood Spring!

Register today!

2020 has been one for the record books. Regardless of how you were affected by quarantines, lockdowns, and sheltering in place, it’s been a lot to process. Have you been taking time for yourself to reflect on what you really want? Are you stuck in a creative rut? Are you ready to make 2021 your Year of Creative Exploration? Sydney + Barry Williams have been hiking and brainstorming for years and it has revolutionized the way they live their lives and the way they do business. By combining mindset techniques acquired as a Division 1 athlete, competitive skydiver, and corporate executive, incorporating playful techniques from improv (“yes, and!”), and encouraging mindful movement, they’ve developed a personal reflection format to help you unlock your best ideas, open the flow of creativity, and improve your mental, spiritual, and physical health.

This weekend retreat is a combination of guided self-discovery exercises, hiking, wilderness wellness practices, and community support.

Register today!

This hike is just the hike for those still a little intimated by Joshua Tree’s vastness: easy, informative, and just the right length. Beginning at the Pine City backcountry board, this trail is less traveled and one of Joshua Tree’s nicest “hidden” treasures. It’s an architectural confection of Joshua Tree’s famous high desert plants, its human history, and monster artful boulders, leading to an expansive view of the low desert. We’ll have lunch in a nearby pinyon pine burst of greenery and shade, then take an additional side-foray to the Desert Queen Mine, with a tale of its dramatic mining past.

Register today!

Join Joshua Tree based artist Monica L. Mahoney in a watercolor field painting immersion in the heart of Joshua Tree National Park. Known for her plein air watercolors of sweeping desert vistas and knowledge of the native flora of the region, Monica will guide participants in capturing the “Genius loci” or spirit of this special place. Students will tap into their natural observation skills and paint the landscape in field journals using basic watercolor and water-based pencil techniques. To warm up, Monica will guide students in recording sensory observations during an easy and informative natural history walk in a spectacular private location. Students will then practice gesture and thumbnail painting as well as basic color mixing techniques while using value, tone, line, shape, and depth to capture the essence of the landscape. This workshop is perfect for campers, hikers, and backpackers and all who are interested in developing their watercolor painting skills in the field. From beginner to intermediate, the class is designed to have fun and explore how painting, sketching and journaling in nature helps us see the world- and ourselves- with new eyes. While a good choice for beginning painters, some previous drawing experience will be helpful. All students will be given individual attention as needed.

This class will be conducted at the reserved Lost Horse Campground.

Register today!

Join us for an opportunity to stay in an exceptional part of the California Desert and devote three days to making new photographs. The class is based at the Desert Studies Center, south of Baker, CA. The Center— also known as Zzyzx (zy-zix)— lies inside in the Mojave National Preserve and is a former health spa with interesting buildings, palms, ponds, springs, plus fine views of Soda Dry Lake and desert mountains. Special emphasis is placed on photography in the field to allow students to work with color, light, shapes, and textures of the desert at an unhurried pace. On one half-day field session we’ll photograph lava beds and a Joshua tree forest. Two night photography sessions are scheduled to take advantage of dark skies over Zzyzx. Instructional topics include: exposure, making panoramic photographs, HDR photography, controlling image sharpness.

Hiking on field sessions easy – to moderate. Participants are encouraged to bring a tripod with their cameras.

This field study is based at the Desert Studies Center (of California State University) located within the Preserve at Soda Springs (Zzyzx), about a three-hour drive from Joshua Tree. The course fee includes two nights’ lodging at the Center and meals starting with dinner on Friday through breakfast on Sunday. Upon enrollment, you will be sent detailed information about the Center and what to bring.

Register today!

Joshua Tree and environs are well known for the burgeoning artist community that has been drawn here. The local contemporary art scene is vibrant and a healthy companion to the music community that has flourished in the area. Bernard Leibov, Director of BoxoPROJECTS, takes us though his highlights of the local cultural scene. After an introduction and orientation in the classroom, Bernard will take us on the road to visit several of the interesting art sites in the area.

Introduction
a docent-led tour of Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum
a visit to the public sculptures at A-Z West, the experiment in living by Andrea Zittel
lunch and a tour at BoxoPROJECTS, home to a residency program as well as the Joshua Treenial
studio visits with local artists
cap the day off with a stop at Art Queen and local art galleries

Register today!

The desert floor may look like dirt and sand but it is full of living small and microscopic organisms vital to the park’s ecosystem. Many of these organisms live in biological highly active soil crusts that cover the first inch of the desert soil surface. In this field class Nat Pombububpa, Julia Adam, and Tania Kurbessoian will introduce crypto-biotic soil crusts with an emphasis on fungi, soil algae, and lichens. Participants will study the secret life of these microscopic organisms as they demystify this thin layer of soil. This class will discuss the components of crusts such as cyanobacteria (one of the oldest known life forms on earth), green algae, diatoms, bacteria, fungi, and lichens. During the lab session, participants will see the biodiversity of the park’s crusts up close through two different types of microscopes. On the second day, the class will go into the field to identify and assess the condition of several types of algal and lichen soil crust communities found in Joshua Tree National Park.

Register today!

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Know Before You Go

Your health and safety is the top priority for our hospitality businesses. In accordance with State/County guidelines we kindly remind you to wear your face mask/covering, practice healthy hand-washing, maintain a safe social distance, and postpone travel if you are sick.

Together, our everyday actions can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.