Journey to California’s High Desert and camp at the kitschy Hicksville Trailer Palace in Joshua Tree.
About two hours drive from Los Angeles lies the High Desert, said to be a metaphysical mecca for artists and musicians. The list of artists who have been inspired here is long, as is the folklore: Gram Parsons, Keith Richards, Donovan, John Lennon, Victoria Williams, and Josh Hommes (Queens of the Stone Age).
You’ll begin to feel civilization fading away in your rear view mirror as you pass the windmills, Yucca trees, boulders and desert wildflowers. Then a strange vibe sets in. Maybe it’s the pure stillness, the desolation, or the mystery of an eco- system whose desert dwellers have survived the intense heat. Joshua State Park is beautiful, vast and mysterious. The large and steep boulders make it a rock climber’s paradise. Pop in your favorite music, stop at the Joshua Tree State park store, and find some Seventy’s vintage. Pioneer Town’s Pappy and Harriet’s is the place for some serious BBQ, and you might even see Robert Plant jamming with some locals.
If you’re staying over night and want to delve further into the unusual, visit Hicksville Trailer Palace. Turning left off highway 62, you will find yourself on a long dirt road that leads you to what looks like a combination of a David Lynch movie set and a rock-and-roll ho down. Located behind an enclosed area and a big wooden gate, Hicksville has ten themed Airstream trailers: The FiFi (all pink inside with glowing wigs), The Pioneer , The Integratrailer (alien-themed), The Lux (Cramps themed), The Pony, The Sweet, and the Sideshow. In addition, there are two off-site trailers: Rancho Diablo and The Tiki Hut. The whole camping area is solar powered, except for the gas stove and shower. In addition to a killer jukebox, there are games like horseshoes and archery. Don’t miss the jacuzzi, set up on a platform, for some serious star gazing. There are so many stars it’s hypnotizing.
The place is probably at its best when a whole group rents out the space, and makes it a big rustic rock-and-roll party. At times the property feels like an abandoned Carnival, even isolated, but that may be the intended effect since it was built as an artist’s retreat by a Los Angeles filmmaker. So it’s not surprising that The New World Trailer comes complete with a 30’ monitor and Mac Pro with Final Cut, After Effects, and Final Draft. The Sideshow trailer has a fortuneteller and some other oddities like a prison gate for the bathroom door and DVD’s on aliens. Onsite there’s a a vending machine, a barbecue grill, pans and towels, but it’s definitely camping, so come prepared for roughing it a bit. Also be prepared for an exquisite sunset, sunrise, and a UFO sighting or two!
Rates start at $100 per night. For booking information visit here.