We unfortunately had to cut our visit to Joshua Tree a bit short — one of our party slipped coming down a boulder and landed badly on her knee. There’s a lot of loose scree, and even if you’re wearing good sneakers, it’s easy to lose your footing; I slid a bit coming down one boulder and collected a nice scrape on my hip. There were a lot of little kids clearly having a fabulous time clambering around on boulders, and a lot of parents saying, “Be careful!” Go slow, especially when coming down!
We were able to ice and wrap the knee right away (always nice having a doctor in the car, and my scarf got pressed into service to apply pressure and hold the plastic bag of ice in place), but we did head right back to town after that. She got the knee checked out, and it was just a sprain, so she’s going to be fine, whew!
I do think we basically got the feel of the park, though. If we were going back, I’d want to check out the Cholla Cactus Garden, and hopefully catch some more blooms: https://www.nps.gov/…/nature/cholla-cactus-garden.htm
If you don’t think you’re likely to actually go there, or want a preview, the National Park Service has some great virtual tours here: https://www.nps.gov/…/photosmult…/virtual-experience.htm
It’s supposed to be a fabulous spot for stargazing, so I’d also want to camp overnight if I came out again! Ideally timing the trip for a clear, moonless night: https://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/stargazing.htm