There are many places to stay in Joshua Tree, California, from your car to a tent, yurt, fancy yurt, airstream trailer, geodesic dome house, or even cowboy camping on the bare earth. We recommend this dwelling as an option, too. An old cabin/lookout, built in 1929. It’s near Covington Flats, where some of the park’s biggest Joshua trees, junipers, and piñon pines grow. Plenty of hiking trails and a twisting road bisect Covington Flats affording all the desert recreation opportunities you can dream up.

Then, there’s the charm of this cabin.

It sleeps four inside, but there’s also a flat roof and an endless sea of stars to gaze at, and we’re not exactly sure whether house rules permit such a thing, but that roof may even be an ideal place to sleep a fifth person. There’s a propane fire pit for cold desert nights. The town of Joshua Tree is close by for last-minute supplies. Old-growth redwood from…somewhere… was long, long ago used to build the lookout offering views of the surrounding hills and those stars, winking down through the clear desert air, practically casting shadows on the arid grounds.

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Incredibly, this nearly century-old cabin, with all its rustic charm and modern amenities, costs only $79 per night to rent. The blazing heat of summer probably keeps many renters away this time of year, but for those with a thick, weathered desert skin, the cabin awaits. Or, you, know, just book a stay in the fall.

fire lookout

joshua tree

Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.


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