Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). This helps support and run my blog. I only recommend products I personally use and love. Thank you for your support.
Joshua Tree National Park is located in southern California, just two hours east of Los Angeles. The park is named after the many Joshua trees that line its incredible landscape. It’s a beautiful park and in addition to its natural surroundings, the area hosts some unexpected as well. The small towns surrounding Joshua Tree are full of character and make for a great road trip. There are many quirky attractions tucked away and you never know what you might find. For this reason, I find myself returning time and time again. Continue reading to discover some of the many unique and weird things to do in Joshua Tree.
Weird Things to Do in Joshua Tree
1. The Beauty Bubble Salon & Museum
The Beauty Bubble Salon and Museum is a functioning hair salon run by stylist and “hair-storian,” Jeff Hafler. Hafler has been collecting retro beauty items for the last 25 years and displays all of his finds around his workspace. There are over 3,000 pieces of hair and beauty memorabilia on display. The collection includes antique hood dryers, perm machines, wigs, books, and knick-knacks. As a stylist myself, I really enjoyed all of Hafler’s incredible treasures, especially the antique blowdryers.
Hafler is fun, friendly, and is happy to share details of his collection with you. A hair appointment isn’t necessary to view the collection and you can stop by any time during business hours. However, if you do wish to book a service, an appointment is recommended and more information can be found here. The salon is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 am- 6 pm, and Sundays and Mondays by appointment only.
61855 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, CA 92252
2. Glass Outhouse Gallery
The Glass Outhouse Gallery is located a bit further into the desert. It’s located a few miles outside of Twentynine Palms and is fairly close to the east entrance of Joshua Tree National Park. It’s the last place you would ever expect to find an art gallery but has become a popular spot over the years. The Gallery opened in 2009 and is run by owner/artist Laurel Seidl. It attracts artists and art collectors from all over the world and features an artist or two each month.
On the property surrounding the gallery, there are trails marked by glass bottles leading through all kinds of “art” displays. You’ll also find the working, mirrored outhouse that the gallery is named after. Make sure to bring a camera as there are lots of fun photo ops. The gallery is free to visit and open 1-5 pm every day, with the exception of Monday.
77575 Twentynine Palms Highway, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
3. World Famous Crochet Museum
The World Famous Crochet Museum was created in 2006 by long-time crochet collector and local artist, Shari Elf. Elf, the co-founder of the Art Queen Complex, doesn’t actually crochet herself but began collecting all types of crochet in the early 1990s. Her collection was placed in storage for quite some time but the World Famous Crochet Museum came to life after she stumbled upon an old one-hour photo booth for sale. Elf didn’t know what she was going to do with the photo booth at the time but soon decided it would be the perfect place to house her collection. She renovated, built shelves inside, and painted it a bright lime-green.
Her collection consists of about every crochet creation you can imagine. There are poodles and other dogs, clowns, dolls, unicorns, and the list goes on. The World Famous Crochet Museum isn’t visible from the street. It’s located near the Joshua Tree Saloon and is tucked away behind the Beauty Bubble Salon and Museum. From the front entrance gate, continue to the back of the lot. The museum is open 24/7 and is free of charge. However, the tiny photo booth can only hold two visitors at a time so you may have to wait your turn.
61855 Highway 62, Joshua Tree, California
4. Noah Purifoy Desert Art Museum
Noah Purifoy was a visual artist and sculptor who spent most of his life between Los Angeles and Joshua Tree. He moved to Joshua Tree in the 1980s and dedicated the last fifteen years of his life to creating The Noah Purifoy Desert Art Museum. His museum sits on ten acres of land in the Mojave desert and consists of over 100 large sculptures that are made of found objects or junk. Noah had limited funds and collected his materials from anywhere he could. He incorporated items such as old furniture, broken electronics, and even a toilet.
At first, there appears to be no rhyme or reason to his creations but everything is very intentional and has meaning. Noah’s “junk art” communicates a variety of messages, many of which are political. The decision to build in the desert was deliberate as well. He believed that the decay from the desert elements would enhance his art over time. The Noah Purifoy Foundation currently maintains the property and offers tours but the museum can easily be visited on your own. It is open to the public every day from sunup to sundown and is free of charge.
63030 Blair Lane, Joshua Tree, California 9225