Joshua Tree National Park, California
Joshua Tree National Park is known for the gnarled, treelike plants growing all over its 550,000 desert acres (222,577 hectares). It also has a reputation as a desolate spot with climactic extremes -- and jet-black night skies. In fact, research conducted at the park shows 29 percent of visitors come specifically to gawk at its impressive night skies [source: Romig]. That's not too surprising, as the skies over the park are typically clear, thanks in part to the desert's low humidity, plus its low levels of light pollution -- pretty amazing, considering its location in people-choked Southern California. Stargazing visitors can take advantage of the park's Night Sky programs, typically offered in summer. About 50 to 100 show up for the program each night, and numbers are growing along with Joshua Tree's reputation as a star-gazing hot spot [source: Romig].
You have your choice of camping sites here, as there are nine campgrounds, all of which come with tables, fire grates and toilets. But there are no RV hookups or showers at any of the sites [source: National Park Service].