Joshua Tree boasts an otherworldly terrain, but accommodations in California's high desert can be decidedly down to earth.
LA designer Blake Simpson has solved this problem with Mojave Sands. A decade ago, he spotted a run-down midcentury motel off the highway and saw its potential. He overhauled the property (with the help of friends such as actress Ann Magnuson), transforming it into a low-key, eco-friendly desert hangout. The exterior has been ruggedized with stacked stone; the five guest rooms feature vintage typewriters, working turntables, and walnut platform beds made by Simpson. We'd bring a copy of Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire to read.