I was a few days post-surgery and my birthday was on the horizon when I decided to make a last-minute trip to Hicksville Trailer Palace. I’d been stalking this unique SoCal destination for a while online. After my surgery I was feeling grateful to be alive and in need of a relaxing break from the hectic world of mom blogging. So I decided, no time like the present to check it out and do some recouping.
It turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This little slice of heaven is in a secret location just outside Joshua Tree National Forest and is exact what the name says – a trailer palace. It’s a small, fenced-in resort with trailers surrounding a pool, and community area. Each trailer has been decorated and curated by an artist with a specific theme. These are no frills trailers. Most of them have no running water or facilities inside and I realized this is about as far into camping as I’d like to go. The great thing about Hicksville is that a clean bathroom, or outhouse, running water, outdoor kitchen and vending machines are just steps away from your trailer. So you are camping, but with reasonable creature comforts.
We went on a Monday and surprisingly had the place to ourselves. In the summer I imagine it gets filled with LA and San Diego hipsters who want to fill their Instagram with pretty pics. Okay, I’ll go ahead and lump myself into that category too.
We stayed in The Pioneer trailer because it had a toddler/kid bed for Chan. Was it roomy? Not if you’re a normal size human person. In fact all of the regular trailers were cozy.
But they do have options like New World and The Sideshow that offer an indoor bathroom and more space. The Fifi is a bright purple wagon with wigs and shag rug but only accommodates two. Romantic getaway next time or desert escape with my gays? Absolutely!
There is a free jukebox that plays the most desert friendly music you can imagine. Of course we HAD to play U2’s Joshua Tree because, when in Rome! We got there in the early evening and got to work setting up a campfire in the pit.
We made s’mores and drank beer from the vending machine. You heard me. There’s also a Kurig style coffee machine that lets you swipe your card and get a cup of coffee. Then we tucked Chan into bed in the trailer and sat out under the stars, which we could actually see for once. I realized as we were sitting there that it was exactly where I needed to be at that moment – completely unplugged, slight chill in the air, stars for miles with my baby by my side.
Less you think you are totally alone at this resort, I should point out that there is a onsite caretaker who is there to make sure there’s no sex in the hot tub, and that things keep running smoothly. I found this very comforting because we were literally in the middle of nowhere. In fact, the location is so remote and private that they don’t publish an address on their website.
Checking in or geo-tagging on social media is strictly forbidden and I understand why. They want to keep this place a hidden gem, and if it becomes a social media stop on everyone’s journey it would lose that vibe. So I took a lot of pictures, but for the first time ever, I didn’t tag where I was and it felt amazing.
In all honesty, I didn’t sleep well. I was only a week post-surgery so I was still in some discomfort. Plus I am ginormous so the small trailer bed wasn’t ideal. That being said I think most people would be just fine inside the trailer. We woke up with the sun, like you do when you’re camping, and Chris immediately hit the coffee machine.
We packed a few camping necessities and brought our own food in a cooler so we could make breakfast. We decided on breakfast burritos because it seemed like an easy thing to make. The giant outdoor grill is perfect for the community atmosphere of Hicksville. There are several stations for people to cook, a working kitchen area with microwave, sink, cookware, and towels. We didn’t know they would have so much so we brought our own frying pans and utensils but it’s good to know for the next time we visit.
After breakfast it was time for the pool! It was a little chilly in mid-November but that didn’t stop my girl from wanting to dive in. They actually close the pool on Nov. 15th through mid-May and we made it just in time. It warmed up quickly and we spent the morning lounging by the pool, and exploring the grounds.
There’s archery, a volleyball court, and a mini golf area. Chan loved exploring the lending library. Bring a book, take a book. What a great idea!
My favorite area was the game house in the middle of the grounds. It has a ping-pong table, video games, and a photo booth all surrounded by kitschy retro art. Obsessed with this area! It’s so care free, yet you can tell that a lot of care went into making it just right.
This area also has the hot tub on top. Perfect spot for desert gazing and relaxing high above Hicksville.
Grab your vending machine beer, pull up U2’s Joshua Tree, and prepare to melt away into the hidden oasis that is Hicksville. I left with a spring in my step, and a fresh perspective on what’s really important in my life. Who knew all I needed was a trailer to help me do that?
You can reserve your spot online at Hicksville.com/joshuatree. Trailers start at $100 a night, beers and coffee are around $2 each. Take your camera, swimsuit, sunscreen and get ready to relax.
**Editors note: As of Jan. 1st Hicksville changed their age limit to 21 and over with a marijuana friendly setting. Kids are only allowed 2 weeks out of the year over July 4th and Christmas week. Such a bummer because this truly was a great escape for family fun that didn’t feel like a “kids place.” But super glad there’s yet another place for people to smoke weed in California. Yay?