FP West Coast Field Trip: The Magical Side of Joshua Tree

Ever wonder what a Free People inspirational field trip looks like? Join the West Coast team as we travel to the beautifully bizarre world of Joshua Tree. 

It’s important to stay inspired, to see and experience different things, all in the name of keeping you on your toes… keep you guessing, keep you exploring. This past week, the west coast team, along with two east coast home office gals, Abby and Kait, took a day to do just that…

It all began on a blustery morning as we stood under the trees that lined the quiet blocks of downtown LA. The reddish (meh, actually still pretty green) leaves gently fell from their branches as the fall winds (ok, light breeze) swept down the city street. It was 8am. We needed coffee.

We had a noon appointment at The Integratron, a historical site and energy machine built on a powerful geomagnetic vortex in Landers, California, just 20 miles north of Joshua Tree National Park. According to its website, George Van Tassel (creator extraordinaire), claimed that “the structure is based on the design of Moses’ Tabernacle, the writings of Nikola Tesla and telepathic directions from extraterrestrials. This one-of-a-kind 38-foot high, 55-foot diameter, all wood dome was designed to be an electrostatic generator for the purpose of rejuvenation and time travel.” WHAT?! Yes. Count me in please. The website goes on, “the location of the Integratron is an essential part of its functioning. It was built on an intersection of powerful geomagnetic forces that, when focused by the unique geometry of the building, concentrate and amplify the earth’s magnetic field. Magnetometers read a significant spike in the earth’s magnetic field in the center of the Integratron.”

Whoa. Whoa! To express the understatement of the year: we, all first-timers, were beyond excited to feel the force that afternoon. We arrived in the desert about 90 minutes early so decided to stop for another coffee, because…it’s coffee. After sipping our drinks, we headed down the highway to pop in a few thrift shops to pass the time. One vintage beret later, we were back on the dusty road to Integratron. The excitement was palpable.

There’s really only one rule about the Integratron. You have to be on time. Really, that’s kind of it. We, however, were four minutes late. And four minutes might as well be four days. WE DIDN’T GET IN. All of the excitement, the sweaty palms…the anticipation left our bodies and floated away into the desert like a tumbleweed. “How does life go on after this?!” I yelled into the open sky.

Turns out, rather well actually. We loaded in the car and headed to a semi-hidden travelers’ retreat on over 640 acres of land. Here, the owner has built an eccentric desert wonderland-compound of sorts to host journeyers and explorers from all over the globe. I don’t want to say too much about this magically mystical place because, well, sometimes things are best left a little hidden. Catch a few sneak peeks below, though!

A beautiful bed of crystals, aka a crystal bath in the warm sunshine.

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The Integratron playing hard to get.


This is real-life magic, right?

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Outside the crystal bath and boulder sauna lives this beautifully psychedelic tree.


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A table of shared crystals and rocks, left by travelers dating back 35 years.

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We wrapped up with lunch at Pioneertown favorite, Pappy and Harriet’s, followed by a visit to one of our favorite vintage stores, The End. All in all, a massively fun day with fantastically cool people. Hey Integratron, we’ll be back later!

+Where do you love to be inspired and why? Leave your suggestions in the comments!

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  1. I spent an entire day at the magical secret place you listed above… next time you’re in Joshua Tree you should check out Bob’s Crystal Cave at the Sky Village Swap Meet!

  2. This is so weird I grew up here! Just moved to Oregon a few months ago. I miss the magic but see everyone else is enjoying it :) I love the end. Kime is so nice and has the greatest stuff!

  3. I loved your blog post! I have been to Joshua Tree once and it was amazing, and I’m planning a trip to go back. I’m so sorry you guys missed the Integratron, but awesome you found the magical traveler’s retreat! Does the traveler’s retreat have a name? Or could you provide any more information about how exactly I can find this traveler’s retreat? I’d really love to visit but I can’t seem to find much when I google it… thank you for sharing!

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