Thanks to a heads up from Britt, I was flipping through the CB2 catalog, shot at a few of our favorite desert retreats, and there was the house we stayed at for my birthday! I realized I never told you all about the Rockreach House...! I guess I need to update the guide with another gem.
The Rock Reach House is in the private & secluded hills outside of Yucca Valley (just up the road from Joshua Tree proper) and is available for rent. (Eeep!) The ladies of this kick ass party rented it, too. The solar powered house uses a grey water system (and lots of other cool sustainable features that you can read about here), and was built with a really nifty construction system that allows the house to sit very lightly on the land, causing minimal intrusion and damage. Not to mention the fact that it was primarily put together with prefabricated factory elements. (Which can greatly reduce construction waste in lots of ways.) (For more check out the dwell article on the house.)
We love the way it was situated in with the landscape. You leave your car down at the carport and walk up the path to the house, which is surrounded by bouldery goodness all right outside your (very large, open, glass) doorstep. We hiked all around the property and didn't see another person! Also, they are working on the installation of a second house on the property (awesome for big groups!) and you can watch the process (very cool) here.
It was such a perfect retreat for the 4 of us. A home base for park adventures, luxurious surroundings for making dinner in, playing board games, listening to music, and enjoying the epic front deck. Sigh. When can we go back? images via dwell