Ideal for the festival set, this tiny cabin nestled into the desert landscape of Joshua Tree, CA, is now on the market for $199,000. The funky vacation getaway includes three structures on the property: the cabin, a trailer known as a “canned ham,” and two shipping containers that serve as hangout space on the private 5 acres.
The property is located about 10 miles away from Joshua Tree National Park, and is about 2.5 hours from Los Angeles, making it accessible as a weekend retreat that only feels worlds away.
“It’s so different than anywhere else in Southern California,” listing agent John Simpson says. “It’s just quiet and serene and beautiful. You feel like you went to a whole other world, but it’s just a couple of hours on the freeway. You can see as far as the eye can see. You can get amazing sunsets and sunrises.”
Plus, he points out, there’s never a problem with parking. Or traffic, for that matter. (A welcome change for city dwellers.)
The cute cabin itself, built in 1957, was a result of a 1930s-era government program, designed as a way for the government to unload unwanted land in 5-acre parcels.
There was a catch to snagging a parcel for a rock-bottom price. Buyers had to agree to put up a minimum structure, or “homestead,” on their land.
“This was one of those,” Simpson says of the cinder block cabin. Many of the cabins in the area went up as part of the government act. But, he adds, the cabins were usually never inhabited and simply built in order to meet the minimum requirements of the land sell-off.
When the previous owner bought the property, the cabin had actually never been used. And it’s no wonder. It had no kitchen, no bathroom, and no bedroom. So a small kitchen and sitting area with a wood-burning stove were added to the 192-square-foot space. A cozy adjacent trailer includes the bedroom and bathroom, as well as an outdoor shower.
A covered dining area allows for outdoor meals, and the indoor space also has room for a small eating nook.
A shed contains laundry and storage, and two shipping containers help define the outside space. Spruced up by the previous owner, an artist, the containers feature a pingpong table and some light-hearted additions, including a mannequin’s legs that look to be sticking out from under the building, and doodles and drawings decorating the container walls.
The owner bought the cabin as a writer’s retreat, and Simpson notes that the area attracts an artsy crowd, who find inspiration in the awe-inspiring surroundings.
With 5 acres, there’s plenty of room to spread out and roam. Joshua Tree has become a popular spot for vacation rentals, and when not in use by the owner, this property has been steadily rented out on Airbnb.
Just about 10 miles from the park entrance, it’s an easy drive to the few restaurants and cafes that have opened up. Larger chain stores can be found about an hour away in Palm Springs. Plus, it’s a little over an hour away from the Empire Polo Club in Indio, where the annual Coachella festival takes place.
Or, you don’t have to leave at all. Simply walk outside and bask in the eerily beautiful desert landscape.