AutoCamp redefined the American campground several years ago with its Airstream "hotel" campsites. Opened in 2021, AutoCamp’s third location was this roadside trailer park five miles from the West Entrance of California’s Joshua Tree National Park, 40 miles northeast of Palm Springs.
The helicopter lifts, then tilts back, back, back… The trees spin sideways. The bay slips out from under us. The sky comes rushing forward. Clouds. Blue. An eagle… The trees begin righting themselves. We were upside down for only a split second before completing the loop-d-loop. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to weightlessness, and though I want to retain my composure, I can’t wipe the silly grin off my face. We feather toward the lake, landing softly on one of the resort’s three over-water helipads.