Sunday, February 28, 2016

2016 hike 7: Joshua Tree National Park

This weekend, I am taking a break from walking up hills or in the desert. It is the first break since the new year. I do have some time now to write up this blog about our adventure in Southern California. I also made time to pack my backpack for next weekend's trip to Wild Cat campground on the Point Reyes peninsula.

Last weekend, we made the seven and a half hour drive from the Bay Area to Palm Spring and Joshua Tree National Park. I did not know much about this park. It doesn't seem to be very popular among my friends or family either. Only the rock climber type among them has visited the park.

We entered the park from Yucca Valley, and drove the Alta Loma Drive to the West Entrance Station. In doing so, we completely missed the Joshua Tree Visitor Center. Nevertheless, the rangers at the station were very helpful to point us in the right direction.


Road to the Cholla Cactus Garden
We stayed one day in the park and were able to see quite a few things. However, it is worthwhile to come back one time and actually sleep in the park. There are many campgrounds all over the park.
  • We posed along many Joshua Trees. Duh. 
  • We hiked the nature trail in the Hidden Valley. 
  • We hike to the Barker Dam, which still had some water in it. 
  • We snapped pictures of some many rock formations, including Skull Rock. Almost all the rocks give you the impression as if they were piled up by some giant. However as the geology guide explained, they were formed due to cracks during the cooling of molten granite and erosion. 
  • We walked among the cacti in the Cholla Cactus garden. 
  • We saw the sunset over looking Coachella Valley from Keys View at 5185ft. 
Joshua Trees, near Hidden Valley
Cholla Cactus
Skull Rock

Joshua Tree

Barker Dam

Coachella Valley, from Keys View. In the distance you could see the Salton Sea

I hope to visit and camp in Joshua Tree in the future. Spring is a great time as the weather is not too hot yet. 

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