During our stay in Palm Springs, we drove over to Joshua Tree National Park, a place I’d wanted to see for years. The park covers 790,636 acres, an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. It also includes two deserts, the Mohave and the Colorado. We started at the southern entrance.
This was a first view of the park:
Quite a few wildflowers were in bloom.
A large part of the park is designated wilderness, which is pretty obvious in these photos. There are campgrounds scattered throughout the park, but there are no amenities. Not even a vending machine in the visitor centers. Luckily we brought water and snacks with us. My son camped here with friends a while back, and my hat is off to them. A bit too desolate and rugged for me.
I did like the way the mountains changed color. Here they look almost lavender.
After a while, the landscape changed to boulders like these:
Rock climbing is pretty popular here, along with hiking. I would not hike here in the summer, because it was nearly 90F. in April. There had been recent flooding, so the main road was being worked on. Even with all that, it didn’t take that long to see everything.
After a while, I was beginning to wonder where all the Joshua trees were. I should note here that Joshua Trees are not trees at all–they are succulents called Yucca brevifollia. Mormons came up with the name because the shape reminded them of a Biblical story in which Joshua reaches his hands up to the sky in prayer. The “trees” grow in California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah.
Finally, a sighting:
We were lucky to be there when the Joshua Trees were in bloom. . . .
I loved the way the trees contrasted with the boulders:
More on Thursday.
Beautiful! I’m heading out there this coming weekend!
Thanks, and welcome! Have a wonderful time. And take plenty of food and drink. 🙂
The desert is such a different kind of natural beauty than we’re used to here on the East Coast. What I find so interesting is how, at first, it just looks like a lot of brown. Then when you take a closer look, you see many different colors. But for me, it’s really all about the shapes and patters. So interesting!
Yes, it’s a lot more colorful this time of year, Jackie. I imagine it’s a bit more brown in the dry summers. The shapes and patterns appeal to me too.
What a spectacular landscape. That first Joshua Tree shot is so beautiful with that sky.
Another place I’d love to visit.
Thanks so much, Caroline. I’ve missed you!
It’s like nowhere else that I’ve visited. Except maybe parts of Arizona and New Mexico.
Not on my bucket list of places to go or see – but I can appreciate its rugged beauty via photos – thanks for sharing with those of us not brave enough to go in person!
You are welcome, Susan! I’ve seen photos of Joshua Tree for years and wondered what it was like. Wasn’t prepared for the stark quality of the landscape. Almost eerie at times. Would not want to be there after dark–I’m too chicken. 🙂
I still haven’t been there and I should go. It looks wonderful!
It took me years to get there! I think you’d like it, TBM.
Spectacular images, Carole. I’ve heard of the Joshua tree but have never seen one or new that it was a succulent! The colours in the terraine, the bolders the mountains … stunning!
Thanks so much, Cheryl. It’s definitely a unique place.