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.