At the convergence of the Colorado and Mojave desserts lies Joshua Tree National Park. My sister and niece recently visited this gorgeous park, which brought back some memories of my time there, which I will share with you today. The quiet, surreal beauty of the location will draw you in, and you will find yourself lost in its distinctive, other-worldly landscape.
The trees were named by a group of Mormon settlers who thought the trees reminded them of the Israeli leader, Joshua, with his arms raised to Heaven.
The many hiking trails in the park are an open invitation to roam, wander and experience the rugged terrain. The trails twist and careen around massive boulders, plants and the spiny, prickly looking Joshua trees.
Located in Southern California, not far from Palm Springs, this 800,000 acre park has much to offer if you enjoy outdoor activities. There are many hiking trails to discover and rock climbing.
We visited a few years ago in January, and the weather was perfect, low 70s with clear, brilliant blue skies. Several of the hikes we took included Barker Dam, Hidden Valley, and my favorite, Fortynine Palms. This three mile round trip trail takes you to a secluded oasis with a stream.
It is a relatively easy hike, but be sure to take plenty of water. The oasis is a tranquil place to relax. It was a hot day when we took this hike, and on several occasions when we caught a glimpse of the oasis in the distance, I was beginning to think it was a mirage.
You will find some Native American petroglyphs along the Barker Dam trail.
Skull Rock is an interesting site to see. As the name indicates, this large rock looks like a skull.
I couldn’t take enough photos of the interesting rock formations and plant life.
A few years ago during a government shut down, there was much vandalism and destruction of the Joshua trees. Apparently, this happens on occasion, but the deliquients took advantage of the lack of park rangers and did a tremendous amount of damage. I don’t think they were ever caught, but I do hope that they are haunted by the trees in their dreams. What a completely thuggish thing to do.
We have a treasure in our National Parks, and we have the responsibility of being good stewards, so be sure to tread lightly and leave no trace of your visit.
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Stay safe and healthy,