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Mountain Slide

Joshua Tree National Park
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After a few days hiking around the Grand Canyon I had to wake up and say see ya some other time, I had to continue my journey west. As you can see above my next destination was a park I never previously visited…Joshua Tree!
For those unaware, Joshua Tree is a National Park located in Southern California smack in the middle of the Mohave desert and is known for its other worldly oddly shaped trees, the "Joshua Trees"
So a quick shake down of my trip to the park would be, I was able to spend two full days in the park and got to do around five or six hikes that included Wall Street Mill, Skull Rock, Barker Dam, Hidden Valley, Keys View and a few others. The weather was just as I expected it to be.. very hot and very arid. Looking back I really wish I would’ve camped in Joshua Tree that would probably be my one regret that I didn’t get to do in the park.
My first day the temps were well over one hundred degrees which made hiking interesting. I ended up hiking shirtless the entire day with the looks of disapproval from other hikers, but no regrets! I hiked to Wall Street Mill my first day there, which is an abandoned mill a few miles off of the road, everything from the chutes to the mill itself and even an old ford are still there like nothing happened. The Barker Dam hike was interesting as well, picture being in the middle of the desert with no water around, not much wildlife or vegetation. Once I hiked a few miles back I found the dam which held a small pool of water, it was really amazing to see the greenery around it with birds, lizards, and even some small mammals flocking to the water sight. I ended my first day with a short hike to Keys View, arguably the best spot to see the sunset in the park. The sunset wasn’t the only cool part about the view, the expanse below you was just as amazing, you can even see the San Andreas fault way below the mountain your standing on. So my first day was pretty eventful eventually leaving the park after sundown and catching a few stars, I had an entire day to look forward to the next morning. I headed back to 29 Palms and called it a night.

The next day I hit a few more trails including two of my favorites from the park the cactus gardens and Skull Rock. The Cholla Cactus gardens are….well, a ton of cacti with a trail that works its way through out thousands of them, bees are a pretty big problem in the area so watch out, there’s nowhere to run except into cacti! Skull Rock is another hike that the name sums up well, a giant rock in the shape of…get ready for it…a skull! Pictures didn’t do it justice, for scale you could comfortably fit in one of its "eyes". I also went to check out Arch Rock which really isn’t much of a hike, in fact it’s basically in someone’s camping area.
All in all Joshua Tree was a fun park that could easily be done in a few hours if you don’t have the time. I’m glad I had two days to spend there, I really look forward to going back and camping one of these days and possibly hiking Ryan/Warren Mountain. Be sure and dress appropriately and bring a lot of water, you’ll definitely need it. Well here goes another new set, hope everyone enjoys!

Posted by Bill Maksim Photography

Tagged: , joshuatree , joshua , tree , nationalpark , national , park , california , mohave , turtle , wildlife , keys , view , desert , maksim , photography , hdr , ryan , warren , mountain , wall , street , mill , ghost , town , wonderland , san , andreas , arch , rock , skull , bajada , state , preserve , bighorn , sheep , deer , hike , stars , trails , camping , milky , way , twenty , nine , palms , bernardino , monument , temperatures , yucca , marbles , old , woman , climbing , cholla , cactus

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