Travel: Joshua Tree National Park
Spring time visitation of the park is high because it is not too hot (in summer it is boiling) and not too cold (in winter it can snow!) so it is advisable to reserve the campsite in advance or get there really early.
Suffice to say, we did not do that!
We found out all the sites were reported to be full on the phone on the day we arrived at the park. We drove up to the Twenty-nine Palms (north side of park) visitor center where we found an updated report on campsite availability. In the south side of the park, at Cottonwood Springs, there were a few sites left but it is a one hour drive through the park to get there. We hit the road and pulled into the campground and the camp host and a ranger told us the last few sites were taken. We were told that there were some minimal BLM sites just outside the park. We started to drive and pulled off to another lot where there was a restroom under the premise, "See a bathroom, use a bathroom!"
As we were getting back into the car, a ranger stopped by and said, I saw two big RVs pull out of loop B at Cottonwood, if you dash up there you can claim a site. We thanked the ranger and hustled up there and got our campsite!
After setting up, we headed off on the Lost Palms Oasis Trail.
We saw lots of Cholla cactus ...
and some flowering Ocotillo cactus ...
and if you are really quiet and observant you might see a rabbit ...
We took the side loop to Mastodon Peak where you get the panoramic view. Click on the photo to get a larger version.
All around you will notice the interesting rock piles ...
Here I am in my "Moses" get-up! 8-)
With the sun starting to go down, we had to turn back without making it to the Lost Palms Oasis. Ah, another trip sometime!
You might be wondering, where is the photo of the Joshua Tree?
I didn't get a photo on this trip as they are much more plentiful in the Northern side of the park.
Click on the photo below of the Joshua Trees to read about one of my previous visits.
The sounds of silence and the interesting landscape are just right for stressed out city folk like me. Also, I'm always inspired by the variety of plants and animals that could live and thrive in such an environment!
Come on out to the desert!