Joshua Tree National Park–Day 2

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

This morning on Yuma’s walk, I took a closer look at where we are camping and I noticed we are in a dried up lake bed.


I only hope it does not rain while I am here.  I can tell from the tire tracks around here, that when it rains this place turns into a mud pit and I will not be able to move the RV till it dries.  Luckily, there is no rain in the forecast in the foreseeable future.


On our way to the park, I almost ran over this guy.  Just kidding!  But it does look realistic.


 Got started about 10 this morning and our goal is to tackle the Geology Tour Road.  This is a dirt circular road about 18 miles in length and much of it recommends 4 wheel drive vehicles only.  That should cut down on the traffic.

Stopped at the information sign and reviewed it.


Then Yuma and I took off to see what the road had to offer.imageimage

We are heading down into Pleasant Valley.  The southern end of the San Bernadino Mountains are across the valley.  We will be going right up to the base of those mountains, before turning left  and dropping back down into the valley.


I’m looking back the way we have come.  image

It has been very dry here and you see dead Joshua trees everywhere.  Not sure why there are so many dead ones.  It may be the normal process I am seeing.


About half way around the circle a road cuts off going south following Pleasant Valley and then goes through Berdoo Canyon between the San Bernadino Mountains and the Cottonwood Mountains and then out of the park.  I wanted to go down this road, but my smarter half said that it is 20 miles down and 20 miles back on a unknown and non maintained road.  Could be trouble for an old guy like me.  So, I turned around and continued on the circle road.imageimage

Came to an old mining area.  The tanks at home time held water, but now they are just rusted metal riddled with bullet holes.image

Peeked into an old mine just up from the water tanks.  You can see the fallen rock on the wooden frame that has fallen over the years.image

I crawled in as far as I could and tried to get a photo.  Went about five feet back and I could see that the mine went down from there.  Used the flash but could not really see down into the shaft.image

You can see the lower end of the San Bernadino Mountains.  That is where I had just come from.


Here is another shallow mine that had fallen in and there was nothing back there to see.image

Now I am heading through the rock formations completing the circle.image

Made it home in time for a late lunch and a little more relaxation in the sun. 

Tomorrow, we hope to go to Keys View.  From a height of 5184 feet we will be able to see the Pleasant Valley floor.

See you later.


  1. I remember when we were at Keys View the winds were so strong coming up out of the valley it nearly lifted us off our feet. We liked Joshua Tree except for all the people & traffic.

    1. Thanks for the warning, Al. I will wear my hat whit the chin string, so I don't lose it. Only ran into three cars on yesterday's drive through the Geology Tour Road, so that was nice. Ran into a young ex-marine who had been stationed out here 9 years ago. Now he is a cop in Indiana on vacation.

      He was going to drive through the road going out of here to the south to go on to the southern coast. If I didn't have to come back I would have driven the route with him.

  2. Doug, we've never been on the Geology tour road, as we don't have 4 wheel drive. We DO have a Nissan XTerra 2 wheel drive (high clearance). SOMEDAY I would love to drive that road. Maybe we'll have to rent a Jeep!

    Al is right about Keyes Point. We've never been there when it wasn't windy. The winds from the pass funnel right through it and take a jacket with you!

    I'm not sure, but I THINK that road comes out about Indio Hills? I know there is a Berdoo Canyon road there which heads toward Joshua Tree. I guess I'll have to check it out on Google Earth!
    Take care and enjoy! LOVED your photos today.
    Cheryl Ann

    1. Thanks Cheryl Ann. Guess the park is going to be more crowded this weekend because of the free pass weekend. Thanks for the heads-up.

      You will have no problem driving the Geology Tour Road in your Nissan. It was not bad at all. Never used four wheel drive the whole route. The high clearance will come in handy in a few places though.

  3. I'm happy to hear the story, but am also surprised to joshea trees are dying!

  4. I hope it is just the natural process. I did see many more nice large ones today when I drove up to Keys View. There are a lot of healthy ones and baby ones growing, so I'm sure all is okay in the Joshua tree world.

  5. You passed by my old street on the way to your boondocking spot :-) My sons and I lived there for a couple years, leaving in 2000. I love the area and your photos are great!

  6. Interesting Jodee. This is a nice quiet area. Lots of sand roads out here.

    I must say this lakebed is growing on me. So nice and quiet and at night I can see all the lights of the homes on the hillsides twinkling at me.