Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Joshua Tree National Park–Part 1

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My location: Near the Southern entrance to the Joshua Tree NP

To finish yesterday’s adventure, Yuma and I went down to our neighbor’s place and had a delicious steak and a wonderful time with our new friends, Eric and Shaena.  Yuma’s friend was Punk.


They had to go to Riverside early in the morning, so we didn’t make it a long evening.  Had a great time!

It was a beautiful morning with the windows open and a slight cool breeze.  We did an early walk and met a little friend.  Luckily, Yuma didn’t see him.  Didn’t know it had such beautiful colors until I zoomed in with my photo editor. 


As we were walking, I noticed a walkway made by stone outline.


The destination and purpose for this walkway has long been forgotten.  It is hard to believe that 75 years ago, young Army trainees walked this walkway to an important destination.  There were thousands training in Camp Young at that time.  Now, there is just me and Yuma in the quiet desert on a winter morning.

I think Yuma has spotted a lizard.  What a beautiful stance!  That’s my brave Yuma.


Uh oh!  Yuma has spotted a dog walking with a neighbor from up the way.


Time for getting to know each other and play.


After breakfast, we decided this was the day to take in the entire Joshua Tree NP.  Lots of Jeepin’ and picture taking, but we were determined to get it done.  Will need to break this day down into more than one blog, because of the number of photos taken.  There is so much to see in this park.

We stopped at the Cottonwood Visitor Station to check in the other day and also visited the beautiful Palm trees and Cottonwoods at the spring behind the center.


I didn’t walk down into the trees and spring area, because they do not allow dogs, so just took photos from the entrance area.  There are many beautiful rock formations in this area too.


 Now, back to this morning.  It is about a 50 mile drive one way  through the entire park and up to Keys View on the far West side.  Not a lot of narration, just a lot of photos of this beautiful park.

The park is located just North of where I am parked in the RV.  As we get through the hills, a whole new world lays out in front of us.


Our first long drive is down into the Colorado Desert way below us.  Across the way is Pinto Mountain at 3,127 feet.


There are millions of creosote bushes dotting the desert floor.


There are a number of mining roads leading for miles back into the mountains.  Very desolate and can be dangerous if you have a problem with your vehicle.  No off roading for us today.  We are staying on the smooth blacktop.  That’s the way Yuma likes it.


Dropping to the desert floor after about twelve miles of going down into the valley. 


There is the Pinto Mountain range across the desert.



Then we run into a Cholla (pronounced choya) cactus patch with thousands of them.  Glad Yuma didn’t see a jack rabbit in there.


We then start heading up the other side, heading into the higher Mojave Desert.  This is where we will see our first Joshua Tree.  Wouldn’t this be something looking at it from a wagon train one hundred-fifty years ago.


As we rise into the Mojave Desert high country, we run into rocks.  Lots of big rocks.




Finally, we are high enough in elevation to see our first Joshua tree.


Part II tomorrow.  More rocks, more Joshua trees and some magnificent views from the top of the mountain.

See you later.


  1. Very cool place! Yuma gets to meet tons of new friends when you're out there adventuring:)

    1. He does seem to track attention. Glad he is friendly and the dogs so far have been. One day, hopefully you and the family will come here.

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  3. Joshua Toss really is a gorgeous park! I'm glad Yuma knows to stay on paved roads. Beautiful chollas and magnificent rocks. Such amazing beauty in that area. Was that a desert iguana? Great pic of the totally green Ocotillo!

    1. Thanks Dolly. Not sure what it was. To me it was a desert lizard. Cloudless sky and beautiful wide open country in this Park.

  4. Love that area, the drive and scenery is amazing, we toured there quite a few years ago and loved it.

    1. It is a nice drive. Done it three years in a row and still love it! With such a short memory, it is new to me each time.

  5. So many places to see down here, it is so exciting to know we plan to do this for a long time. I was anxiously waiting to see a Joshua Tree, it is beautiful. Look forward to more in your next post.

    1. Thought of you as I was climbing around on those huge boulders. I think you and Bill would love the drive through this Park. You can camp in the park for one night, but it is hard to find a site open. They fill fast. May be able to reserve by calling the Park.

  6. I love it up there! Glad you got to see it.

    1. It must be nice to have such a beautiful Park so near home. California has lots of beautiful parks. I love driving through the entire park.

  7. First things first, That lizard was adorable and Yuma should be a show dog! Those cottonwood trees are pretty neat looking. Very different from most trees. Yuma seems to be making a ton of friends out west. I hope he comes back with you! There's more green than I expected out in your desert! Can't wait to see the rest of the pictures! Toodleloo!

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I'm glad someone noticed how beautiful Yuma is. Dolly did too. Don't want to make her mad.

      Because of all the rain this winter, it is greener.

  8. Yuma is very photogenic! So was the lizard. Funny how you sometimes don't see the detail in the washed out light of mid-day - glad the camera picked it up.

    1. Thanks Anne. Yuma is very handsome if I say so myself.