Tag Archives: Palm Springs
I’d like to thank Death Valley Jim for allowing me to post a quick look at my favorite California desert adventure playground – Joshua Tree National Park.
Located in the high desert area between the cities of Palm Springs and 29 Palms, Joshua Tree NP encompasses over 1240 square miles of rugged wilderness that is a beacon to hikers, campers and climbers from across the globe. It’s varied terrain includes both the Mojave and Colorado desert ecosystems and is home to wildlife equally diverse – one can see everything from the smallest lizard and scorpion to big horn sheep and the crafty bobcats and mountain lions that prey on them.
It’s history is the story of the American West. Long inhabited by Native Americans, the area was “discovered” by Mormon explorers in the 1850′s who were then followed by cowboys, rustlers, ranchers and miners into what became by act of congress first the Joshua Tree National Monument in 1936, and later Joshua Tree National Park in 1994. Each left their marks and traces etched in the desert which can still be seen by modern hikers and campers.
But it’s the sheer physical beauty of the place that brings people from around the world to explore and marvel at it’s gorgeous rock formations, acres of unique Joshua Trees and open skies and vistas that make camping out and star gazing such a pleasurable experience for singles, couples and families.
Rock climbers rave about the striking formations of huge granite boulders weathered by thousands of years of blowing sand into what looks like something designed for a Hollywood movie. Campers can find great sheltered spots among the clustered rocks and hikers can wander for days without seeing another human being through some of the last virgin forests and groves of bizarre-looking Joshua Trees left in Southern California.
I first came to Joshua Tree NP in the early 1990′s when working on a television show. Taken by the prehistoric modeling of the desert rock formations and deep spiritual feel of the area, I was soon visiting every weekend I could to camp, hike and explore. I finally decided to buy a house in the small town of Joshua Tree and moved there in 2004. I’ve never regretted it. I’ve been able to spend so much time in the park that I feel it’s my backyard, yet every trip in brings me new discoveries and wonders to explore. It would take a lifetime to see even half of what this wonderful and precious area could reveal.
The park offers everything from easy car camping areas with picnic benches and grilling pits, to backcountry trailheads where one can register and head off on a primitive day hike or week-long expedition into the rugged interior. If you’d like to see more of the area and some of my discoveries, I invite you to visit my blog Joshua Tree Camping and enjoy my articles and pictures.
The desert is a beautiful but unforgiving place so bring LOTS of water – but most of all COME OUT AND ENJOY IT!
Pictures copyright JoshuaTreeCamping.Com all rights reserved.