Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Joshua Tree National Park

Driving back to Tucson from northern California, we spent Monday night in Twentynine Palms. Yesterday morning we spent three hours driving through Joshua Tree National Park. This is a huge park that straddles parts of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts.

We entered the park at the Oasis Visitor Center (above), which is at the east edge of Twentynine Palms. The highway map just below shows the general location of the park, which is north of I-10 and east of Palm Springs. the second map below is from the NPS and shows the roads, camp sites, and etc. within the park. The most interesting geology, and also concentration of Joshua Trees, is in the northwest portion, while the southern, lower elevation portions are characterized by sandy washes, rugged outcroppings and ridges, and much creosote bush. It's quite a long drive from the I-10 entrance up to the most interesting parts of the park.

Here are several photos I shot in the northwest part of the park yesterday morning.  The Joshua Trees in this part of the park are quite dense and very large, with spectacular backgrounds. It was interesting that the highest portions of the San Bernardino Mountains, visible to the distant northwest from the Park, were still carrying snow cover from recent storms.

Joshua Tree is just one of our National Park treasures that seem to be under attack by some of the country's ill-advised and short-sighted politicians. The visitor books at the Oasis Center were interesting for the number of comments from foreign tourists - one family from Germany noted that this was their second visit in recent years to this amazing park.

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