Friday, December 3, 2021

Joshua Tree National Park

Hi everyone. Happy almost weekend. 

Today I thought I would share a few photos from Joshua Tree National Park. This park is located in the desert of southern California, not far from Palm Springs and about 2 hours east of Los Angeles.

I must say it was the busiest National Park  I have ever been too. It probably didn't help that we went on a Saturday. This park is one that rock climbers love because there are some great climbing spots here; the rock formations are not too high nor anything that only the bravest daredevils will attempt.

There was a half mile back up just to get up to the entrance of the park. And we left at 8 in the morning to beat the crowds.

A ranger  at the Visitor's Center told us that if you found a spot to park, then take it. Everyone drives past the first parking pull off, so we pulled in. We had a nice quiet walk and some beautiful views. All those trees you see are Joshua Trees.

Joshua trees are  related to Yucca plants. They are actually not trees, but are called that because the shape they grow in.  If you are interested, here's a bit about them from the Park Page: Joshua Trees-NPS.

The rock formations in the park were interesting. According to what I learned in the park, these giant rock structures were originally solid rocks that were cracked from earthquakes. Rain got into those cracks and starting eroding some of the rock. Now what you have are these formations made of lots of interesting shaped boulders stacked together in some unusual forms. This process took hundreds of thousands if not millions of years to occur.

At another spot we found, we saw this forest of Joshua trees.

Here's me next to one of the ones in a forest area.

My husband's family friends who live out in that area told us that although much of California is in a severe drought, this desert area is not (in a drought)  because they don't get a lot of rain to start with.  I would say there is definitely a water issue here, especially because down on the flat lands outside of the park there is a lot of agriculture. People are pulling water from the Colorado River and it's water drainage area. The water situation in California is definitely going to be an even bigger issue in the future if rains don't arrive. 

 Although temperatures were in the low 90's (about 32-ish degrees C), there was a wonderful light breeze. Because it is so dry, you didn't feel sweaty. But you do have to remember to drink fluids so you don't dehydrate. This heat was actually a little warmer than usual for November in this area. It was nice to put on shorts for a change.

To keep this post from getting too long, I'll share more another day. 

Have a great start to your weekend. 


Valerie-Jael said...

Hi Erika, thanks for sharing the photos of this wonderful park. I have never heard of Joshua trees before. The additional information was also very informative, thanks. Hard to think it was so warm there when it's so cold here! Dry heat is always easier to tolerate, but s you say, you need to keep hydrated. Love the pic of you leaning on the tree! Hugs, Valerie

David M. Gascoigne, said...

It is a wonderful landscape and Joshua trees are memorable. I know that many were destroyed in the conflagrations of the summer, so it's reassuring to know that not all perished. There is a dichotomy that, while applauding visits to natural areas, too much attention can be counter-productive. It doesn't take much for natural areas to get trampled and degraded, and there is often a problem with litter left behind. If you are like me, you hope for at least a degree of solitude in these places, and the presence of so many people hardly permits that. I am glad, however, that you took the opportunity to immerse yourself in this fascinating place, a unique part of the American west, and the patrimony of all the world. Hugs from Ontario. David

CJ Kennedy said...

I envy you wearing shorts as it's so cold today. The scenery is so very different from what we see here in New England. Love the brilliant blue skies. Stay warm.

LA Paylor said...

I've never been there but would like to visit. Re drought. I now live in Colorado, front range area. We had the longest summer on record and it's still much much hotter in December than ever. About 75 yesterday. In December is not normal. We've had almost NO rain nor snow and lots of states rely on our snow pack for water. WE rely on it too. We've lived here 3 years and this is not a good trend, such a big change in one year. Climate change impacted from humans, has changed our weather and I believe scientists. I just expected it to gradually change, not flip a switch like this.
For the past 3 years we had snow October through June 1st... only a fleeting flurry so far this year... LeeAnna

Jeanie said...

I love that photo with the shadow. The landscape looks quite desolate but the trees are really quite lovely.. I think you were wise to park where you did and perhaps avoid some of the crowds.

craftytrog said...

Beautiful scenery!
Have a lovely weekend.

Divers and Sundry said...

This landscape is breath-taking, so foreign to anything I've ever seen.

The water issue will grow, as you say. I wonder how people will cope who live in places where the only water is brought in from other places.