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Joshua Tree Adventures

posted Apr 25, 2019, 3:44 PM by Justin P   [ updated May 20, 2019, 5:01 PM ]
Tuesday morning we had breakfast at the hotel and then headed to Joshua Tree National Park.  We first stopped at the visitor center to pay admission and then headed into the west entrance of the park.  We began seeing the numerous Joshua trees driving in and lots of wildflowers.

We pulled off on the side of the road to get some pictures.  Scarlet hedgehog cactus was starting to bloom.

There was a beautiful California Evening Primrose flowering on the ground.

We also saw some freckled milkvetch.  The seedpods are really interesting looking.

After some pictures, we continued on.  Our first real stop was at the Barker Dam trailhead.  First, we hiked to Wall Street Mill.  A little desert cottontail was right off the trail.

It was a beautiful sandy trail through the desert.

But despite the desert landscape, there were ton of flowers in "super bloom".  Fremont's phacelia is a pretty little blue flower.

And woolly daisies were a cute little yellow flower.

There were numerous Joshua Trees and they were flowering too.

We got off the trail to see a huge number of desert bluebells in a rocky area.

Sandy spotted a live-forever, a small pink succulent.

The desert here was just so beautiful.

And the wildflowers too numerous to count.

About half way to Wall Street Mill, we came to Desert Queen Well.

Just past here, we saw the Worth Bagley stone, where Mr. Bagley was killed in a gunfight with William F. Keys over water rights.

More wildflowers were blooming here, including lots of desert dandelions, carpeting the desert in yellow.

There were some pretty Fremont's phacelia as well.

A little further and we reached the ruins of the Wall Street Mill.

The conveyor that moved gold ore was still visible.

There was also an old car and truck here.

The engines were removed when the vehicles were abandoned.

At the far end of the mill was a massive pile of rocks and boulders.

We climbed up for nice views, but we weren't the only ones up here.  A couple of Great Basin Fence Lizards were sunning on the rocks and doing push-ups.

Then we started making our way back, enjoying the super bloom just as much on the return.

At the trailhead, we got on Barker Dam Trail to make a loop out to the small lake - a little oasis in the desert.  I climbed up the rocks for some great views.  Back at the trailhead, we continued further into the park.  Our next stop was at Skull Rock.  This cool rock looked eerily similar to a human skull.  There were more cool rock outcrops to climb around here.  Our next stop was the Chollo Cactus garden where a tremendous number of the teddy bear cacti were growing.  From a distance,  they look cute and fuzzy bit the thorns were wicked.  We hiked the short trail around the garden to see the cacti then finished up.  We were getting hungry by this point so left the park and got dinner at Joshua Tree Saloon.  As evening approached, we headed back into the park and found a cool rock outcrop to climb around.  I was planning to watch sunset from here, but Sandy wanted to go to another.  Some beautiful cactus flowers were blooming.  We climbed on the rocks and found a great place to watch the sunset.  After setting, we headed back to the hotel.