Saturday, November 23, 2013

Joshua Tree National Park

Bill and I first visited Joshua Tree National Park about five years ago. We were staying in a nearby town and did a day trip into the park.  After that visit, we knew we wanted to come again...and stay longer.

When we first began to plan this trip, the forecast looked good.  As our departure date got closer, rain began to show up in the forecast.  With Thanksgiving next week, an RV trip planned in December, and winter quickly approaching, we realized this may be our last chance for a tent-camping trip.  So, on Wednesday morning, off we went.  It was pretty much a straight shot...head west on I-10 until you reach the park.  (Jerry and Kim...we waved as we drove by.)

We kept hoping maybe the weatherman got it wrong...maybe the storm would miss us.  Well, this time they were pretty much right on target.  After enjoying two beautiful evenings and a fun day in the park, the rains came in, and we shortened our trip by a day. 

We drove home on Friday, in the cold rain most of the way.  Since we've been out of the traditional work force for so long, we had almost forgotten what driving through rush hour was like...well, Phoenix reminded us.  Brought back fond memories of driving in Atlanta traffic...twice a day...every day.  We are so glad those days are over.

So...back to Joshua Tree.  After a longer drive than we anticipated (I forgot to figure in the hour it would take us to get to the campground, after entering the park.), we found a great campsite in the Jumbo Rocks Campground...pretty appropriate name, don't ya think?  We had a ball climbing all over the rocks.

Once we had our camping gear set up, we were soon enjoying a campfire...and a bottle of Happy Camper Wine, courtesy of Yellowstone friends, Lenny and Linda.  Thank you, again!
 The next morning, we awoke to mostly cloudy skies, but at least it was dry.  We decided to take a short hike right from the campground.
See that blue speck in the middle of this next picture?  That is our tent as seen from the trail.
There were lots of great rock formations along the trail.....


 ...before reaching Skull Rock.
 We even saw a little wildlife:

 And, of course, Joshua Trees:


With all of the jumbo rocks in the park, it is not surprising that Joshua Tree NP is popular with rock climbers.  I guess these folks enjoy it, but it is definitely not for me!

 After a full day of exploring the park (and hoping the rains held off), we were greeted with a beautiful sunset.  First, the sun on the rocks.....
Then the colors began to appear...the sky was changing by the minute.

Not a bad way to end our visit to another wonderful national park!


  1. Great sunsets! Steve and I drove out to check a road near Pearce Ferry in Lake Mead and saw the most Joshua trees we've ever seen in one place. It was like looking at orange groves back home. They were as far off as you could see.

    We are hanging out waiting for the rain to stop. The Boulder area is seeing quite a bit of rain. Of course in Florida we'd get as much rain in 15 minutes as they get in three days.

    1. Funny about the rain. When we got back to Benson, we turned on the weather channel, and they were all excited about this horrible storm in CA, NV & AZ. Bill and I just looked at each other and laughed. Like you said..when we lived in the FL Keys, we'd get "inches"of rain in an hour. But, then again, we aren't "desert dwellers."

  2. Awesome sunset pics. We had planned to stay at Jumbo Rocks last February, but it was COLD and windy. We hope to give it another try next Feb.

    1. Jumbo Rocks was great! I hope you make it out there!

  3. That's a fun campground and area to hike around and explore. Love you magnificent sunset photos:)

  4. Next time stop for a visit. I know how much Bill likes the beer I drink ;)

  5. Joshua Tree NP is on our list to see this winter. Thanks for the info and photos.

  6. Joshua Tree NP is on our list to see this winter. Thanks for the info and photos.

    1. Joshua Tree is an amazing place...lots to explore. I hate our visit got cut short due to weather. We definitely want to go back. Have fun!