Monday, April 11, 2016

Joshua Tree National Park California

(A fill in the blanks post.)

We drove over to this park, from Quartzsite, on March 5, 2016.

In the 1930’s Minerva Hoyt, a community activist and desert-lover, recognized the threats from humans. She saw beauty in the spiny plants and slithery creatures where others did not. She persuaded President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim Joshua Tree National Monument in 1936. In 1994 as part of the California Desert Protection Act, Congress named the area Joshua Tree National Park. Thanks to the efforts of Hoyt and others, this park protects 792,510 acres—more than 80 percent of it managed as wilderness—where the Mojave and Colorado deserts converge.          
(information from National Park brochure)

The eastern half of this park, below 3,000 feet above sea level, lies within the Colorado Desert. The habitat of lower Colorado River valley and part of the much larger Sonoran Desert, which spans southern Arizona and north western Mexico.

The western half of the park , at elevations above 3,000 feet, is Mojave Desert habitat. What tells you that you are truly in the Mojave Desert is the wild-armed Joshua tree.
The Joshua Tree is really not a tree but a species of yucca. Like other desert plants, its waxy, spiny leaves expose little surface area, efficiently conserving moisture. They can grow over 40 feet tall—at a leisurely rate of an inch a year. Its clusters of cream-colored flowers bloom February through April. 
(information from National Park brochure)

Joshua Tree National Park lies along one of the world’s most active tectonic boundaries, the San Andreas Fault. Geological processes, including tectonic activity, have played and continue to play a major role in shaping the mountains, valleys, and basins of the park.          
                                                                (information from National Park Newspaper)

The pictures pretty much tell the story. (Clicking on the pictures should enlarge them and you will be able to read the information panels included.)  Every turn brought more beauty into view. We had a mixture of weather the day we visited. Dark clouds, white fluffy clouds, rain, wind, and blue skies all which added to the beauty. The drive through this park is beautiful. Plus there are hiking trails and back country roads for high-clearance 4 wheel drive vehicles. So much more to see then one day would allow. Did I mention it was beautiful?

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Beautiful desert plants.

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The Rocks.

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Skeleton Rock
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A Desert Wash


Why we came, The Joshua Tree.
According to legend a group of Mormon settlers who crossed the Mojave Desert in the mid-19th century named the Joshua Tree. The trees limbs reminded them of the Biblical story in which Joshua reaches his hands up to the sky in prayer.
(from the internet)

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Pictures  of the day would not have been complete
without a selfie in front of  Joshua Tree.

“Slow down and enjoy life.
It's not only the scenery you miss by going to fast -
you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”
~Eddie Cantor


  1. That is a beautiful area, so much to see and explore there, nice that you made it, we were there years ago hopefully again soon.

    1. It is beautiful and we found out quickly there is way to much to see in just one visit.