Joshua Tree National Park is a wonderful place! Being north-westerners, we were uncertain that a desert park could capture our attention for a full day. We’re proud to say we were wrong! There is such an abundance and variety of life here that we could easily spend a week just learning their names. Also, what we imagined as being mostly drab earth-tone colors were in fact some of the most colorful plants and flowers we’ve ever seen. (Our timing was lucky, however, as odd rain patterns this year had both flowers and cacti simultaneously in bloom – a rare treat!)
We saw most of the park in a single day, made possible by a highway that runs through the park and near to almost everything you’d want to see: enormous piles of rock of different geological origin, groves of the unearthly Ocotillo “trees”, or a garden of Cholla cactus. Weird stuff indeed. The park spans two different desert ecosystems: Colorado and Sonora, all within just a few miles. We hiked a few miles near Cottonwood Spring, and saw several kinds of animal life: lizards of various sizes and colors, a tortoise, chipmunks, mice, birds etc. There were some very interesting flowers as well, whose colors can’t be captured by camera, for instance: the yellow one with the wasp in it below was actually quite iridescent in person; at least three times as beautiful. 😉
Here’s just a sampling of the photos we took:
At night, we stayed in Twentynine Palms, a small town with little to offer beyond tattoo and Thai massage parlors.