While working in Southern California I decided to take a weekend and visit an old favorite piece of ground in the high desert near Palm Springs. The Joshua Tree National Park is a gem that surprisingly few people outside the rock climbing community seem to know much about. The park is known for its granite and it’s Joshua trees – a hearty and surreal looking desert cactus/tree that covers certain elevations of the park territory. The size of Rhode Island, the park covers a vast area and features a transition zone between the Mojave and the Sonoran deserts. This geology/geography gives the area an incredible diversity of plants, animals and rocks that will surprise you at every turn in the trail. A friend and I hiked well over 20 miles in two days and while this was probably my 6th visit to the park, my most recent time there only left me with the realization that one could spend a lifetime here and never see it all. Go walk it sometime! You’ll be very glad you did.
Check it out at http://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm