Header photo

I took this photo in the eastern Sierras, off Highway 395, at the Owens Gorge Road. I love those mailboxes and every time we travel to the Sierras, we drive by them just to see them!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Joshua Tree National Park

The Joshua Tree National Park is located about an hour's drive from our home in the lower desert. If you ever wish to drive through the park, PLAN AHEAD! Carry water with you and gas up your car in Yucca Valley or Joshua Tree BEFORE you enter the park! It is a national park and if you have a national park pass, you can use it there. There are NO (and I mean "NO!") gas stations once you get in the park and very few in Joshua Tree. I only had a little over 1/4 tank when we went last weekend, but...fortunately, once you get to the top at Keys Point, I coasted downhill into Yucca Valley and bought gas. BUT...I would NEVER do that again! I was lucky! It was only our second trip to Joshua Tree, the first one being over 35 years ago! We had a VW van then and we traveled through quite a lot of the western states with it, even up to Yellowstone. Also, if you are traveling to Joshua Tree, there are a lot of picnic areas and restrooms, BUT...our desert can get quite hot in spring, as well as summer, so carry extra water with you. I got dehydrated last summer (I didn't drink enough water and I was working the horses) and even I got muscle cramps (in my chest) and ended up in the ER. And, I've lived in the desert since 1973!! So, hydrate! Also, bring sunscreen and a hat. I always cover up now.
If you drive to Joshua Tree, the entrance is up quite a way (about 4-5 miles) from town. From there, you'll drive past various rock formations. When we first entered the park, I was struck by what a different world it is! Eerie. Silent. Definitely some kind of energy there! If you drive to Keys Point, it is about a 16 mile drive from the entrance of the park. Once there, you are at the highest point of the park, about 5100 feet. It was cold and windy this past weekend when we went. We probably won't return again until spring break, since I have no more 3 day weekends, and most weekends, I'm up working with the horses. We SHOULD have a lovely display of wildflowers this year with all our rainfall! So, here are some pics from Joshua Tree this last weekend. Enjoy our trip to Joshua Tree National Park!

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