Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

March 2005 : Joshua Tree National Park

While staying a few days in the Palm Springs area, I had the opportunity to make a half-day trip to view the wonderful desert landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park. The park lies to the north and east of the various townships that are strung along the Coachella Valley and is separated from these communities by three things : the Little San Bernardino Mountains,  the Interstate-10 freeway, and ... gulp! ... the San Andreas fault. The park marks the area where the Mojave and Colorado Deserts converge, causing a profusion of interesting plant life.

I made the half-day visit with fellow-FlyerTalker sftrvlr (Bruce from San Francisco), who has become a good friend in the course of these pages! I gather he was happy to discover that I can actually drive on the wrong side of the road   Although the weather was excellent during my visit, Southern California had one of its wettest winters this year and this was responsible for making the tourists turn out in their droves. Why? Well, this was not my first visit to the park, but it was certainly the only time that I have seen parts of the desert floor carpeted with colourful wild flowers. Amazing!

Just off I-10, on the way to the Cottonwood Springs Visitor Center, this area is normally characterised by sand and scrub.

More of the wild flowers that had the tourists turning out in force.

An Ocotillo in the Pinto Basin, part of the Colorado Desert.

Close-up of a Bigelow Cholla ... that's 'choy-a', in case your Spanish is as ropey as mine!

Walking among these plants is a somewhat surreal experience.

Like the Ocotillo, the Cholla is characteristic of the Colorado Desert.

 These formations came into view as we started to climb up to the Mojave Desert.

Joshua Trees appear above 3000' and are characteristic of the Mojave Desert.

Linked reports from same trip :

Santa Barbara & Solvang

Flight Log : BA269