This morning (Sunday) after a filling breakfast provided by the hotel, it was a short drive from Blythe westward on I-10 to the south entrance to the Joshua Tree National Park, arriving about 8:30 am. The National Parks Service site describes the park as encompassing two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mohave and the Colorado and covers 794,000 acres. There is considerable elevation climb from the highway, through the Cottonwood Spring campground area in the south and along the Park Boulevard which then turns northwest as it gains in altitude. The pictures shown here are courtesy of the National Park Service Flickr site, primarily taken by NPS staff, and are in the public domain.
|Cottonwood Spring (National Parks Service photo)|
|Joshua Tree and boulders (NPS)|
|Rock formations near Skull Rock (NPS)|
|Great Basin Collard Lizard (NPS)|
|Acton's Brittlebrush (NPS)|
An add-on to keep the travels in the right order:
Kelly said he was up bright and early for breakfast and left Twenty Nine Palms, California heading west and then northward; the mountain parks are calling. Passing by Bakersfield and on to Three Rivers by noon, he mad a fuel stop as there is nowhere to top up once you enter Sequoia National Park and adjacent Kings Canyon. Quoting from the National Parks Service site:
|General Sherman - Sequoia (NPS photo)|
The wonders of nature demand alertness on the roads; apparently "the 16 steep, narrow road miles from Ash Mountain (south entrance) to the Giant Forest area include 130 curves and 12 switchbacks...." One goal of this visit was to stand before General Sherman...by volume, the largest tree in the world! In 1975 a calculation determined it to be slightly over 52,5000 cubic feet. And that he did.
Accommodations in the Lodge were cozy and the hikes were at times challenging. The opportunity to view these ancient 'sentinels' of the forest was not to be missed. Each National Park has its treasures and there are many more to explore.