Just a Weekend in Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
Joshua Tree National Park is 1 of 58 national parks in the United States and 1 of 9 national parks in California. The park is home to a variety of unique natural features, such as larger than life rock formations and alien-like Joshua Trees. Here are all my photos from my trip to the park this past weekend!
The Arch Rock is a popular geological feature in Joshua Tree National Park's White Tank Campground. The site is relatively easy to find. The North Entrance is the closest entry point to the rock. If you're not camping at the campground you can park your car on either Park Boulevard near entrance to White Tank or in White Tank before you hit the actual campgrounds (parking there is reserved for campers only). The campground entrance is clearly marked on Park Boulevard, keep an eye out and you can't miss it. If you parked on Park Boulevard, to start, walk into the campground and curve left with the road. The actual trail to Arch Rock begins at the end of the campground. All you have to do is follow the trail! Once it begins to curve to the right you'll find yourself in front of the Arch Rock. There is a bit of scrambling involved if you want to get on the rock or in front of it. As long as you're careful with your footing you should be absolutely fine. I did it barefoot because I was shooting a style post, but I would not recommend this! You definitely don't want to accidentally step on a sharp rock or get bitten by an animal or insect.
Jumbo Rocks is one of the most popular campgrounds in Joshua Tree National Park. It is located among, if it wasn't obvious from the name, gigantic rock formations. Some of the unique features here are the lone Juniper Tree, the monoliths, Skull Rock, and a small arch rock. Skull Rock can be easily spotted and easily accessed from the main road, Park Boulevard. Signs denoting "Exhibit Ahead" will point you in the right direction. The other attractions can only be accessed from inside the campground. Luckily, you can just stroll on into the Jumbo Rocks Campground! Allow yourself to freely explore the area, that's how I found a lot of these awesome features! Just remember to be respectful of the campers, the wildlife, and the park itself.
Barker Dam is an absolute hidden gem! This site is not as frequented as the others so you will probably be the only ones on the trail like we were. The water from the pool here is nonexistent, so don't come if you're looking for water. However, there is an abundance of Joshua Trees here! The looped trail will drop you into a small valley filled with them. There are also petroglyphs on this trail, which I think is extremely cool. Lastly, you'll be given a lot of opportunity to wander off and explore but again please be respectful and and stay on the trails!
Desert Queen Mine
The Desert Queen Mine will lead you to one of the old late 1800s early 1900s gold mines. Unfortunately, there is no gold left to find. Fortunately, you'll find an amazing view here! We didn't have time to do the entire trail so we just walked over to the edge of the cliff, took a seat, and breathed in the fresh air. To find the trail you have to drive for a bit on a small dirt road opposite of the entrance to the Geology Road.
Park Boulevard is the main road in Joshua Tree National Park. All the accessible areas of the park will stem off of this road. If you don't have time to visit any of the stops, driving through the park and hopping out of your car every once in a while will still give you some great photo opps.