Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree, Hidden Rocks

Jumbo Rocks

Joshua Tree National Park lies on the transition zone between the Mojave and Colorado deserts. The western half of the park is high, dry and, at night, cold. The eastern half drops down on to the even drier Pinto Basin. The vegetation makes a marked change across this divide. The west is dominated by the iconic Joshua Trees but these are absent to the east, instead a few scrubby plants such as creosote bush dominate. The transition zone is particularly interesting with a swathe of cholla cacti and bizarre gangly ocotillo.

Cholla cactus garden trail

The park is also geologically interesting with tors to the west which are world renowned for their climbing routes. These features are particularly striking at hidden valley and the aptly named jumbo rocks. The latter is a fascinating broken rocky landscape of shaped granite crags out from the desert floor.

The winter is not the best time for wildlife though the rattlesnakes and tarantulas are all safely out of sight! A California thrasher was dashing around the campsite at Jumbo Rocks and the cheeky antelope ground squirrels have visited us twice on the look out for food, presumably.

Antelope ground squirrel

California Thrasher


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The Hutt Family from Northumberland
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