(nr Twentynine Palms CA)
Joshua Tree National Park covers an area of 792,510 acres where the Colorado and Mojave deserts meet. Within the park are mountains, rock formations, canyons, oases, springs, old mining sites, and a former ranch. Much of the park is designated as wilderness. Wildlife like desert tortoise, iguana, chuckwalla, fox, jackrabbits, kangaroo rats, numerous birds, bighorn sheep, and other critters can be found.
There are trails for horses, hiking, biking, and jeeping, with paved roads for getting to the major sites, as well as some designated rock climbing. Several campgrounds around the park provide for tents, small or medium RVs. Just outside the park can be found BLM boondocking spots.
Cottonwood Spring oasis was used by natives, and later by prospectors, miners, and teamsters. It was lush with trees and plants, with a trail leading off into the hills toward a mining area.
Cholla Cactus Garden had a variety of cacti, but mostly Teddy Bear Cholla. A short path wound amongst them. A little ways down the road was a large Ocotillo Patch which was just starting to green up. It would be spectacular when in bloom.
In the western portion of the park, and at over 3,000ft elevation, the namesake Joshua tree abounds. Whether posed against mountains, massed in a forest, or amongst majestic rock formations they made their presence felt.
Camp: Cottonwood Springs Rd boondock
Scene: Trees, cacti, rock formations