Joshua Tree National Park – Desert

The southern part of Joshua Tree National Park is mainly desert and mountains.  Visitors who enter the Park from the south at the Cottonwood Visitor Center may be somewhat disappointed that they won’t see any Joshua Trees until they drive quite a bit further north.  The actual Joshua Trees in the Park are only found in the northern areas.

I was driving south from the North entrance and after passing the Cholla Cactus Garden started descending into more desolate parts of the Park.  It looks a little hazy because there is a small wildfire burning near Indio, southwest of the Park, and I suspect some of the smoke is drifting this way.

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To my right were the Hexie Mountains, devoid of trees and looking pretty rugged:

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Laid out in front of me was the Pinto Basin, a vast, flat desert:

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To the right (west) side of the Basin were the Cottonwood Mountains:

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And to my left (east) was Pinto Mountain:

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One of these things is not like the others….

At an overlook facing Pinto Mountain were a series of big rocks to discourage people from four-wheeling in the desert.

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This one definitely stuck out as being a little different.

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