Joshua Tree National Park

Southern California is a great place to live because it’s so close to many national parks. Miles, Nick, Lexi, and I left San Diego for Joshua Tree National Park on a Thursday around 3 pm. There was a little bit of traffic on I-15 as usual and we hit every stop light in Hemet. The drive was pretty neat because we could see Mt San Jacinto, which we were planning to hike on Saturday, along the highway. On I-10 there are hundreds of windmills which are fun to watch spinning.

An unusual green landscape

We arrived in Twentynine Palms around 6 pm and stopped at Pie for the People! for dinner. This pizza joint is tasty but expensive.

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Chimney Rock

Once we finished dinner we headed into the park. Although we had a National Park Pass, we didn’t have to show it because there were no rangers at the gate.

View from our campsite

View from our campsite

We stayed at Hidden Valley Campground which was $15 for the night. We didn’t bring a tent or sleeping bags since we thought Jtree in July would mean intense heat and no rain. We were very wrong. Around midnight a thunderstorm passed through and didn’t let up for over an hour. Luckily we ran for cover in the car just in time. Once the storm was over we lay a tarp on the ground and drifted into a half-sleep until about 5 am. All of the coyotes in the campground started howling which was terrifying.

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Early morning moon

The next morning we packed up the campsite and headed out to do a little bit of bouldering.

Baby Joshua trees!

Nick and Miles climbed on Pothole Rock which had climbs from V-easy to V0. I found it pretty terrifying so I just watched and spotted.

Obligatory crash pad shot

After bouldering, we drove through the park to see Skull Rock.

Skull Rock

Skull Rock

Overall we were in Jtree for about 14 hours. I’d like to come back during the fall/winter months and do some more climbing.