Joshua Tree National Park - April 13-15, 2007

We didn't arrive to the park until after 8:00pm, and when we got there the sign on the entrance station was not what we wanted to see, "All Campgrounds Full." The attendant said we could try to drive around and find somebody willing to allow us to share a campsite. Around 9:00pm we finally gave up and find a place outside the park to camp. Mark had seen on the internet an "overflow camping" area on some BLM land north of the park, but he had no idea where it was, and neither did the Sheriff or a gas-station cashier. Luckily, at the ranger station at the Indian Cove Campground there was a flyer with the location of the camping area. We finally found someplace to pitch our tents around 10:30pm and it was out in the middle of nowhere!

Michelle got a photo of a pretty sunrise and a waning crescent moon.

The photo is blurry but you can get an idea of our beautiful campsite!

Driving into the "campground" we saw one other car and shortly after we got into our tents we heard another group come at set up next to us. However, that morning looking around in the large flat scrub-land there were at least 11 "camps" surrounding us!

After breakfast we drove back into the park and the majority of us decided to at least check out a couple campgrounds to see if anybody had left that morning. The first campground we checked was Ryan Campground and lo and behold there was an open site!! We set up our tents in excitement to be within the park, however the site we were at was not anything special. There was another site right underneath some rocks that was much better, however there were two tents set up, but the site was not paid for and nobody was around to tell us what was up. So we decided to take the site anyway, and we are glad we did.

The owners of the tents decided to show up later that night, and after a little bit of awkwardness we ended up talking to them for awhile around the fire. That night was super windy as it was most of the day, so sleeping in bouncing tents was interesting to say the least!

Our new campsite with Joel & Sarah's and Beth's tents.

Mark & Michelle's tent underneath the rocks in our new campsite.

Hall of Horrors Area

Sarah and Michelle

Beth, Sarah, Joel, and Michelle

Mark, Michelle, Beth, and Sarah

Mark, Michelle, and Beth on top of some rocks. It was very windy if you can't tell from the picture.

Michelle and Beth going down some rocks.

Going towards our next challenge

At the campsite

Mark and Joel trying to find a way up the rocks in our campsite.

Mark making his way up the rocks.

They made it!

Wonderland of Rocks / Barker Dam Area

Joel and Sarah

Beth and Michelle

Prickly Pear Cactus in bloom.

There is a small lake behind Barker Dam. We ended up climbing the rocks in the photo.

Working our way up. Notice how small the people by the lake are?

In-between a couple large rocks.

Joel and Sarah at the top.

Michelle spanning a small crevasse.

Another Cactus in Bloom.

Getting ready for dinner.

Hidden Valley Area

The beautiful Hidden Valley Area.

We came upon some climbers going up "Sailfin Rock" (I think that was the name) and they let us watch their ascent.

Working our way down.

Just to show how "sticky" the rocks are in Joshua Tree.

We found our way into a "cave" of sorts underneath some rocks and took a little break. Here is Beth inside the cave.

Looking up at the "cave" ceiling.

Joshua Trees with Ryan Mountain in the background.

A bird's eye view of our campsite.

Click here or the picture above to see a 360 degree panoramic from the rocks above the campsite.
(The image is kind of large ~550KB).

There are a lot more pictures, but I hope that these give some representation of the beauty of Joshua Tree and how much fun we have scrambling around the rocks. E-mail me if you have any questions or comments - mark(REMOVE)

Other recent camping/hiking/backpacking trips

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