Sunday, February 28, 2016

Another Great Area to Explore on the Geo Road

Last week, we visited Squaw Tank and rambled around in the rocks to our heart's content. This week, we finally explored some rocks that Margie has been eyeing for some time. This is an area known to climbers but is not in the official guide book. The pull out is just beyond the sign on the Geo Trail which says, 'Four Wheel Drive Only'. It's about a mile before you get to Squaw Tank and Malapai Hill is on your right. This is a fabulous place to explore. The first mound of rocks you come to, had all these little caves here and there, underneath all these huge rock formations. Moving on to the east, there are groups of jagged rocks and side canyons to explore. We spent a couple of hours just roaming around and then (of course) found the perfect lunch spot, had a nice repast and then meandered back to the car. Another fantastic day in the rocks along the Geo Trail. The only people we saw on the way out were some eager climbers on their way in.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Squaw Tank-A Fun Place to Scramble Around

This started out as the Lela Peak hike but we got a little side tracked (what else is new). The Guide says to park at the Squaw Tank pull out and then skirt the rocks to the North East and head through the valley over to Lela Peak. I'm sure that's a nice walk, but then you miss all those wonderful rocks. So... we went over to check out Squaw Tank itself which is impressive, then we began climbing up the rocks to a dramatic view point that looks over Pleasant Valley. Next, we turned north and just ambled across and thru the rocks, where we found a great lunch spot in the shade. We enjoyed our 'Margie made' chicken sandwiches with a delightful Picpoul de Pinet from France, which proved to be just the ticket. After a little kip, we did some more exploring until we found ourselves back at the car. Well, Lela Peak will have to be next time. We just had too much fun here, so many interesting shapes and textures to take in.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Freewheeling Hike Up In The Rocks

Whenever we come in to the Park from the 29' side we always pass this one pullout about a mile and a half from the entrance that has an Information Board. In the distance, there is a large group of rocks cascading down the hill into a wash at the base, that has always intrigued me. Margie was game, so we parked and headed toward them thar' hills. You cross the valley and come to a wash full of brush that leads up into the Canyon of Rocks above. It seemingly goes on forever toward the back country. It involves a little scrambling, going over and under some rocks to get to the top, which makes it a real adventure. We only made it about three quarters of the way up this particular day and found a nice lunch spot in the shade. We definitely have to come back again and see how much further up we can get. It just goes to show, you don't always have to stick to the regular trails to find a nice hike in Joshua Tree National Park.

It was a blue, blue sky that day.

A hill of black rocks on our right as we ascended.

Looking up from the wash and boulders.

A heart shaped rock amongst the boulders.

The view up the canyon from our lunch spot. Next time...

Beautiful feathers caught in a crevice on the way down.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hiking East on The California Riding and Hiking Trail

We've been hiking various sections of the California Riding and Hiking Trail in Joshua Tree National Park lately and it's been a lot of fun. This section heads off to the east from the parking area along the Geo Trail. If you hike all the way to Pinto Basin Road, it's about 4 miles. This time we only hiked in about two miles and then veered off to the rock formations to the left of the trail. We thought it would be interesting just to ramble around in the rocks, have lunch, a nap (always the nap in the sun) and then head back. You could spend the entire day just roaming around the interesting rock formations. There's all sorts of little side canyons and washes to explore and nice vistas from almost an vantage point. This is a nice hike when the other areas of the park get busy. The only people we met were two women at the parking lot who had stayed overnight. Try it sometime. Don't forget the wine.

The Trail Heading East Toward the Rocks



Big Teeth