05 September 2012

California & Grand Canyon Adventures, Part 5, Day 4

If you need to catch up on our California & Grand Canyon Adventures this summer, check out Part 1, Part 2Part 3, and Part 4!

Some how we woke up after our night out with
Salty Old Guy, ate breakfast and headed out by 9am.  For a few hours, we drove through ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to get ourselves to Joshua Tree National Park.  

Also, I'm not sure if I mentioned this or not, but the National Park Service offers FREE national park annual passes to military members and dependents, which is totally awesome cause that usually costs 80 buckaroos.    So go take advantage of that so they offer it again next year!

Anyway, we drove and drove and drove through the desert and dust and dirt and finally arrived at our destination.  Which. Was.  Freaking.  Awesome!!!!! 
It was only 190°F out, and we weren't prepared to do any major hiking/camping/etc, so we just spent a few hours checking out all the 'hot spots' in the park.

See what I did there?  Hot spots.  Heh heh.

At first glance, driving through the park doesn't look like much, and then you come across these sections of land all of a sudden BAM tons and tons of something.

At this stop, there were tons and tons and tons of Teddybear Cholla Cactus:
And then you keep driving through nothing and you get to, dum dum DA - Skull Rock, which is part of monzogranite formations throughout the park.  These rocks were really neat.  They almost looked fake, like they should be soft (obviously not) with a sandpaper finish.  Aaron liked to climb all over them.
Then you keep on driving through nothing (again) and BAM tons and tons of Joshua Trees as far as the eye could see.
Because we weren't prepared to be outside too long in the heat, we did a 1 mile moderate hike at the Hidden Valley Nature Trail Loop.  It was freaking hot, but we survived and had fun!

Both of us would love to go back to Joshua Tree at some point.  Maybe not during the hottest week of the year, but a good time for us to camp and explore all the park has to offer.  Check out more information on Joshua Tree NP here!

Have you been to Joshua Tree or other national parks?  Which one is your favorite?
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