Hiking Joshua Tree: Wonderland of Rocks, Geology Tour Road, Hexahedron Mine and Old Dale Road

I celebrated my 30th birthday with a trip down to Joshua Tree. It was a perfect desert fix: two hikes, camp time, dirt driving, taking pictures, and walking on rocks.

The closest I got to breaking a sweat was the hike up into the Hexi Mountains. Perfectly flat walking along Fried Liver Wash led to a climb on an old mining road. A few shafts, lots of old cans, lunch relaxing against the stone miner’s cabin, and plenty of cactus. We found two tortoise shells (and one tortoise foot) on the way.

The Wonderland of Rocks hike to Willow Hole is a great easy day hike in Joshua Tree.

The Wonderland of Rocks hike to Willow Hole is a great easy day hike in Joshua Tree.

The joshua trees are obviously a highlight. Our walk to the Wonderland brought us through a dense stand, but otherwise much of our time was spent above or below the zone that they grow in.

This was my second (third?) trip to the park. I really wanted to get off the main road and we succeeded at that. The days are short. It was dusk before five.

Saw a good number of shooting stars, and learned later that it was part of the Taurid shower. The wildly different night temperatures (chill, to cold, to warm) on the three nights were a surprise. Saturday night was especially marked by the large number of insects landing on our faces.

Other things of note:

  • Great food. Especially the spear caught blue rock fish.
  • It was a full days drive each way.
  • We drove Old Dale to the park boundary where it got rougher. We couldn’t start the truck when the alarm’s key fob died. Luckily, we found a charger and got the Xterra moving again.
  • Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban. Thanks guys.
  • Once again I’m pining for a trip to the Basin and Range east of Reno.
We stopped at the Cholla Garden twice.

We stopped at the Cholla Garden twice.

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