Hiking in Joshua Tree National Park

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Though the Wonder Valley turned out to have an appeal all it’s own, the reason we rented a house in Twentynine Palms, California was its proximity to Joshua Tree National Park.

Joshua Tree National Park

The town of Twentynine Palms, California was named for the fan palms planted by the Serrano Indians in honor of the 29 sons that were born the year they settled at the Oasis of Mara. Unfortunately, the oasis now has to be irrigated by the National Park Service because of the worsening drought in the southwest.

Fan Palms in the Oasis of Mara

Oasis of Mara

After a visit to the Oasis of Mara at the Twentynine Palms entrance to Joshua Tree National Park, we drove further into the park and started out on a short hike. I think it was the Hidden Valley trail, but in my notes there is just a mention of a sign for Hell’s Hole and because I really like Joshua Tree, despite the event about to transpire, I assume that this note was not a slight on the area.

close up of a joshua tree from below joshua trees in front of boulders Sun behind a joshua tree next to boulders Julie high on a boulder in Joshua Tree

It was a beautiful day and we couldn’t resist scrambling up some boulders. On my way down from one set of boulders I jumped to the ground and landed on a rusty cap nail that went through my shoe and into my foot. This was rather painful at first, but there was no serious damage to my foot, just a small puncture. Then I realized I hadn’t had a tetanus shot in more than 15 years and my annoyance trumped all the pain (though I did feel every step on the long walk back to the car).

Julie with a nail in her shoe in Joshua Tree the offending rusty cap nail

Luckily there was a Walgreens about 40 minutes away that offered tetanus shots. So, fast-forward two and a-half hours and we were back in Joshua Tree watching the sunset from the Ryan Ranch Trail.

Joshua Tree National Park  View from a boulder of Joshua Tree landscape Sunset behind mountains and a joshua tree

On our way out of the park we learned that all nine campgrounds (the park is first-come, first-served for camping) were full for the night. In my next post we have our first no frills camping experience.

Sunset over boulder landscape in Joshua Tree  Sunset over boulders at Joshua Tree

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2 Trackbacks

  1. By Camping in Joshua Tree | Into Our Element on October 14, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    […] my last post I mentioned that Joshua Tree National Park has nine campgrounds, which are all available on a […]

  2. By A Series of Unfortunate Events | Into Our Element on December 18, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    […] We had an amazing time in the Wonder Valley, however Pearson’s glasses broke and I jumped on a rusty nail. […]