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National Parks - 2012 Trip - Day 5

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Start Location: Hesperia, CA
Ending Location: Yuma, AZ
Miles Today: 316
Trip Miles: 1687
States Visited: 5
National Parks: 1
National Monuments: 1
Low Temp: 78.1° F
High Temp: 119.1° F
Min Elevation: -221'
Max Elevation: 3924'

Route Map:


Well I'm writing this a day late and I have probably forgotten most of the things we saw so it will definitely be short.

After a ride along mostly back roads, we arrived at Joshua Tree National Park around 11:30.  We started at the visitor center which is actually just outside of the park.  The visitor center is quite a bit smaller than the visitor centers for many of the bigger parks we have visited.  There was no theatre with videos playing, just a TV with a short slide show.  There was a cool sculpture outside the center that we managed to get a few pictures of.

The park itself is quite large and is actually the juncture between two deserts.  The Mojave desert mostly in the north and west and the Colorado desert in the south and east.  Because of this the plant life varies as you drive through the park.  As we drove through the park from north to south we saw Joshua Trees, then Chollo Cactus, Ocotillo Cactus, and finally Mojave Yucca which are often mistaken for Joshua Trees.  The desert is cool but I think I've seen enough for a while.

We stayed the night in Yuma, where we have spent time in previous winters, and then headed for Tucson in the morning.