Joshua Tree National Park is one of 9 national parks in California; located southern part of the state. It spread into two deserts, Sonora and Mojave. Unlike other national parks, there is no unique attraction in the park. This park attract visitors with two features, Joshua tress and outcrop of granite boulders.
As name suggests, Joshua trees are prevalent in the park. They sure remind you of Dr. Seuss books.
Sunset over Joshua tree forest
Other attractions in the park are outcrop of granite boulders. Towering over 100 ft., these boulders serve as training grounds for rock climbers. We have seen 100’s of climbers in two days. Climbing the boulders is one of the activity that kids loved in this park.
Here is star trails with Joshua Tree in foreground
This is image is result of 14 pictures taken in span of 1 1/2 hours. Each picture is of 5 minutes shutter speed with aperture wide open ( f2.8) and ISO 400. Stray light near horizon is caused by passing cars. I chosen location right next to the park road in order to have company. Image quality suffered quiet a bit from car head lights. As earth rotates on its axis, stars motion creates streaks when it’s recorded for long enough time. In northern hemisphere, earth axis goes thru Polaris (north star). So place Polaris in the frame where you want center of the circles.
Teddy-Bear Cholla is another interesting plant in the park. You can see them in Cholla Cactus Garden located in Pintos Basin, east side of the park. Couple of sunset pictures.
With some luck and apt timing, visitors can see endangered desert tortoise in this park. Rangers told me that high chances of spotting them is during spring or when it rains. They spend 95% of time in their burrows.
There are some more interesting spots in the park that we did not get chance to explore. Couple of days of camping in back country gives access to many interesting places here.
If you are planning to visit the park, don’t miss climbing up Ryan mountain.