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Joshua Tree 2010 Trip

Day 3 of 10

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Sunday, March 28th
Cap Rock, Keys View, Ryan Mountain

The previous night, the Saturday night crowd had been a bit loud, but quieted down soon enough that we were fast asleep by the time heated words were apparently exchanged over parking spaces. There was space for about 7 cars even though there were only 5 sites in our area. Unfortunately at least 3 other campers (some legal, some probably not) tried to park there.

It was Sunday now, though, which meant that a lot of campers were leaving this morning, so we wouldn't have to go through a repeat tonight.

After breakfast, we drove through the town of Twentynine Palms, headed west along the main road a few miles and then turned left onto the park road, stopping at the visitor center. The kids watched a short ranger program and got the ranger to sign their booklets. We then continued driving into the park.

Joshua trees

Joshua tree

Joshua trees

Soon after entering, we drove past fields of Joshua trees, stretched out seemingly unendingly in almost any direction. The only thing that broke up the monotony of the scenery was clusters of large boulders occasionally dotting the landscape. We stopped at one of these, Cap Rock, for a short hike.

After the hike, we continued south along the road to Keys View. There are no picnic tables here, but we had lunch on one of the few benches here. We also enjoyed the view looking west from the top here. Clearly visible were the windmill farms we had passed yesterday. To the south we could see the edge of the Salton Sea, 35 miles away.

View looking west from Keys View

Windmills east of Morongo casino

Closer look at windmills

Salton Sea is visible on the left

Panoramic view looking west from Keys View
(Click image to view full size)

After lunch we drove back along the road, turned right past Cap Rock, and did a hike up Ryan Mountain.

After the hike we continued on the road out of the park and back to Twentynine Palms. We picked up some groceries and ice at a local grocery store, refilled on water at the entrance to Indian Cove, and returned to camp.


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