Twentynine Palms, CA
We booked a site at Twentynine Palms RV Resort for a week to be near one of the main entrances to Joshua Tree NP. Since we had some time to kill before we arrive in San Diego, so we decided to spend some of it exploring parts of the national park we missed during previous visits.
The nimble hiker worked her magic and planned a number of great hikes for us during our stay. The first hike was a seven mile out and back trip to Willow Hole, a small oasis set inside an area known as the Wonderland of Rocks.
The hike begins on a trail known as the Boy Scout Trail. After a bit over a mile through the desert the trail splits, with the Boy Scout Trail continuing to the north and the trail to Willow Hole breaking off to the right.
After another mile across the flat desert the trail moves into a sandy wash.
Once in the rocks the scenery became a bit more interesting.
It became a bit of a challenge to keep going as we moved deeper into the rocks and made our way under and between some large boulders.
The next day we drove to the Split Rock parking area to hike the two mile loop trail.
It’s pretty clear where the trail gets its name.
The loop is a very interesting easy hike through some beautiful rock formations.
As we approached the end of the trail we spied a rock climber splayed on the face of a rock formation near the trail.
We returned to the Jeep and drove a few miles out the Desert Queen Mine Road to visit the site of an old gold mine.
Looking across a wash we could see a pile of tailings taken out of one of the shafts and the openings of two mines covered with screen by the Parks Service.
On our way back to the motorhome we passed one of the most popular and well-known rock formations in this park, Skull Rock.
We have more areas to explore during the rest of the week, but we’ll save them for the next blog. Stay tuned for more rocks in Part 2.