Today, the plan was to do a three-mile hike among the Joshua Trees here in the Mojave National Preserve.
As I've mentioned before, though there is over 1.6 million acres in the park, there are very few designated trails. This one happens to be one of the more popular ones, and it is said to have the highest concentration of Joshua Trees in the world, more than even Joshua Tree National Park.
While exploring Mojave National Preserve, we made a brief stop at Kelso Dunes. We didn't do any hiking as we've done a few other more prominent dunes before (Great Sand Dunes National Park & White Sands National Monument), but we did take some photos to share.
The Rings Loop Hike is a one-mile hike located near the Hole-In-The-Wall Visitors Center and Campground in the Mojave National Preserve.
The Preserve is located in southeastern California on the border with Nevada's southern tip between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. It contains 1.6 million acres of protected land and varying landscapes.
This hike is a short, popular hike for anyone that gets off the pavement enough to check out the Hole-In-The-Wall area of the park. The rings in the walls of the short slot canyon section provide the hike with its name.
After our morning hike - Rings Loop Trail - in the Hole-In-The-Wall area, we ventured out to a different area of the Mojave National Preserve.
The Preserve is huge and has so many different types of terrains and attractions. However, the number of developed trails is pretty small considering its 1.6 million acres.
One of those is the Lava Tube.
The drive to and from the Wind Caves was just as scenic as hiking to the caves themselves. This was our last hike in the Borrego Springs area, a place in the desert in southern California that is neither touristy or populated.
We joined some friends that planned today's three short hikes in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Today's hikes had more historical significance that our prior three days of hiking.
On our third day in the Borrego Springs, California area, we did this classic hike in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Read on for details of our Palm Canyon hike.
On our second full day in Borrego Springs, California, we did a couple of short slot canyon hikes. We do enjoy our slot canyons.
This was our first visit to the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the largest state park in California and one of the largest in the country. We started off our stay in the area with this hike in a slot canyon known simply as "The Slot".
On our visit to Joshua Tree National Park, we pretty much stuck to the northern end of the park. Rattlesnake Canyon was a boulder scramble that we eventually aborted, but the Covington Crest Trail was secluded and had many of the largest Joshua Trees in the park.
It was cold this morning, but it was a beautiful afternoon for this short hike at Joshua Tree National Park.
This was our first visit to Joshua Tree National Park, and we had a couple of experienced guides that introduced us to the park on these short trails.
While staying in the Desert Hot Springs area of southern California, we learned about this hike which is about an hour away. It sounded interesting, so we joined some friends and made the drive over. The hike has scrambling, ladders, a slot canyon, and a high-walled "painted" canyon. It's a fun, diverse hike.
We arrived in the area of Yosemite National Park in November and were treated to lovely Fall colors on this day-trip. However, it was a little too late in the year, and after this visit, snow closed many of the park roads for the year. So, while we intended to do more exploring of the park, it will have to wait until another time. Still, we're glad we go to see so much of this iconic park in this one day.
What a great day we had. We visited a couple of state parks, did a scenic drive, had some nice ocean views, saw a bunch of elk and a few seals, and got a great look at one of our favorite birds - the American Dipper, a little gray songbird that is as comfortable in the water as out.