Mini Hike at Black Rock Canyon, Joshua Tree NP - March 2013

Life has been a bit crazy so I haven't gotten out into the wilderness much recently, but back in March a couple of friends and I headed out to the desert to check out the Joshua Tree Branch of the Reanimation Library which is part of High Desert Test Sites. A discussion of HDTS is outside the scope of this blog, but it's really a great art project. You should check out their mission here.

After our trip to the library we headed to Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace for some food (which is a given for any trip to the Joshua Tree area) and then had some time before we needed to drive back to LA. Joshua Tree National Park is great, but driving to the entrance station and then through the park would have taken longer than we had so we decided to just go to the closest part of the park which ended up being Black Rock Canyon. Here's where we were:

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The great thing about this area is that you don't have to pay the park entrance fee, but you can still park and get out to explore a bit.

Here are a couple of photos I took in that area:

Joshua Trees in bloom

Maybe a Western Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans)

And a bird I spotted hear the Reanimation Library. I heard it before I saw it. Scroll down a bit on this page and you can hear the call.

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus)
Here is a PDF of the hiking trails if you'd like some more detail. I think we ended up on the California Riding and Hiking Trail. Of course our mini-hike made me want to come back and spend some more time in this area. Retirement couldn't come soon enough. :)

Check out more of my photos from this area in my Flickr set.