Joshua Tree National Park, CA
Jumbo Rocks Campground
Lost Horse Mine Trail, 49 Palms Oasis Trail
From San Francisco, Theresa and I traveled down the California Coast via Route 1, stopping at Big Sur, Montaña de Oro State Park, and finally Los Angeles for a few days.
Heading East for the first time, I picked up Scott at LAX and we arrived at Joshua Tree early in the day to set up camp and see some of the iconic sights like Skull Rock and the Cholla Cactus Garden. (The latter of which came with a warning of "thirsty bees" but was home to very little beyond the teddy bear cholla.)
The next day we planned two longer hikes, including the 49 Palms Oasis Trail. Luckily the route to 49 Palms had just reopened, and we were nearly alone on the trail. When we crested the final hill and got our first glimpse of the thick grove of fan palms nestled in the canyon it all felt surreally cinematic. The trail descended into the oasis and we took our time enjoying a respite from the unrelenting desert sun.
The desert provided the perfect setting for camping without the rainfly, and the views of both the night sky and sunrise were incredible. I tried my hand at a bit of star photography, but the full moon made it difficult to capture the sky in total darkness.