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Author Topic: Joshua Tree National park  (Read 3527 times)
Kathy
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« on: February 22, 2013, 12:29:43 PM »
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Hi All
I would appreciate advice. I am going to Las Vegas to attend a wedding on 28 May then on 1 June I am joining some friends for a trip to the Utah/Arizona wilderness area, we shall visit areas such as White Pocket, Wahweap Hoodoos, Antelope Canyon and South Coyote Buttes. So I have three nights nearly 4 days to visit another area, Joshua Tree National Park is currently top of my list. I appreciate that it is a five hour drive but I have visited most of the parks closer to Vegas on more than one occasion already. So to my questions:
1 Is it worth going, how do you rate it as a National Park.
2 What will the weather be like, my fear is that it will be very hot.
3 What are the best areas to see given that I will have just two full days available plus an extra sunset and an extra morning shoot.
4 What accommodation would you recommend, my preference would be to stay for three nights in one location, reasonable cost $100 to $140 per night.
5 Can you recommend a good quality photographic guide to the area.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Kathy
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 12:37:26 PM »
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Hi All
I would appreciate advice. I am going to Las Vegas to attend a wedding on 28 May then on 1 June I am joining some friends for a trip to the Utah/Arizona wilderness area, we shall visit areas such as White Pocket, Wahweap Hoodoos, Antelope Canyon and South Coyote Buttes. So I have three nights nearly 4 days to visit another area, Joshua Tree National Park is currently top of my list. I appreciate that it is a five hour drive but I have visited most of the parks closer to Vegas on more than one occasion already. So to my questions:

1 Is it worth going, how do you rate it as a National Park.

It's not Death Valley, but it is pretty.  It has some lovely rock formations that are fun to shoot.  I find Joshua trees rather boring.

2 What will the weather be like, my fear is that it will be very hot.

Not that bad.  I'd expect maybe 30C.  This should be available on the NPS site for Joshua Tree.

3 What are the best areas to see given that I will have just two full days available plus an extra sunset and an extra morning shoot.

It's pretty spread out.  The area near the campground has the most interesting geography.

4 What accommodation would you recommend, my preference would be to stay for three nights in one location, reasonable cost $100 to $140 per night.

The campground. : )   Seriously.  It's beautiful.  And heavily-used.  Closest motels would be in Twentynine Palms.  (not an interesting town)  or the Coachella Valley.

5 Can you recommend a good quality photographic guide to the area.

Sorry, no. 


Thanks in advance for your help.
Kathy
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spreeg
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2013, 01:28:48 PM »
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The rock formations in the north section are very nice, I also really enjoy sunrise at the cholla cactus garden, here are a couple shots from there:

just beware that they are the nastiest cacti I have ever encountered, don't go out there in shorts or without some nice thick hiking boots, because they are really really nasty.  No seriously......very nasty  Smiley

Also, night photography there is fantastic, the sky is often very clear in the high desert and the milky way can be clearly seen there on a moonless night.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 01:31:40 PM by spreeg » Logged
kikashi
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2013, 02:04:27 PM »
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I stayed at the Desert Lily B&B. It's a little more expensive than you have in mind, but the lady who runs it (Caroline Yeager) is charming and I enjoyed my stay very much. I'd go back.

Jeremy
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aduke
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2013, 03:43:21 PM »
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just beware that they are the nastiest cacti I have ever encountered, don't go out there in shorts or without some nice thick hiking boots, because they are really really nasty.  No seriously......very nasty  Smiley


To amplify on this a bit. This cactus has a barb at the end and is incredibly sharp. It can easily pierce a running shoe as well as a leather shoe.

If you venture into the cholla forest, carry a rat-tail comb with you. You can use the comb to sweep away the cactus that sticks to you.

The colloquial name for this cactus is the Jumping Cholla, because it seems to be able to jump onto a person. It doesn't actually, but it propagates by dropping balls, covered with spines, to be picked up by passing animals and carried to a new location.

Alan

in Phoenix, AZ
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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2013, 04:29:53 AM »
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Go in from the northern end. The south of the Park is very boring.

We did it from Palm Springs where there are lots of good inexpensive motels.

Take walking shoes. There are several very good 1-2 hour walks that will take you through varied scenery. I would emphasise what was said above about night photography. Excellent opportunities.

Lots of guides and info available at the park office at the north gate. By "guides" I assume you are talking about printed material and not parasitic people.
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Kathy
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2013, 05:44:42 PM »
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Thanks to everyone for the advice. You will have recognised that this trip is to fill some time between the wedding and the wilderness trip. I get the feeling that our view that Joshua Tree was worth 2 days but not a specific trip to the USA was about right. The tip about night photography is very useful as we had not factored that in. It is something we have wanted to do in the US National Park system away from light pollution.
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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2013, 08:51:12 AM »
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Just another tip for a spectacular photograph when you are in that area Kathy - get some shots of the wind farms on the Indian reservations. You can get, literally, thousands of giant turbines into one shot. An incredible density far removed from the nice wee friendly wind farms that we have here in UK.

I assume that it is because Indian lands are exempt from some of the planning restrictions that apply elsewhere and some enterprising tribe has discovered that green power is even more profitable than casinos.
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2013, 07:58:28 PM »
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Kathy: I highly recommend taking the short .8 mi loop trail to Hidden Valley.  Or, for a much longer trek, 3.0 mi. round trip, visit 49 Palms Oasis Trail located off of 29 Palms Hwy, down Palm Canyon Rd., West of the Northern entrance station.  Or take the Lost Horse Mine Rd to the Lost Horse Mine and visit the 10 stamp mill.  The hike out and back to the mine is about 4 mi.  We usually visit the park in September when there's barely a soul around.  I'd also recommend Keys View for an incredible sunset.
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Kathy
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2013, 07:22:56 AM »
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Hi All
Having seen Don Whitbread's piece on the Great Basin National Park we are thinking of changing direction and heading there for 3 days. Any suggestions, Joshua Tree or Great Basin which would you choose?
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kikashi
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2013, 11:41:49 AM »
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Having seen Don Whitbread's piece on the Great Basin National Park we are thinking of changing direction and heading there for 3 days. Any suggestions, Joshua Tree or Great Basin which would you choose?

I'd probably suggest going to Great Basin (particularly having read that article).

I confess that I found Joshua Tree rather disappointing. Mind you, I had just come from Death Valley, so most places would have been a bit of an anticlimax.

Jeremy
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 06:06:04 PM by kikashi » Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2013, 12:38:36 PM »
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I love some of the rocky configurations in Joshua Tree, but they are few and far between. Having been near, but not in, Great Basin N P, I too suspect that would be a more generally rewarding place to visit.
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Kathy
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2013, 07:00:26 PM »
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Thanks everyone for your advice. We have decided to head for Great Basin. The opportunity for night shooting, landscapes, caves and bristlecone pines won. We plan to stay at Hidden Canyon Ranch. Any extra advice on Great Basin NP would be welcome.
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Scott O.
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« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2013, 12:00:51 PM »
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Sounds like you have made your decision, and it sounds like a good one. But don't forget, Las Vegas is close to Valley of Fire SP, and probably 3 hours from Zion NP. Actually, the entire southern Utah area, from Zion to Bryce to Escalante-Grand Staircase NM is epic. You will have a good time where ever you choose to go. And like others, Joshua Tree is rather uninspiring to me.
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francois
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« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2013, 09:13:43 AM »
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To amplify on this a bit. This cactus has a barb at the end and is incredibly sharp. It can easily pierce a running shoe as well as a leather shoe.

If you venture into the cholla forest, carry a rat-tail comb with you. You can use the comb to sweep away the cactus that sticks to you.

The colloquial name for this cactus is the Jumping Cholla, because it seems to be able to jump onto a person. It doesn't actually, but it propagates by dropping balls, covered with spines, to be picked up by passing animals and carried to a new location.

Alan

in Phoenix, AZ

I can only add my warning about those Jumping Chollas… I got a few ones stuck in my thigh and calf. Not only, they are very painful to remove but infection is never far away…
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Francois
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