In my past visits to Joshua Tree National Park I have completed two hikes, today was my third and by a long shot today's hike to Willow Hole was my favourite. Along this trail you are surrounded by hundreds of Joshua trees. They line the trail and they cover the landscape for as far as you can see. This part of this Park is what this Park is all about for me. I was at the trail head by 8:15 sharing the lot with three other vehicles. As it turns out they spent the night out in the Park watching the moon and I met them as they were retuning to their vehicles. Right away you are immersed in the trees as you begin hiking.
Once again like every other day San Gorgonio Peak comes into view. It is the highest peak in SoCal. Now I get to see it in the same frame with a Joshua tree.
Joshua Tree National Park is also a boulderers' paradise. There are many forks off the main trail that lead to named bouldering sections.
It was slow going for me along here. The trees captured my full attention. You can see the long line of boulders ahead and that is where I am headed.
I don't boulder but I can get up onto the easy ones. At this point the trail becomes a wash and leads into a canyon where it meanders for quite some time. It was easy to follow.
A couple of times the canyon opens up into a little amphitheater type thing which you pass through then it closes up again.
After all my dilly-dallying along, a group of hikers caught up to me and I joined with them for the last few minutes to Willow Hole. The pool of water was frozen and that was something to see in the desert. With the light and the angle it was hard to capture but I got a piece of it.
Between the trees, the boulders, the clouds and the shadows, it took me forever to complete this hike. I did realize how fortunate I was to be having such a gorgeous day here so I made sure to appreciate that.
When I arrived back at my car I debated about checking out another trail. I himmed and hawwwd but then decided I experienced enough heat and sun today and what I did already see far exceeded what I hoped today would be like. It would be best that I get back to my home away from home and enjoy a beer on my balcony so that is exactly what I did.