We left Las Vegas at about 11:00 in the morning and headed for Palm Springs, California. See you next time, Vegas!
We stayed in Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa for the night.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is characterized by rugged rock formations and stark desert landscapes. It is named for the region’s twisted, bristled Joshua trees. We visited the National Park during US government shutdown, so no entrance fee was charged, $30 for a 7-day vehicle permit.
There are three entrances: West Entrance, North Entrance and South Entrance. We took the North Entrance in Twentynine Palms, three miles south of the junction of Highway 62 and Utah Trail. The tip we learned was the lines are much shorter here on weekends and holidays.
Since this was a one day trip for us, we picked two interpretive trails for us to explore.
We followed Park Blvd. all the way from the North Entrance, Skull Rock was on the left before we reached Jumbo Rock Campground.
If you wonder why it looks like this, this is why: rain drops have accumulated for a long time and eroded the granite in this area. As the erosion continues, two hollowed-out eye sockets formed and the rock began to resemble a skull.
A parking lot can be located across the road from the rock.
For those wanting to hike, a 1.8-mile trail is across from the entrance to Jumbo Rocks Campground.
We had to drive back via Park Blvd. till we reached Pinto Basin Road then used that road to get to White Tank Campground Road. To reach the trailhead, you need to enter White Tank Campground and take the left split in the road.
This is a 0.5-mile loop hike. The Arch Rock is not far from the trailhead. The trail begins alongside Campsite 9, and day use parking is available near Campsite 15 (at the end of the loop). There is not a lot of parking, so you might want to get there early on weekends and holidays.
This is a great place to hike, to have a picnic and look out at the rock formations. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water with you though.
After having these amazing hikes, we went to Cabazon dinosaurs, a roadside attraction not far from us. There are two enormous steel-and-concrete dinosaurs in the attraction, one is brontosaurus(Dinny), a souvenir store that can be accessed free of charge. The other one is a tyrannosaurus(Mr. Rex). You can climb to the mouth of the Mr. Rex to look at the scenery. You have to pay for the entrance though.
We then headed back and stayed in Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa for the night.
We left around 10:00 in the morning and headed back to San Francisco the Bay Area. It took us about seven and half hours to get home. That wrapped up our wonderful 7 day 6 night trip during the Christmas holidays.