Joshua Tree – Arch Rock

Still overcast this morning so no sunrise views.  Took a short drive south from the campground to check out the Arch Rock Nature Trail.  Parking at the Twin Tanks backcountry trailhead makes this a short bit longer than signs indicate.

The trail first crosses flat desert and is mostly unspectacular.  This section is only about 1/3 mile though.

To be fair the scenery isn’t all bad here.  Clouds are giving quite the moody vibe.

I spent way too much time trying to photograph a few birds rather than hiking.  Amazingly there are over 250 species of birds in this area.  This one is a black-throated sparrow.

Not 100% sure but from amateur web searching this one looks most like a female Phainopepla.

Back on the trail I was nearing the clustered rock formations near Arch Rock and White Tank campgrounds.

The nature trail isn’t marked by anything more than some loose stones layed out along the boundaries.  I lost the trail several times but you can’t really get too far before you figure it out.

Getting up close to Arch Rock requires some (relatively) easy scrambling.

Coming up to Arch Rock it bears resemblance to an elephant with no ears.

And finally I was at Arch Rock.  Hard to capture on camera unless you have a very wide angle lens.

Here’s a panorama using my iPhone that grabs this wide view better albeit while sacrificing color quality.  You get the idea, it’s still pretty awesome.

Hiking Data

This is an easy hike that most people can do and requires only one or two rock scrambles.  If you don’t have any physical limitations or health issues you can do this hike.

Lat = 33.986351 , Long = -116.0152359 -- Show at Google Maps

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