Lake Mead – White Owl Canyon

Lake Mead - Slot Canyon on the Owl Canyon Trail

After touring Hoover Dam I didn’t have any more set plans so I decided to visit the Lake Mead National Recreation Area visitor center and see what I could find.  Took a short lunch break at Boulder Beach which already has some amazing scenery. Park staff turned me towards a hike at Owl Canyon, a … Read more Lake Mead – White Owl Canyon

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam - Front/Side View

Back in Vegas for the final full day of exploration.  Decided to visit the engineering marvel that is the Hoover Dam and take the tours.  Parking at the free lots above the dam I walked across and like most tourists stopped first to stand across the Nevada-Arizona border. Outside the structures are several art pieces … Read more Hoover Dam

Joshua Tree – Lost Horse Mine

Joshua Tree - Trees on Lost Horse Loop

As I completed hikes I was crossing them off my paper map which was now covered in a fair amount of X’s.  The big hike for today was to Lost Horse Mine / Lost Horse Loop trail for a 6.5 mile ass kicking. The trail starts and immediately climbs but has a gentle ascent that … Read more Joshua Tree – Lost Horse Mine

Joshua Tree – Ryan Mountain

Joshua Tree - Views From Atop Ryan Mountain

No time to waste today, weekend crowds would surely be crazy so it’s time to get on the trails ASAP.  First stop is Ryan Mountain, a small peak popular for it’s 360° panoramic views. The trail is about 1.5 miles each way but climbs about 1000 feet in that span.  Most of the trail is … Read more Joshua Tree – Ryan Mountain

Joshua Tree – Belle Sunrise

Joshua Tree - Sunrise from Belle Campground

No star photos last night (overcast skies) but I did catch an awesome sunrise from camp this morning.  Not much else to say – this is what makes my trips worth the effort. After my nutritious breakfast of coffee and Pop Tarts I broke down camp and headed out for some final hiking.  Stay tuned, … Read more Joshua Tree – Belle Sunrise

Joshua Tree – Lost Palms Oasis

Joshua Tree - Lost Palms Oasis Trail

From Mastodon Peak I continued on the trail to Lost Palms Oasis.  This is an in/out trail going about 3 miles each way. The trail winds through many different types of landscape – hills, sandy washes, patches of rocks, and just about everything in between. Damages from flash flooding in October has blocked off the … Read more Joshua Tree – Lost Palms Oasis

Joshua Tree – Mastodon Peak

Joshua Tree - Mastodon Peak

Today’s afternoon trek would be a long one starting at the far southern entrance at Cottonwood Springs.  Parts of the road & trail were closed due to flood damage but you could access the trail via the Cottonwood Campground. The trail starts by winding through a sandy hike through the lower lying fingers and has … Read more Joshua Tree – Mastodon Peak

Joshua Tree – Ocotillo Patch & Turkey Flats

Joshua Tree - Ocotillo Patch

From Arch Rock I continued south on Pinto Basin Road.  It’s Friday meaning the park is filling with weekend visitors and I wanted no part of the crowds.  The southern entrance gets far less traffic and should give me some peace.  This post is a bit “odds and ends” that don’t fit elsewhere so I … Read more Joshua Tree – Ocotillo Patch & Turkey Flats

Joshua Tree – Arch Rock

Joshua Tree - Arch Rock Nature Trail

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 … Read more Joshua Tree – Arch Rock

Joshua Tree – Belle Campground Astrophotography

Joshua Tree - Belle Campground Astrophotography

Skies were looking a little “iffy” tonight so I just chilled at the campgrounds lazily trying for astro photos.  Early on skies were mostly clear.  No galactic core this time of year but it never gets old sitting under dark skies. (Don’t forget to click photos for detailed full-screen views!) Wispy clouds started rolling in from … Read more Joshua Tree – Belle Campground Astrophotography