Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"From the mountains, to the deserts..."

So, we are burning off some vacaction days this week prior to Thanksgiving.  We've decided to start off by getting some work done in the mountains... Green Valley Lake, which is about equi-distant between Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear in the San Bernardino mountains @ 7000' elevation.  We've been going up there for years, and really enjoy the beauty of the mountains.  We just happen to time it so we are arriving during the first snow of the season!!

Esquimox Rd in Green Vally Lake
Fortunately, only about 4" of snow is on the ground, with everything recently plowed, so we're in luck!

A Recommended Drive!

Hwy 18 in route to Big Bear Lake
With our work done in Green Valley Lake, we are on our way to 29 Palms.  This is a great drive... not sure how many ecosystems you pass through, but it's very cool!  The drive starts on Hwy 18 heading east towards Big Bear.  There are some great vistas along the way, so I had to stop and take this pic!

I chose to take Hwy 38 around the north end of the lake, and bypass the town and hubub.  It turned out to be a good choice.  You pass through Fawnskin, which looks like a neat little mountain town with some good local cafes and shops.  Soon you reach Baldwin "Lake" (dry) before heading down the backside of the mountain.  The Jeffrey and Ponderosa Pines soon give way to Pinion Pines and junipers, which morph into Joshua Trees.  Keep an eye out for Camp Rock Road as you reach the base of the mountain, which is the cut-off to Hwy 247 (Old Woman Springs Rd).  Go east (right), and you will have all of Johnson Valley on your left.  For the most part, this is wiiiiiide open desert with huge, sweeping vistas. 

Snow of the hood of my car, with desert Creosote background!

Hwy 247 reaches the Landers turnoff followed by Hwy 62 in Yucca Valley.  Heading left (East) on Hwy 62 we are soon "home" in 29 Palms.  A great drive that can easily be done in 2 hours (but give yourself longer to stop and explore!).

Home in 29!!  Joshua Tree National Park is in the background.

1 comment:

  1. What a neat spot. I think I remember driving by those little cooking spots during a trip to Joshua Tree once. Looks fun!