Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rattlesnake Canyon, Joshua Tree National Park (Part 1)

What a great weekend!  My legs are so sore I can't walk without groaning.  I went on a great hike with my son.  I won't share details other than to say this was a very special opportunity for me, and one I will fondly remember.  We hiked an area in Joshua Tree called "Rattlesnake Canyon".  My wife and I had visited this general area a couple months ago (here's the link: Rattlesnake Canyon!) and I made a mental note to come back and actually hike up into the canyon.  Here's a map in case you're interested.  From Highway 62, exit at Indian Cove and drive into the campground.  Follow the road as far east as you can go (approximately 1 1/2 miles).  Generally parking is easy, and there is a picnic area with restrooms at the end of the road.
Be forewarned:  This isn't a hike so much as a scramble over rocks and through the wash.  No real trail to follow, lots of steep, rocky slopes... definitely wouldn't classify it as a beginner hike, but well worth the effort if you are able to scramble over steep rocks!  You actually get into a small area that can be described as a slot canyon, which is a narrow area carved out of solid rock by millions of years of water.  The only slot canyon I've ever seen was at Lake Powell... no idea I had one right in my back yard!  The rock formations are incredible as well.  The canyon goes into the heart of the Wonderland of Rocks, which is one of the most spectacular areas of the park.
Start of Rattlesnake Canyon.  Indian Cove road in the background.
After a short hike in the wash, you quickly reach this "wonderland"
This was a little too steep for my abilities, so I chose a different route!!
Small cave area with water... and nice reflections!

Exiting the cave (again, I chose a different route!)
Beautiful slot canyon.

I managed to follow my son this time!
Yours truly checking out the rockscape

Some people will go to any length for cell phone reception!
Macro shot of pine burl in the sand.

The varnish on this rock has all eroded away except for this "arrow"
that appears to be pointing the way!

Another macro shot... desert thistle.
For some additional great macro shots, check out 
Lisas Chaos / Macro Monday


  1. Well, it sounds like your poor wife got spared some heavy-duty rock climbing! This looks like a great area to take photos--the scenery and boulders are stunning. I love the slot canyons and the pine burl.

  2. Beautiful pictures.
    Looks like your son has inherited your talents with the camera....for Christmas, that boy needs some hiking boots:) Or lower rocks to climb on as I would have been having a heart attack watching. (It's the Aunt in me)
    I like the flare and yellow circle light in the same shot.

  3. Hi there - what a great place to explore - I wonder how much the air fare is?

    Stewart M - Australia

  4. A great series of photos! Am amazing place with lots of photo opportunities. Having another person in the photos gives a better sense of the dimensions too.

  5. what an amazing looking place! not sure i'd have been as daring as your son, but it sure looks like fun!

  6. wow, what a marvelous adventure!

  7. Fabulous! How thrilling to be able to take such a trip. So glad you and your son had a wonderful time. Great photos.

  8. Great light and detail in the macro of the thistle.

    Happy MM

  9. Watch out and have fun!!
    What an adventure and stunning to watch your pictures... they are so beautiful!
    Greetings from a flat Holland,
    Anna :-))

  10. Awesome shots of your hike! I would be a bit nervous climbing in the cave area -- you did great! :)

  11. Wow! That looks amazing!! But were there any rattlesnakes??!!

  12. the pine blur in the sand is simply awesome!

    My Third Eye

  13. Holy Moly! That's some rugged country you are in there!

    «Louis» thanks you for your visit to San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.