Joshua Tree National Park
We finished our Arizona trip in time to stop by Joshua Tree National Park for the annual Holiday Hooplah put on by the Hundred Peaks Section. Of course, there are peaks to climb. I signed up for some lower peaks, which are on a different list and watched over by a different group, but then had to find another hike due to a leader getting injured. The only one on offer that I had not done was a little hike to Warren Point. This starts from the same location as the hike I signed up for for Sunday and the future will likely have both hikes combined into a single elaborate peak bagging extravaganza. For now, we gather at an easy hour on a mild day to start off into the desert.
|Starting off into the desert and the sun from the visitor center in Black Rock Campground.|
|We are in Joshua Tree, so there are the requisite Joshua trees nearby.|
The area has a network of trails and a simple map is available from the visitor center. We wander the ones that take us toward Warren View, a smaller peak near Warren Point that has a nice view. It is a whim on the part of the leader because a guy who had been there many times once got elaborately lost on the way before writing his will on his baseball cap and getting found just short of death. The trails we follow are shallow canyons and obvious while the footsteps are visible, but would be hard as the first person after a rain.
|Starting with the deeper canyons with a little bit of rock for their sides.|
|Quickly to even shallower canyons.|
We spur off on the wrong trail in an accidental and very short possible reenactment of the lost man's moves, but catch it and fix it somewhat before 5 days have passed.
|Warren Point in the background of what is not part of our route there.|
The trails do have markings at the junctions, but they are very simple. A couple letters in flaking paint on the sides of a post is supposed to suffice to direct the traveler.
|Back on track. WV to the left and WP to the right. We go for WV or Warren View for now.|
Just a little bit of climbing and we stand at the viewpoint. It does have some view.
|San Jacinto to the south has found a way to hide a lot of the snow on it. One guy is planning to finish the county high points list and the Hundred Peaks list at the same time on it.|
|The local area with some leaders plotting the short route to the nearby higher peak.|
|Warren Point is the one with the rocky top.|
We traverse off the View to catch the trail up to the Point.
|The town of Yucca Valley to the north.|
In very little time, we are standing on Warren Point.
|Warren Point has a station mark and two reference marks all from 1939.|
|Higher peaks to the east.|
|Taller San Gorgonio is looking a bit more snowy than San Jacinto.|
|Warren View from Warren Point. A bit of fog seems to be rolling through the valley.|
There is a well established use trail heading off another side of the peak and after chatting with a local snow bird coming up it in his flip-flops, we head down it.
|Taking the well established use trail.|
Among all the plants similar to the ones I have been seeing in the last week, mostly cholla and other cactuses, I take a little time to record a few of the unique ones.
|The Mojave yucca is not all that unique and looks similar to some of the agave of the last week.|
|The gentle beaver tail cactus is a new one.|
Bill knows I like to search for section corners, so stops near one he knows is actually there. He sets the group on it and we have it in less than a minute. It is just a stack of stones, likely described in some detail on a piece of decaying paper somewhere, with no signs warning against destruction or there will be a small fine, but it is exactly where the map says it is.
|The corner between sections 24 and 25 in T1S R5E and sections 19 and 30 in T1S R6E of the San Bernardino Meridian and Baseline.|
The use trail eventually hits an official trail and we start again on following the various trails back to the visitor center.
|Back among the Joshua trees in the flatter areas.|
©2016 Valerie Norton
Posted 18 December 2016