Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree is my home town, so a session of Not Back to School Camp here is a dream come true. I love our sites in the forests of Oregon and Vermont, but the desert is where my heart is, and now I get to share my rocks and sand, mountains, sunsets, and mild mid-winter temperatures with a new set of NBTSC campers and my dear fellow staffers…

See my post and all the photos at the Not Back to School Camp blog.


I was in the gym after work on Thursday and realized I’d rather be hiking. I decided to find the minute-microconfluence nearest the entrance of Joshua Tree National Park, which turns out to be N34 6′ x W116 15′ or 34.10 x -116.25. (Altimeter seems to be broken most of the time these days, so I downloaded DMS converter between DMS and decimal coordinates.)

It looked about a mile from the park entrance parking lot, so I parked and headed northeast through open desert from there–an area I’d never walked through.

I got some great vistas on the way.

Sunfair dry lake through a notch

I was impressed with how every patch of soft sand was filled with tracks.

photo 3

I thought this trek was taking me over ground people don’t really go, which may be true. The spot, though, turned out to be a few feet from Burro Loop Trail, which I would definitely take over the through-the-desert approach next time.

The area

The area

The spot

The spot

Panorama from the spot

Panorama from the spot

The coordinates on Maps With Me

The coordinates on Maps With Me*

And a couple hundred feet down the trail right next to the spot:


On Maps With Me I found I could put a bookmark on the coordinates I was looking for and then get a direction and distance indicator that led me eventually to the spot. It was good enough to be useful.

Reanna and I took a drive into JT National Park after work today, to see the wildflowers before she leaves for a natural building workshop at Quail Springs Permaculture. We parked along the road and hiked a few minutes south to see a microconfluence. It ended up being a fair scramble, too, 3/4 of the way up the pile of rocks behind Reanna here:


It was a bigger challenge to find the exact spot up on steep rocks than in previous, flat spots (here, here, here & here), because of the climbing and being a bit out of breath, but more fun, too. Here’s the spot:

microconfluenceAnd the view from the spot:

pano from microconfluence

And the proof according to Altimeter and Maps With Me:

photo 3

photo 4