Desert Travel

Desert Destinations: Wildflower Hikes

Palm Springs Wind Farm Photo © Alice Joyce

Tucson is on the current itinerary, so I won’t be returning to the California desert. Still, that won’t keep me from reliving the adventure of a series of 2011 Springtime hikes through arrays of wildflowers, starting in the Indian Canyons of Palm Springs and going on to Joshua Tree, with lots of time to explore Anza-Borrego State Park. Wildflowers displays light up the desert landscape in a good year….

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Desert Travel

Eerie Vision: The Salton Sea

Salton Sea Photo - Photo © Alice Joyce

My desert sojourn to Anza-Borrego State Park followed a route south along California State Highway 86 in order to enter the park from the eastern entrance, leading into the town of Borrego Springs. The drive along Hwy. 86 runs nearly parallel to the western edge of the Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley, past Desert Shores and Salton Sea Beach; desolate towns that time seems to have passed by. A unique inland body of water some 200 feet below sea level, the strangely eerie Salton Sea resulted from massive flooding from the Colorado River over 100 years ago.

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Desert Travel

Joshua Tree Journey

Joshua Tree Silhouettes Photo © Alice Joyce

Joshua Tree National Park: The parkland spans diverse ecosystems; taking in a section of the Colorado Desert – part of the vast Sonoran Desert, the Mojave, and an area of the Little San Bernardino Mountain range. The flora encompasses Palo verde (Cercidium) and pencil cholla (Cylindropuntia), smoketree, ocotillo (Fouqueria), and chuparosa (Justicia). It’s the north part of the park that is, in fact, the southern boundary of the Mojave Desert: the special habitat where you’ll see the Joshua tree – Yucca brevifolia.

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