Trek Date: October 8, 2016
Let's face it. Some of the rocks in Joshua Tree National Park are creepy. Many have fearsome names that arouse feelings of dread, terror and foreboding (Skull Rock, the Hall of Horrors, the Old Woman). And I'm sure we can all agree that many are bloodthirsty, lying in wait for the unwary to make one false step. Knowing this, I still pulled into a turnout on Park Blvd. and headed into Spooky Hollow to see what I could find.
Spooky Hollow is located just a short distance northeast of Skull Rock, on the north side of the road. There are several fascinating rock formations that always catch my eye as I'm driving by, so it was well past time to stop and document the area.
One of the most impressive sights near Spooky Hollow, is this huge diamond-shaped rock that I call Diamond Shaped Rock. It appears to be wedged into its supporting base, just waiting for an opportune time to be jarred loose by "the big one" and then crash to the bottom of the canyon, crushing anyone in its path.
This view of Diamond Shaped Rock is from a hillside near the large Live Oak that gives the picnic area its name.
This massive boulder is located on the east side of the small pass that leads to Diamond Shaped Rock. It's always intrigued me, mainly because of the large rocks slanting diagonally across this image. They make up the largest dike I've seen in JTree. And the rubble field in front of it is filled with pieces that have broken off over the years.
Continuing northeasterly along the face of the rock piles, this view of Balanced Rock #749 appears. It marks the northeast end of Spooky Hollow. And yes, I made up the name "Balanced Rock #749."
Taking my life in my hands, I hiked through the 'Hollow and climbed up behind the balanced rock.
Way off in the distance, I spotted Balanced Rock #750.
Looking southeast across the 'Hollow, there's a nice view of the Live Oak picnic area rocks, with the giant Pope's Hat on the right of the formation.
After hiking around a bit and doing some low-level rock scrambling, I headed back down into the 'Hollow, to see what all the fuss was about. It didn't seem that spooky to me, more like a nice little hollow filled with yucca, cholla, creosote and other desert vegetation. Taking the opportunity to sit on a comfortable rock, rest a bit and have a snack, I enjoyed the late afternoon ambiance. Little did I know that I should have kept hiking back to T-Red before the shadows grew too deep. I must have dozed off, time had passed and long shadows now covered the hollow. And that's when I discovered why it was called Spooky Hollow.
Spook Eyes Rock.
Hope you enjoyed the story and the pictures, please feel free to download any that catch your fancy. Don't let them scare you. No cost, no fee, just have fun.
The greenish oval is the location where most of these pictures were taken.