Trek Date: November 26, 2016
The White Cliffs of Dover is a well-known rock climbing formation located less than one mile south of the parking area at Quail Springs picnic area. Not used to doing things the easy way, I drove a bit south of QS and parked in a pullout on the west side of Park Blvd. This jaunt was a spur-of-the-moment idea. I was actually heading towards Jumbo Rocks, but caught a nice view of the cliffs as I was driving past, so decided to hike out to them to see what I could find.
The day was partly cloudy, with the sun occasionally breaking through to illuminate portions of the land. After grabbing my gear, I hit the trail. This rock formation on the right is part of an interesting set of rocks with a couple passage ways leading through them. Off in the far distance, the White Cliffs of Dover are visible in the picture above, about one mile distant.
A small (by JTree standards) clump of boulders along the way.
There were quite a few dead and downed Joshua Trees along the way, part of the cycle of desert life.
Then I hit paydirt, desert gold. Just before crossing my first wash of the day, I started seeing rusted, old cans. A previous foray into the Quail Springs area back in January of 2015 had turned up some evidence of a camp of some sorts near the Hound Rocks. I had a feeling the cans I was seeing on this trip originated from that same camp. Something to add to the list of things to investigate.
This was the second wash-crossing of the trip. Most likely this wash passes very near the camp site that produced all the cans in this area.
The White Cliffs of Dover. A popular climbing spot as it's not too far from the highway and it has some classic climbs and routes. Some of the routes to the top are: Quest for Fire, Ace of Spades, Good Housekeeping, Stone Hinge and High Anxiety.
Here's a panorama looking back the way I had hiked. Visible in the distance is the Negropolis, Vagmarken Buttress, Trashcan Rock at Quail Springs, AFPA, Jellystone, Erotic Dome and others that will remain nameless at this point.
Heading south, I skirted the base of the cliffs to see if there was anything interesting in the area. I saw a lot of rocks, some catcus, blackbrush, creosote, yucca and more rocks. This image is of the south end of the cliffs.
Backtracking north along the base, I passed some very pretty canyons leading up into the rock formations. Lots of pinyon pines on this side of the cliffs. I imagine it must take a good deal of time and scrambling just to reach some of the climbing routes. After hiking a bit more along and among the rocks, it was time to head back to T-Red.
Back into the desert gold area, I spotted this group of cans. It almost appears as if someone placed them here for me to take their picture. But it wasn't me.
An old beer can?
This Joshua Tree must have been spectacular during the spring, with at least a dozen blooms. To see some flowering Joshua Trees, click HERE for a report on Covington Flats from earlier in 2016.
Before I knew it, I was back to my truck. I had wandered a little over 3-1/2 miles in about two hours and while I hadn't stumbled upon anything news-worthy, it was definitely an enjoyable hike in the park. Random, aimless wandering has rejuvenating powers and can be good for the soul.
If you like clouds, click on this short, 30-second timelapse taken out near the White Cliffs.
And if you would like to use any of my images for wallpaper, screensavers, or in personal projects, please feel free to download them and have fun. Credit back to Cali49.com would be nice, but it's not a requirement.
- Barker Dam
- Bill Keys
- Cap Rock
- Cattle Ranching
- Day Hike
- Desert Queen Mine
- Geology Tour Road
- Gold Mine
- Gold Mining
- Hidden Valley
- Johnny Lang
- Joshua Tree
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Lost Horse Mine
- Lost Horse Valley
- Native American
- Native Americans
- Pinto Basin
- Rock Art
- Rock Climbing
- Rock Scrambling
- Stamp Mill
- White Tank
- Wonderland of Rocks