Wildflowers - Southern Joshua Tree National Park

Trek Date: March 12, 2017

With all the rain JTree had received over the winter, there's been a lot of talk about 2017 being an excellent year for wildflowers in Joshua Tree National Park. Even though it wasn't technically springtime, I thought I'd head out to see what I could find. I wasn't disappointed. 

Murbachi provided some recent intel regarding the main portion of the park, which was: not much color as-of-yet. However, both he and I knew that things might be different in the southern, lower, warmer portion of the park.

Entering at the north gate (tip: always less crowded than the west entrance), I turned left at Pinto Wye and headed towards Cottonwood Springs, keeping an eye out for color. There's always some blooms along the roadways, small white and yellow things with sometimes a blue splash thrown in for good luck. I stopped a couple miles before reaching the Cholla Gardens, and after gathering together my gear, set out to find the El Dorado Mine. I spotted the occasional early bloomer along the way, and that seems to be the trick. Stop the car, get out and hike, you'll find stuff.

I believe these are "Yellow Cups," but not positive. I'll call them "small yellow flowers," to be safe.

The pretty white flowers are part of the Sunflower family, I going to guess they are White Tack-Stem.

One of my favorite cactus plants is the Beavertail Cactus. I like them because the flowers are very intense in color and plants can sometimes have dozens and dozens of blooms. This particular plant will really be showing off in a week or two. I also like them because they lack the typical sharp, pointy spines that many other cactus plants poke hikers with. However, the small brown spots on the "beavertails" are actually concentrated areas with lots of nasty little barb things, so it's best to give them a wide berth, just to be safe.

After finding the mine, I headed back to T-Red and resumed my drive towards Cottonwood Springs. I stopped for a few minutes at Porcupine Wash, there were a number of scattered wildflowers in bloom within a few minutes walk of the parking area. 

Heading south once again, I passed the visitor center at Cottonwood Springs, which was overflowing with cars and people. A few miles later, I struck wildflower gold. And purple. And white. And yellow. And blue. Here are a few pictures.

Desert Canterbury Bells. I like these.

I stopped at several places along the road heading down towards I-10.

I was lucky to spot a field of blue as I was driving, and as the road shoulders are wide, it was easy to pull off and explore.

I think this one is from the Lupine family.

The last spot I stopped at was amazing. Yellow flowers as far as I could see. With a dash of purple thrown in for good measure.

A final shot with the Salton Sea way off in the distance. It was certainly a great day to visit JTree, and a day that illustrates you never know what you're going to find. Venture off the beaten path, check out some of the "less-popular" spots. Take a gander at some of the other posts on this website for many such places to visit.

Please feel free to use any of my pictures that catch your fancy, whether for wallpaper, publications, Christmas cards, etc. There's no fee, no catch. Credit back to www.Cali49 is nice, but it's not required. My goal is to share these pictures and stories with everyone who might have an interest in exploring a great National Park.

And by the way, if you'd like to see some amazing 3D photographs, head on over to Murbachi's website, www.joshuatree3d.com by clicking HERE.