We awoke the next morning, and loaded up the backpacks. We left Kevin’s rental car behind and headed for mine- 18 miles in the distance. The hike started with about a mile of hiking across open desert, with only an occasional Joshua Tree breaking the monotony.
Soon enough we entered the region known as the “Wonderland of Rocks”, and we began our 1000 foot climb up to the plateau of Lost Horse Valley. The weather was thankfully cloudy and cool, as our packs were incredibly heavy. We even got a touch of rain.
After the steep climb, we had a flat section across a Joshua Tree “forest”. Calling it a “forest” is a bit of a misnomer, as it implies densely-packed trees and shade. Neither is present in a Joshua Tree forest. After what seemed like forever, Kevin threw his heavy pack to the ground. “I don’t want to carry this anymore,” he announced. He was in luck, the trail junction that was our goal for the day was only a 100 feet away. We hiked a ways off-trail, set up our camp, and just sat for awhile.
Finally rested, we decided to try to hike to Willow Hole, an oasis inside the “Wonderland”. Although we didn’t find any of the rumored water, we did find two groups of Desert Bighorn Sheep.
A Note on the Photos: Kevin and I shared tripod holes on numerous occasions. Since Kevin posted his pictures first, I’ve made an effort to avoid posting similar photos.