After leaving the deserts of Arizona we crossed over into the deserts of California. We’d initially planned to camp at Joshua Tree’s south entrance off of the 10 freeway, but we completely missed the exit and ended up in Indio (in the Palm Springs/Coachella area). By the time we got there it was well past sundown and the wind was blowing an absolute gale. We shelved our camping plan and headed to a hotel.
After a hot shower and a good night of sleep we ready to head into Joshua Tree and found what was probably a more interesting way in.
We entered on the southwest side of the park through Berdoo Canyon Road. The road started paved and turned to dirt. Once we got into the canyon though we came across sections of pavement with steep drop offs and edges so eroded that little remained. If you’re looking for a location for your next post-apocalyptic movie, that could be it.
After a couple of rough but not-so-bad sections of trail, we climbed out of the canyon onto a high desert plain. We were in Joshua Tree proper. Of course we got out to have a look around and take the requisite album cover shots.
Once we were in the high desert it was easy going. The roads were sandy but smooth and relatively fast. We stopped for lunch at a rock outcropping and still made good time through the park.
Luckily we managed not to get any flats.
Geology Loop Road is accessible by car.
Photos: Nik Schulz . And before long we made it back to pavement and finished our crossing of the park. Photo: Nik Schulz .
We camped in a king-size bed at America’s Best Value Inn in Indio. It was so windy we had trouble closing the door of the hotel behind us. No tenting that night.
Berdoo Canyon Rd. has a couple of rough spots. I rate it 3 out of 10. Geology Tour Rd. is easy. I give it a 2 of 10 only for the deep sand. (For trail ratings, I use ratings system in Peter Massey’s Backcountry Adventure series as a guide.)
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