Monday, November 21, 2016

Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures - Joshua Tree National Park

You can find more Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures as well as my Geological State Symbols Across America series at my website

Continuing our trip across the Southwest, we came to Joshua Tree. Not actually knowing what a "Joshua Tree" was, I became enlightened. That and the desert landscapes are gorgeous here.

 Obligatory entrance sign. 
Joshua Tree NP has one main road that traverses the park. We started at the south end and traveled northwest. 

 Joshua Tree NP entails two separate desert ecosystems. The Sonoran Desert (AKA The Colorado Desert in this area, which is a subset of the Sonoran Desert). The Sonoran Desert is the desert of the major cacti. It contains the cholla cactus and the saguaro cactus. This is a view across the Sonoran Desert within the park.

 Another view of the desert with some ocotillo on the left and right of the image at the Ocotillo Patch. They really are the coolest desert plants ever.

 The Cholla Cactus Garden, with thousands of cholla cacti across the area.

 Crossing over into the higher altitude Mojave Desert. This desert is the home to the Joshua tree. Here we have some of the awesome granite rock formations. All of the granite in the park is heavily jointed and eroded, giving it these cool "stacked rocks" type appearance.

 Lunch among the boulders at White Tank.

 Some more granite (monzogranite) boulders at White Tank.

 A nice series of straight joints running through the monzogranite at White Tank.

 Joshua Tree!!!

 A nice outcrop of monzogranite with a cluster of Joshua Trees in the foreground.

 An upclose view of the monzogranite. I apologize for the lack of scale.

 Looking up through a "cave" created by the boulders. 

 Because...Joshua Tree

 Landscape of the Mojave Desert.

 More Mojave Desert landscape.

 More nice rock formations with Joshua Trees.

 Some more nice rock formations.

And a parting Mojave Desert shot.

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