With their outstretched arms, spiny leaves and a distinct silhouette against the bright desert sun, the Joshua Tree (which is not really a tree but a species of Yucca plant) covers the landscape of its namesake park. These trees thrive among giant boulder fields that are ideal for climbing on, camping around and combing though while on a Jr Ranger scavenger hunt.

Joshua Tree National Park was on the route to our destination of Salvation Mountain in southern California, so naturally we popped in for a brief visit. After picking up our Jr. Ranger books for the park, we headed toward a spot that was too intriguing not to explore, Skull Rock!

Skull Rock seemed straight out of the Goonies movie and was one of a huge field of boulders that we scrambled all over. The “mountain goats”, err kids, (with us struggling to keep up) darted into small splits, scaled large rock faces, cheered at the rock tops and squealed over large lizards peeking out of hidden crags.

After admiring a few Joshua Trees over lunch, we ambled through the rest of the park, received quickly but hard earned Jr. Ranger badges and headed south again at the onset of naps.

Next stop, Salvation Mountain!

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