Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Joshua Tree NP Backpack

Last time the troop was at Joshua Tree National Park, we car camped and did rock climbing.  This time, we were going to backpack the backcountry. We drove out on Saturday morning and stopped at the North Entrance trailhead.  We then dropped cars at XX, Geology Tour and XX trailheads.  The first two were water caches due to the lack of water in the park.  We then headed out.  The first 5 or so miles was a steady incline in lower desert terrain.  It was overcast so the heat wasn't bad.  The trail flattened out and the joshua trees started appearing.  We got to the first cache and loaded up on water.  Regulations state you have to camp at least one mile from roads.  So we trucked our water another mile along the trail to a great camp.  Everyone setup tents, cooked dinner and had a great evening.
In the morning, we hiked a few miles to the second cache.  All the scouts got an extra gallon to carry to our next camp.  We hiked about 4 miles with water up into the hills.  Our camp was located in some brush with a lot of mining debris.  Cans and other metal containers littered the area.  We even found the remains of a couple of old cabins.  The highlight was an open mine shaft.  The scouts had a good time throwing rocks down it.
In the morning, we hiked out the remaining few miles to the last car.  After some shuttling, we all headed back home.  Another wonderful trip.  We will have to be back to hike the rest of the trail.

At the trailhead

Water cache

Open mine

Bathroom break

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