Joshua Tree: Rocks Steal the Show

During our recent visit to Joshua Tree National Park, the rocks stood tall in the California desert. Skull Rock, Face Rock, Heart Rock, and Arch Rock each posed for Sue’s camera. Along with several other walkers, we called out characters in Face Rock. How many do you see? Can you match the four names with their photos?

We walked several trails that were clearly marked and mostly flat. We tried one longer loop from All Trails that was promising at first, but was tough to follow after our guide, Sue’s phone, ran out of power. Not wanting to risk getting lost among the giant rocks, we turned around.

Sedona Trails Rise Above the Rest

Sedona, Arizona has once again shown its stuff as one of the world’s hiking treasures. There are enough trails and variety to keep you busy for weeks. During our fifth visit, we returned to the Hiline, our favorite path for the panoramic views and challenging terrain.

We started from the Yavapai parking lot just outside the Village of Oak Creek and we linked the Hiline to the Hermit, Templeton, and Baldwin trails to make a 7.3-mile loop around Cathedral Rock. It offers short spurts of non-technical rock-scrambling and enough elevation gain to provide the views Sue captured.

The crowds have grown during the years we have visited, but we are early risers anyway, so getting to the trailhead lots by 8:30 has almost always led us to plenty of parking spaces. Sedona has also begun a shuttle service to several trailheads.

While I am on the topic of great trails in this state, the Arizona Trail runs the length of the state for 800 miles and you can see it now on a YouTube channel hosted by favorites of ours, the Wander Women. They recently began their adventure at the Mexican border. These are no ordinary senior citizens; they have conquered the Triple Crown of the Appalachian Trial, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail. Check out their channel.

Go, Wander Women!