Lost Horse Mine
On Tuesday, we headed on up to Joshua Tree National Park. It's a fairly traditional part of our autumn pilgrimage to the California desert. This year we would retrace steps we first took about four years ago and hike up to Lost Horse Mine.
Western pygmy blue nectars in a globe mallow near Keys View
Before hitting the trail, we drove over to Keys View, a splendid overlook of the Salton Sea and Coachella Valley. In the far distance, Signal Mountain in Mexico can be sween through the haze (sadly, the air pollution was much in evidence from the view). One of the things that I enjoy about Keys view, is that you are standing on the exrtme southern edge of the Mojave Desert, looking out over the Colorado Desert, which is part of the Sonoran Desert.
Lost Horse Mine TrailThe hike up to Lost Horse Mine passes through beautiful high desert, with lots of Joshua trees, juniper, and yucca. There is some elevation gain and about two miles to the remains of the mine. The remains of the mine include a lot of heavy equipment and a stamp mill. The interesting archaeology made me think of Homer as we explored the ruins.
We decided to do the entire 6 1/2 mile loop on this visit, and were treated to views of the valley stat is home to the park's geological auto tour. As is often the case on these hikes, we had to hustle to get back to the car by sundown. We wound our way through Joshua trees glowing in the late afternoon light as we finished our excursion.
Headstander beetle (Eleodes sp.) sez "hurry up if you want to get back to the car before dark"
Late afternoon light on the Joshua trees