Joshua Tree National Park, California
The best time to go to this southern California desert park is NOT July, like I did. Temperatures were well over 100 and I considered bailing out despite the beautiful scenery.
One disturbing discovery here was an abundance of honey bees. There are signs all around warning you to not swat them. I found out from a ranger as I left the park, that these are the Africanized "killer" bees. no
Cactus all over the place.
I hunkered down in my tent while bees flew all around outside. In the scorching heat, they were looking for anything to drink or eat. I was told later, to leave out something for the bees to drink, like a sugary soda but put it FAR from your campsite. This will keep most of the bees away.
There were only hiking trails in my area. As in most national parks, don't ride it unless it specifically says its a biking trail. The thorns would really be a problem.
A really rough landscape.
As the sun set, the temperature dropped to a balmy 100.
After sunset, with the bees gone, time to explore.
Full moon over the desert.