Friday, June 29, 2018

Mastodon Peak, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Back on May 18, I stayed at Cottonwood Campground. Took a number of night sky shots, which I posted here.

Earlier that day, I took the short hike to Mastodon Peak. Partially, I was scouting out a possible location for where to take my night shots, later that night. Gave some thought to actually coming back to the mine, but decided that was a bit far to walk in the dark. So, in practice, I just stopped near the drop, into a wash.
There are two access points to the trail to Mastadon Peak. One is from the Cottonwood Springs parking area. The other is from the campground. Head to the east end of the campground, and there's the sign for the trailhead.
Short, mostly level start, then it drops into a wash. Some remnants of of habitation there, and on the cliffs on either side of the wash.

Downstream from here, the trail runs towards the Cottonwood Springs trailhead. Across the wash, you continue to Mastadon Peak.

Mostly foundations, but with a few walls, still standing. One of them, that I found interesting, was where the texture of the lumber that was used to pour that foundation shows, as crisp as if it were the actual lumber you were looking at.

From there, you climb back up out of the wash, then run the 3/4 of a mile or so to Mastadon Peak.

Mine remnants are on the northern side of the mountain. Access to the top of the peak is reached by walking around the fractured boulders, and on up the north side of the peak.
It was a moderately warm day, maybe low hundreds. As I was walking in the late afternoon, it had cooled some, by then. That made the hike pretty easy. Didn't feel the motivation to go out to Lost Palms Oasis, however, so I turned around here.

My previous hike to Lost Palms Oasis was blogged, here.

The return was quicker than expected, which tells me i was more downhill than it felt uphill on the way there. Then I just went back to the tent, kicked back, read some, and waited for dark.
My previous hike to Mastodon Peak was blogged, here. Interestingly, I did see those yellow flowers on the thin stem this May, as well. That's the eighth photo in the linked post.

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