It goes without saying that water is vital in the desert, and that is no different in Joshua Tree. A rancher by the name of C.O. Barker built the dam around 1902 to improve the natural tank here for his cattle. Along with the nearby Cow Camp reservoir, the
Here are some sample trips. Historical sites tend to have maps and directions. Prehistoric sites don't. This site is reader-supported. A lot of work goes into this site. Please help me keep it sustainable, interesting, and ad-free. Thanks for your help!
Reportedly, Bill Keys dynamited a few boulders to allow cattle to gain entrance in 1921. I’m unsure if that story is true, but Hidden Valley certainly would make for a great corral. A sign along the nature trail says it happened in 1936, so sources vary. The trailhead sign
The Wall Street Mill is Joshua Tree National Park’s most intact remaining historic gold stamp mill. Finding a stamp mill like this is rare these days. I’m thankful the NPS has preserved it. Once owned and operated by renowned prospector and rancher Bill Keys, this two-stamp mill was
Back in 2003, we took a trip up to the Sierra Nevada, and our group gained special permission from the California State Park service to explore a small underground portion of the massive Empire Mine inside the appropriately named Empire Mine State Historic Park in beautiful Grass Valley, California. Doug
We first visited the Surprise Tank Petroglyphs out in the Mojave Desert in 1998. We’ve stopped by a few times since then but didn’t really photograph the site again until 2009. We re-visited the site in 2013, 2018, and 2020. I wanted to get a few more photos