2016  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

Thunder Mountain Trail, Red Canyon, UT

 

   
 
Runtrails' Web Journal
 
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   SPRING WILDFLOWER PHOTOS FROM 
SO. CALIFORNIA'S MOJAVE DESERT REGION

SATURDAY, APRIL 2

 
"Some years the [Mojave] desert is spectacular with wildflowers; other years the blossoms   
are sparse. A 'good' wildflower year depends on three things: well-spaced rainfall
through winter and early spring months, sufficient warmth from the sun,
and lack of desiccating winds."
 
~ MojaveDesert.net web page re: peak blooming periods for spring wildflowers
 
 

That is one of several websites I consulted in an effort to identify as many of the wildflowers as possible that I photographed recently in and near Joshua Tree and Death Valley national parks and along the Pacific Crest Trail west of Ridgecrest, CA.

Based on what I've seen personally at various elevations and latitudes, and from viewing other peoples' photos online, I'm guessing it's an average year for wildflowers in the region, neither spectacular nor sparse. This is the first time we've been to the Mojave Desert so I don't have any previous years to compare with this one.

Above and below:  Wildflowers are special anywhere you find them, but they are even better
when they come with a great view!  (April 2, Pacific Crest Trail north of Walker Pass, CA)

As mentioned in my entry March 18 about the wildflowers and blooming cacti, shrubs, and trees we enjoyed in the lower Sonoran Desert last fall, winter, and early spring, the timing and proliferation of flowers in any desert varies considerably from year to year based on the circumstances noted in the quote above.

This entry includes many but not all of the wildflower species, cacti, shrubs, and trees I spotted the last couple of weeks that were blooming in the Mojave Desert and southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. All were at higher latitudes and many were at higher elevations than where I photographed flowers in the Sonoran Desert.

Some of the flowers are common to both deserts, such as the pretty blue Phacelia below, but most of the flowers in this entry are different from the ones I saw in the Sonoran Desert.


Fremont Phacelia, March 31, Death Valley NP

I've already shown many of these pictures in the entries from Joshua Tree, Death Valley, and the Pacific Crest Trail north and south of Walker Pass.

Now they are all on one page and I've added some others not previously shown. I will group them by color and include the dates and approximate locations where I found them. I saw most of them in several other locations, too.

Despite consulting several websites with photos of Mojave Desert wildflowers, I don't know the identity of all of them.

TREES & SHRUBS:

MOJAVE YUCCA


March 22, Mt. Ryan Trail, Joshua Tree NP


March 23, Skull Rock Trail above Jumbo Rocks CG, Joshua Tree NP

 

JOSHUA TREES

Above and below:   March 21, Queen Valley Rd., Joshua Tree National Park
(saw others in bloom April 2 on CA 178 and the PCT near Walker Pass, CA)

 


This one has multiple flowers.  March 22, Hall of Horrors Trail, Joshua Tree NP

 

MORMON TEA

Above and below:  Mormon Tea (Ephedra), March 25, Boy Scout Trail, Joshua Tree NP

 

CACTI:

BEAVERTAIL PRICKLY PEAR CACTUS

Above and below:  March 23, Fortynine Palms Canyon Trail, Joshua Tree NP

 

ENGELMANN HEDGEHOG CACTUS

Above and below:  March 26, in the town of Twentynine Palms, CA

 

MOJAVE MOUND HEDGEHOG CACTUS

Above and below:  March 23, Fortynine Palms Canyon Trail, Joshua Tree NP
(also March 25 on Boy Scout Trail, JTNP)

 

BARREL CACTUS

Above and below:   March 23, Fortynine Palms Canyon Trail, Joshua Tree NP

 

WILDFLOWERS BY COLOR:

I'll start with yellow and gold because those were the dominant colors in the desert while we were here. Although there were plenty of other colors, the yellows and golds were so prolific and highly visible from a distance in the valleys and on the mountainsides in some places that I had to look more closely to see the white, blue, purple, red, pink, and orange hues.

YELLOW & GOLD FLOWERS

Above and below:  Brittlebush, March 22, Cap Rock Trail, Joshua Tree NP
(one of the few flowers we saw in both the Sonoran and Mojave deserts)

 

 

Above and below:  Devil's Lettuce AKA Bristly Fiddleneck, March 22, Joshua Tree NP
(also saw April 2 north of Walker Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail in California)

 

 


Yellow Tack-Stem, March 22, Joshua Tree NP

 


Wallace's Wooly Daisy, March 22, Joshua Tree NP

 

Above and below:  Creosote Bush, March 23, Fortynine Palms Trail, Joshua Tree NP
(also very common in the Sonoran Desert)

 

 


Desert Dandelion, March 25, Boy Scout Trail, Joshua Tree NP

 


Desert Dandelions and a Whitedaisy Tidytip, March 31, Death Valley NP

 


Golden Evening Primrose, May 25, Boy Scout Trail, Joshua Tree NP

 


Unknown, March 29, Mobius Arch Trail, Alabama Hills, CA

 

Above and below:  Desert Gold Sunflowers, April 1-2,
Pacific Crest Trail north of Walker Pass, CA

 

 


Unknown, April 1, Pacific Crest Trail south of Walker Pass, CA

 

 
Desert Parsley (yellow flowers), April 1, Pacific Crest Trail south of Walker Pass, CA

 


Golden Gilia, April 1, Pacific Crest Trail south of Walker Pass, CA

 


Desert Poppy, March 31, Death Valley NP

Continued on the next page:  white, orange, red, purple, blue, and green (yes, green!) flowers

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2016 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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