Plan a trip to Joshua Tree National park at Oasis of Mara visitors center

mojave desert plants barrel cactus

Red Barrel Cactus is Mojave desert native (Ferocactus cylindraceus)

Twentynine Palms, California, USA
Latitude: 34.1286, Longtitude: -116.0387
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Southern California has many attractions and when you plan a trip there please include Joshua Tree National Park on your list. Even if you are not an avid hiker you can drive through many parts of this park and still enjoy great outdoors.

Joshua Tree National Park visitors center, travel images
Joshua Tree National Park visitors center

This visitors center is located just off route 62 also known as Twentynine Palms highway. Since this is a high desert location it is advisable to check weather alerts for this area, especially if coming from Palm Springs or Los Angeles. It is always considerably cooler here. National Parks Service has an excellent website that includes weather alerts if applicable. Visitors center has many knowledgeable guides on hand to answer any questions you may have as well as maps of Joshua Tree National park hiking trails, shelters, roads and scenic stopping places.

What makes this visitors center unique is that it is also an entrance to historic Oasis of Mara. This is where original natives found water and food and settled long time ago.

Walking Trail at Oasis of Mara, travel images
Walking Trail at Oasis of Mara, travel images

The walk around the oasis grounds is very easy and is suitable for all ages. This walking trail has concrete pavement and there are several benches. Well placed information boards tell about the history of the place, geology, plants and animals. The palms are still there and so is the well with water that is so precious in the deserts.

Water well surrounded by palms, travel images
Water source at Oasis of Mara, nature pictures

California fan palms (Washingtonia filifera) only native palm in California stand tall around the water. These are beautiful trees and visitors love taking their pictures. Of course, this walking trail has many other nature photography ideas on offer. Take your time, have a seat and enjoy this peaceful and quiet park. If you do you may see birds, lizards and rabbits that make this oasis their home.

phainopepla - tropical bird, nature pictures
Tropical Bird at the oasis – (Phainopepla nitens)

You will see many other Mojave desert plants such as barrel cactus, beavertail cactus, brittle bush and others.

beavertail cactus at the oasis, nature pictures
Beavertail Cactus at Oasis of Mara (Opuntia basilaris)

For more adventurous types there is an off-road section of the trail, just ask for the directions at the visitors center. To plan a trip in Joshua Tree National Park talk to the personnel at Oasis of Mara and enjoy the great outdoors of Southern California.

Photography tips for nature pictures:

1. Landscapes need proper composition, use rule of thirds.

2. For wildlife use fast shutter speed and check the focus (if using autofocus).

3. Sunrise and sunset are best for nature pictures.

4. Use polarizing filter when sunny or haze filter if it is overcast.

California Fan Palms (Washingtonia filifera), nature pictures
California Fan Palms (Washingtonia filifera), nature pictures

 

oasis of mara visitors center botanical garden, travel images
Visitors center botanical garden, Twentynine Palms
oasis of mara Brtillebush - Mojave desert plants (Encelia farinosa)
Brtillebush – Mojave desert plants (Encelia farinosa)
Memorial plaque to Minerva Hamilton Hoyt, founder of the gardens
Memorial plaque to Minerva Hamilton Hoyt, champion of the desert
Dry fallen trees near the walkway at Oasis of Mara, landscape photography
Dry fallen trees near the walkway at Oasis of Mara, landscape photography
oasis of mara joshua tree national park scenic landscape pictures
Desert Landscape Photography
Concrete walkway at Oasis of Mara
Concrete walkway at Oasis of Mara
Desert plants garden at visitors center, Oasis of Mara
Desert plants garden at visitors center, Oasis of Mara
GeoKinetics steel sculpture at visitors center, symbolizes delicate balance in nature
GeoKinetics steel sculpture at visitors center, symbolizes delicate balance in nature

 

  08.11.2015 by FPImages

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