In the southwest United States there is a variation of a yucca known as a Joshua Tree. It was named that by some Mormon settlers in the 1800s.
The Joshua Tree National Park covers a vast area of Southern California. The parts of the park at a lower elevation are in the Sonoran Desert, while those where the Joshua Trees are located at a higher elevation are in the Mojave Desert.
In addition to the tree there are many interesting rock formations throughout the park. A combination of volcanic activity, seismic activity and erosion has lead to some great shapes.
Some have eroded to look like faces and skulls in the rocks.
Climbing around on the rocks is a favorite activity – even in a vampire cape.
From Keys View you can see all of the Coachella Valley, from Salton Sea at -230 elevation to 10,800′ San Jacinto Peak. The view below is looking back towards Palm Springs.
The southern portion of the park is in the lower elevation Sonoran Desert. It features an area known as the Cholla Cactus Garden – an area with more chollas than I have ever seen in such a small space.
Joshua Tree National Park is a unique natural setting well worth the trip.