Moonlight Canyon to Inner Pasture

Desert Agave and boulders with blooming shrubs like Brittlebush and Chuparosa in the Tierra Blanca Mountains, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California; April 2023.

With temperatures that are going to reach 35°C/95°F in the next couple of days, the desert hiking seasons is coming to an end (at least for moderates like me;-). A little to my own surprise, I haven’t been out there this winter and spring as much as I thought I would be. Early in April though, I returned to the Inner Pasture, hiking in via Moonlight Canyon from Agua Caliente County Park, and it was thoroughly enjoyable!

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Lazy Morning in the Dunes

Creosote shrubs in a depression with drying and cracking mud, Mesquite Flats, Death Valley National Park, California; January 2023.

On the second morning of our Death Valley trip we took it easy. We slept in a little bit and a beautiful mixture of clouds and clear sky greeted us. After a good breakfast from the buffet in the restaurant at Stovepipe Wells we packed our things, loaded the car, checked out, and drove the short distance to the dunes of Mesquite Flat*.

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Water In The Desert (1)

Shallow water filling the mud flats at Cottonball Basin, reflecting the twilight landscape and overcast sky; Death Valley National Park, Californial; January 2023.

After our Desolation Canyon hike, we had our lunch sandwiches and thought about what we’d do with the rest of the afternoon. The idea to re-visit the area of Salt Creek came to mind, but we found the road closed due to damage from flash flooding that occurred with the summer’s monsoon storms in 2022.

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