Jumbo rocks almost look psychedelic. The rocks don’t completely resemble rocks. They’re more like melting mounds stacking up on one another. Wandering through this valley of the giant formations is like leaving Earth and entering a new landscape on some far away planet.
The Jumbo Rocks Campground located in Joshua Tree National Park is lost in a valley of unimaginably large boulders and climbing them makes almost all depth perception vanish. Settled in San Bernardino County, Joshua Tree National Park is a 1,234 square mile protected area in Southern California and can be characterized by its vast rocky landscape and desert like environment.
Named for the region’s Joshua trees, the park is right in between the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert initially created as a National Monument. The park features eight campgrounds and the opportunity to camp the back country permitted with a few regulations.
The park is like a rock kaleidoscope, walking through a picturesque postcard from beginning to end.
Jumbo Rocks this time of year is packed full of curious campers, so arriving early is key to snatching a spot to pop a tent. Once settled though, the cartoon-like landscape is a playground.
The most popular trail to be found at the Jumbo Rocks Campground is Skull Rock Trail, and its definitely worth trekking. Skull Rock itself is great place to take a few photos but the trail actually leading there and the path back are definitely why its so popular.
The whole trail is a climb but its not. It functions like an obstacle course in the way that there are always giant boulders to be scaled, but its never too tough and the view changes every second.
For those who also wander into the Black Rock Campground nearby, this campground is definitely the place to soak in as many Joshua trees as possible. The grounds are densely full of the beautiful trees, and the trails seem almost exactly like what you think of when hearing the phrase desert forest.
Black Rock Campground is greener than Jumbo Rocks and the landscape is much more flat when it comes to the trails there are to experience.
Joshua Tree is an experience more than it is anything else, and for how much it costs to camp there I would visit everyday if I could. It’s a great place to bring family, friends, and even pets to roam and explore this incredible desert.