Joshua Tree National Park & Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge


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Published: February 16th 2014
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I decided with a free day off, the weather was nice that I wanted to make a trip to the Salton Sea and Joshua Tree National Park. The Salton Sea is said to be about 227 feet below sea level. Not to much out there but if you are near the water you can see multiple different birds. But I decided to continue heading south around the Salt0n Sea and made my way to the Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge. In which I was a little disappointed in. I do not know if they are trying to rework the setting. If there is a budget issue (I would assume since it is a very secluded place), or they are on the verge of closing it but no one was there. I actually ran into someone at one of the areas but they were bird watching and they were even saying there was not much to see.

There are two different parts to the Refuge and I am not to sure people know about the one area because I felt like, while I was driving there, I was driving thru someone's farm land. But once I got to the area, it was clear that it
Snow Geese MigrationSnow Geese MigrationSnow Geese Migration

Wildlife Refuge
was being used for the public. There were signs, pamphlets, and a viewpoint podium. There were ducks, snow geese (migration), and cranes. But overall I am not sure I would go out of my way, at least not in December. I would also be sure to also have gas in the car as there are not a lot of places to have this.

After the Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge I decided to head up the other side of the Salton Sea and head up to Joshua Tree National Park. It is my understand that there are three places to enter/exit. One in the south, two in the north. I was on the south side so I decided to go in from the south. You drive a little bit to get to the visitor center to pay. It only cost $15 and that $15 last for a week-meaning you can make a return trip. The southern entrance does not have electricity and therefore cell service to make credit card/debit card transactions. So you have to pay in cash. HOWEVER, if you do not have the cash, you can still go through JTNP and pay at the north end. So saying this, it sounds like you could probably enter the south, drive all the way up and come back thru the south without paying but I would hope that people do not do this (though I am sure that they do) because I think it is important that we keep our National Parks functioning and preserved.

If you go from the south, it will take you awhile to get to the rock area. But it is still a nice area. I am told in the spring, the south part is where all the wildflowers are. Keep in mind, north or south, cell phone service is touch and go. When you're out of the National Park do not expect to get service until you hit the highway at least.


Additional photos below
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Great Blue HeronGreat Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Wildlife Refuge
Cholla CactusCholla Cactus
Cholla Cactus

Joshua Tree
Skull RockSkull Rock
Skull Rock

Joshua Tree
TarantulaTarantula
Tarantula

Joshua Tree


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