Joshua Tree National Park, Juniper Flats, California Riding and Hiking Trail, Stubbe Springs Trail, Fan Canyon, 10.7 Miles RT, 922' +/-, 4,951' Max Elevation, April 27, 2018

I always look forward to Joshua Tree. We go a couple of times a year during different seasons. There are so many trails within the park to explore. This time we hiked from the trailhead at Juniper Flats on the California Riding & Hiking Trail to the Stubbe Springs Trail to Fan Canyon Overlook. This was a beautiful hike. The desert was alive with wildlife and wildflowers. We saw road runners, antelope ground squirrels, birds, lizards, you name it. This route took us through a dense Joshua Tree wilderness, through canyons, over rugged but gentle rolling terrain, in and out of desert washes and to an incredible overlook with views of Mt. San Jacinto, San Gorgonio and the Coachella Valley. We got on the trail at 9 am which is a little later then I usually like to start. At this time it was about 73 degrees with about a 15 mph wind. As the day progressed, the weather warmed up and by the time we finished the hike around 1:30, it was about 85 degrees. Luckily, the winds stayed with us through most of the day although there were sections where it seemed to quiet down and you could really feel the heat. We also had a few moments where the sun hid behind the clouds, but for the most part we had clear skies. I would have loved to have hiked the entire Stubbe Springs Loop at 13 miles round trip but with the intense desert heat we decided to shorten our trip to an out and back. We plan to return in the fall and complete the loop. It was a wonderful day and not a soul in sight other the my husband hiking in front of me. I took literally hundreds of photos. There’s something very magical about the desert, and we had a wonderful day.