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Backpacker Magazine – October 2007

Spend a Perfect Day in Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Join Gregory Mountain Products master pack designer for a day in Joshua Tree National Park

by: The Backpacker Editors

Photo by Chuck Haney
Photo by Chuck Haney

Master pack designer Wayne Gregory (of Gregory Mountain Products) doesn't lack for product-testing terrain. His hometown of Fallbrook, CA is just an hour and change from a national park renowned for chewing up gear. His favorite dayhike is a 4-mile off-trail route in Rattlesnake Canyon that requires scrambling, routefinding, and, of course, a sturdy pack.

6:07 Meet Jim and Larry at the Fallbrook Café in town to fuel up on hot chocolate and an omelet with locally grown avocado.

6:45 Drive to village of Joshua Tree.

8:38 Stop by Nomad Ventures for Clif bars and sunscreen. Then follow Indian Cove Road past Short Wall, a popular climbing spot, to Indian Cove Campground.

9:02 Arrive at Rattlesnake Canyon (end of the road), pack loaded with food and water. The route heads into a wash flanked by rolling hills on the right and a huge rock wall on the left.

9:34 Just past a mile in, prickly thorn bushes grow all over the trail used to test Gregory packs for abrasion resistance. See climbers on a couple of the canyon's hidden routes.

10:05 As the wash peters out, scramble up rocks on the right. Hawks soar overhead; lizards scurry and snakes slither into the shade.

11:31 Reach the top of the scramble; enjoy an apple and a huge turkey sandwich packed by wife, Suzsy.

12:18 After lunch, head down the wash on the other side (still off-trail, but it's obvious which way to go).

1:03 Back at the campground, clean up any scrapes, assess the packs' performance, and crank up the MSR SimmerLite for famous secret-recipe slow-cooked seafood chowder.

2:58 While chowder simmers, walk around campground and chat with other hikers.

6:05 Dinner's on at sunset. The warm chowder offsets the desert's rapid cooling.

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Joshua Tree National Park
Dec 08, 2010

If you want spend your time and enjoy with the hiking in the Joshua Tree National Park, you have many option to do the this. Hidden Valley, California Riding and Hiking Trail, Keys View are some good points of hiking. You can select the Self guided 4WD vehicle tours. Nature walks at Hidden Valley, Indian Cove, Cholla Cactus Garden, Lost Horse Mine and others are best option for hiking.


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