What does Free “Legal” Access To Joshua Tree National Park mean? Well with over 2.8 million visitors to the Park in 2017 most paved access points are crowded and have wait time. I’ve made this trip for over 40 years. I recently made it again, beginning in Yucca Valley at Kentucky Fried Chicken. At an elevation of just under 3300 feet at KFC to Eureka Peak at an elevation of over 5520 feet, the scenery is incredible along the way and the views from the parking area and the peak are breathtaking.
Usually this is a relatively easy road to navigate but always proceed with caution. It’s narrow in a few places. At one point a person was speeding as they headed towards me and we both stopped with about 3 feet between us.
It’s a beautiful, scenic drive; 14 miles from KFC to the Peak directly, but two side trips to Upper and Lower Covington Flats will add some time to your trip. This is one of the two areas that I know of that has the largest Joshua trees I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen deer cross this road, and bighorn sheep in the surrounding hills. If you’re in a rush this trip can be done in just over an hour from start to end, but if you savor the desert it can take all day.
The map below (link provided) is interactive. Click on a placemark and there are between 1 and 20 photos you can scroll through for each placemark. Check it out in the link below, it’s well worth it:
I also have a few pictures below – a few are from a year ago when there was a dusting of snow, and a few selected photos are from my recent trip – but the map is much more detailed if you look at all the pictures within the placemarks. The pictures were taken very near the spots where the placemarks are placed on the map.
Take It Easy,