South part of Joshua Tree National Park
Photos taken between the exit from I-10 and the Cottonwood Spring Visitor’s Center

The blooms are just starting to open in the southern entrance to Joshua Tree National Park.  There were scattered brittlebush, chuparosa, bladderpod, ocotillo and barrel cactus in bloom.  The chia and dandelions were abundant and covered the ground in full bloom.  There were a few fiddlenecks just getting ready to open and I saw a few rock daisies.  I saw more beavertail cactus with buds than with open flowers.  Only a few of the ocotillo were in bloom and I only encountered a few barrel cactus in bloom.

I found several beavertail cactus in bloom near the base of the mountain and on the slope.

There are many brittlebush, beavertail cactus and globemallow that are bearing buds that have not yet opened.  I would say that the bloom is at about 25%.  I would predict that the peak bloom is one to two weeks away.

Barrel cactus blooms.

As I drove in from Indio, CA along the I-10 the interstate was lined with yellow brittlebush, apricot globe mallow, lupine and scattered beavertail in peak bloom.  Only a short distance from the exit to southern entrance to Joshua Tree National Park the blooms are still waiting to open.  It is amazing how the season can be so far behind here, when it is only a mile or two away from areas in full flower.

Rock dasies

You won’t see fields of flowers at Joshua Tree right now, but park your car along the side of the road that leads to the visitor’s center, and walk towards the mountains. You will find lovely displays of beavertail cactus, barrel cactus and ocotillo blooms there, near the mountain’s base.

Chia from the top view looking down. Gives a different perspective!
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Lynn Bremner is the author of, a blog about desert road trips and tips. She started the blog after moving to Indio, CA where she now resides. Now a true desert dweller, Lynn has added in some of her own views on desert living. The heat does not keep her indoors in the summertime. She is out running, golfing or taking short day trips to some of the local points of interest. After years of traveling along the dusty, desert trails with her father, she has come to appreciate the beauty and solitude of the desert landscape. Her father’s passion for prospecting, desert lore and exploring the desert parks took their family to many interesting places, mostly in California, Nevada and Arizona. Lynn now writes about her desert road trips and intertwines a little bit of desert living into the mix.


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