South to Spring: Death Valley, Mojave, Joshua Tree, Anza Borrego, Organ Pipe

good stuff.... looks like you found more at wind caves than we did... that sandstone canyon looks cool! And you had flowers! We were a few weeks too early I suppose. Next time!!!
 
We were inspired to head out to Death Valley and the Mojave Preserve for a couple weeks very loosely based on your trip report.

Have always been curious about the Mojave Preserve and this was the push we needed to actually head out there. Definitely need to return, as we barely scratched the surface of places to see.

I am still amazed that after thirty some years of exploring D.V. there are still new places to see. Decided to check out Green Water Valley for the first time. When we got home compared pictures with yours and it looks like we wound up camping on the same ridge you did overlooking Gold Valley. Unlike you, we continued down the road into the valley (road looked worse than it was, never needed 4wd) but doubled back to the ridge for a nice afternoon and beautiful sunset. Glad we did. Unfortunately, the next morning we were awakened by horrific winds. Dropped the top and got the heck out of there to find a better place to eat breakfast! We were headed east and way into Nevada when I realized that in our hast we left our doormat. Darn! I usually triple check for stray litter and misplaced items, but got in too much of a rush (lesson learned). Well at least I remembered to latch the Four Wheelers top.

Thanks again for the inspiration. And if anyone else camps there, please pick up our doormat. Otherwise I guess I have a good excuse to return.
 
That is great, thanks for sharing a piece of your trip, and I'm glad we inspired you to get out, especially to Mojave National Preserve. I feel like that place has years and year of adventures ready to reveal, similar to Death Valley as you noted. Kind of funny about the door mat, I was imagining us thinking of packing up in the middle of the night due to similar wind, and could see that happening. I'm sure someone will find a good use for it. Good to hear the road into Gold Valley was not too bad. It looked like soft material that would shape up over time, and it sounds like a few trips over it have mellowed it out some. I'm currently dreaming of our next trip.
 
That was quite a comment the other hikers made about no view at the end of the trail. I did hike up to the arch, it was a bit of work, but way worth it. I thought the Bull Pasture Trail was one of the nicer constructed trails in the desert, the cut steps and switchbacks formed so well to the terrain. Except for the scramble around the formation they call The Cones, the hike to Ajo Peak is pretty doable. One Ranger said on a clear day you could see the Sea of Cortez from the top but we didn't when we were up there. On my next trip there I'd like to hike further into the canyon of 'no view'. This past winter was about normal with precipitation, so you saw it at its greenest. I'm surprised you didn't encounter more people, after January 1st it get very crowded.
 

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