Quail Mountain

October 23-24, 2010
Nick, Albert, and I did an overnight BP trip in Joshua Tree NP this weekend encorporating a climb up to Quail Mtn, the park's loftiest summit.  It was about 10 miles round trip, with about half the distance and most of the elevation climb being off-trail cross-country.  There is no water along the route so we were weighted down with a gallon or more each.  We started from the backcountry board at Upper Covington Flats, a remote part of the park accessible by a long dirt road.  En route to the peak we saw a bighorn sheep (the first I'd ever seen in the park), two deer (a buck and doe), a huge jack rabbit, a tarantula, a horny toad, a couple dozen turkey buzzards circling, pinyon jays, hawks, a ton of lizards, and of course quail.  And, oh yeah, a cairn monster on the summit :p   We camped in the saddle south of the summit and were treated to a wonderful sunset, coyotes howling at the full moon, a beautiful sunrise, and great views of San Gorgonio and San Jacinto, the two highest peaks in So Cal.  Not to mention a few wildflowers who think it's spring because of the recent rain.  It was a good trip :)

More photos from this trip here :)

Link to other Joshua Tree trips

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The Joshua Trees in this area were burned in 2006 I believe, but they are resprouting from their roots
Desert Mallow growing over a burned and hollowed out Joshua Tree log
Sheep!
Little horny toad
Santa Rosa Mountains rise like an island above the low clouds
Our camp in the saddle south of Quail Mountain
San Jacinto above, San Gorgonio below
Eeeek!  It's a cairn monster!