Queen Mountain, Joshua Tree


One of the first things Anabel asked about the park was, “Where is the highest peak?” I thought it was Queen Mountain, which from the map looked like it would have a good view of Hidden Valley, San Jacinto peak, and San Gorgonio peak. It turns out I’m right about the view, but Quail Mountain on the other side of Hidden Valley is a little taller than Queen.

On the way in, we find that the park is storing topsoil on the road to the Odell parking area, so our hike will be a little longer. The signs say the topsoil storage is part of the ongoing park construction – I wonder what they’re going to do with it?


In a wash I see this strange phenomenon: a yucca spear completely penetrating a prickly pear cactus. It looks like it has grown in rather than been poked through.


As we near the summit we pass this tree, which has grown up hugging boulders it seems.


The summit is welcoming, not too cold or windy. We have a snack before heading down. We’ve done the entire descent, about 1200 feet, when I realize I’ve left my camera on the summit. Ann and Anabel head for the car while I double back. We agree to meet in two hours.


I retrieve my camera fairly quickly, and make it down the road a ways before Ann and Anabel return to pick me up. They wave me down the road a bit further where these bighorn sheep are grazing.

They’ve been to town in the meantime, and Ann brings me yummy dark chocolate for Valentine’s day.

5 responses to “Queen Mountain, Joshua Tree”

  1. omg…….. you went up, forgot you camera, went back, AND THEY HAD TIME TO GO TO TOWN AND RETURN DURING YOUR RETURN TO THE CAR?!!!??!?!??!?! that is crazy.

    Queen Mountain has the best rock in the park.

    those sheep are cool.

  2. it was 8.1 miles.. almost 13 miles.
    i didn’t train for it. that was off the couch. however, next year i will train. but only to get 2nd place, as the dude who got first, well, i never saw him after the 1st mile or so.

    anyway, i am not sure if i have been to the PEAK of Queen Mountain, but I have been all over it. i have been back to … i can’t think of the name of it. but the furthest back climbing area there and it is a HELL OF HIKE!
    once you get there, it’s heinous beyond belief. solid 20+ minutes of ‘negotiating house boulders. ugh.
    i could go on about the routes. beauty.. knock one out, look at another.. but it’s winter and the days are short and… well, you better turn around at that point.


  3. “… with some good rocks among the rest.”
    haaaaaahaaaaaaaa! nicely stated, as well as accurate. there is GREAT stuff and the usual JTree choss factor = HIGH.

    neat though. the trees, the rock colors. waaaaay different than stuff lower down.

    noises on the CDT?? good. that’ll scare the bears, chizzlers and locustses away.

    my neighbor was out at JTree last weekend. he said there are “850” campsites and not ONE was open (he got there Saturday morning = *snicker* *snicker*). also said there wasn’t a single vacant motel/hotel room in town.
    i was like “Yep, that’s the Tree.” (shhhhhhh… go in the summuh time when the livinz e z).

    i’ve camped at Belle many times. it’s the coldest place to camp for shizzle. quietest though – relative to RHV.
    the trip looks like it was a good one. the sheep are toooo cool. glad you caught ’em. i have seen a single (solitary) one out thar.

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