Barber Peak Loop, Mojave National Preserve

Some leaking transmission fluid under our truck and a weak camper battery make us question our plan to spend Thanksgiving in the remote Mojave National Preserve. We decide neither problem is too serious, and head out for the Hole-in-the-Wall campground. We arrive at sundown, with just enough time for a short exploration of Banshee canyon. The rock is here is the same light volcanic tuff that lured Ted and me into the El Paso hills on my last hike. It makes really interesting shapes.

Hole in the Wall Campsite

Hole in the Wall View

Hole in the Wall


Banshee Canyon

Some short sections have iron rings installed for some assisted climbing.

A bit of climbing

Warm temperatures and clear skies welcome us the next day for a longer loop hike around Barber Peak, just west of the campground. We start out again in the canyon, with more light this time.

Banshee canyon in the morning

The contrast of cactus and rocks seems to change around every turn.

Sun Ghost

Mojave Landscape

Back toward Banshee Canyon

Barrel Cactus Wall

White Cliffs

Fly through the rabbit ears

There are a lot of shrubs I can’t identify. This is horse brush.

Horse Brush

Bright beetles hide in the buckhorn cholla spines.

Cactus Bug

Coyote melon patches occasionally sprawl over the ground.

Ann with Coyote Melon

The 2005 Hackberry fire turned most of the Mojave yucca here into fibrous grey stumps.

East side of Barber Peak

The desert stillness seeps slowly into both mind and body. Stress and worries surface and dissipate into the huge spaces. This is why we come to places like this to spend time off work. Feeling the familiar process start is a relief in itself.

Barber Trailhead

All Photos

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