Hike: apprx 3 miles rt
One Desert to Another brings the Joshua Tree together with the Saguaro. An awesome two sided stamp by Tdyans. Please note that while your entire hike is in the Saguaro National Park, the box is not.
This is a moderate hike. Sturdy shoes and water required, hiking stick recommended. Allow a two hours from the time you leave your car until the time you return to your car.
The Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) is a monocotyledonous tree native to southwestern North America, in the states of California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada. Confined mostly to the Mojave Desert between 400-1,800 m (2,000-6,000 feet), they thrive in the open grasslands of Queen Valley and Lost Horse Valley in Joshua Tree National Park.
oshua trees can grow from seed or from an underground rhizome of another Joshua tree. They are slow growers; new seedlings may reach a height of 10-20 cm in their first few years, then only grow about 10 cm per year thereafter. The trunk of a Joshua tree is made of thousands of small fibers and lacks annual growth rings, making it difficult to determine the tree's age. This tree is not very sturdy because of its shallow root area and top-heavy branch system, but if it survives the rigors of the desert it can live hundreds of years of age, some up to a thousand years. The tallest trees reach about 15 m tall.
The leaves are dark green, linear, bayonet-shaped, 15-35 cm long and 7-15 mm broad at the base, tapering to a sharp point; they are borne in a dense spiral arrangement at the apex of the stems. The leaf margins are white and serrate.
The flowers are produced in spring from February to late April, in panicles 30-55 cm tall and 30-38 cm broad, the individual flowers erect, 4-7 cm tall, with six creamy white to green tepals. The tepals are lanceolate and are fused to the middle. The fused pistils are 3 cm tall and the stigma cavity is surrounded by lobes. The fruit that is produced is green-brown, elliptical, and contains many flat seeds. Joshua trees usually do not branch until after they bloom (though branching may also occur if the growing tip is destroyed by the yucca-boring weevil), and they do not bloom every year. Like most desert plants, their blooming is dependent on rainfall at the proper time. They also need a winter freeze before they will bloom.
Once they bloom, the trees are pollinated by the yucca moth, which spreads pollen while laying her eggs inside the flower. The moth larvae feed on the seeds of the tree, but enough seeds are left behind to produce more trees. The Joshua tree is also able to actively abort ovaries in which too many eggs have been laid.
he Saguaro, pronounced "sah-wah-roh", (Carnegiea gigantea) is a large, tree-sized cactus species in the monotypic genus Carnegiea. It is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California, and an extremely small area of California. The saguaro blossom is the state flower of Arizona.
The common name of the cactus, saguaro, is a Spanish-language adaptation of a word used by a local aboriginal American nation, the Tohono O'odham, for the plant. Local English speakers pronounce it /səˈwɑɹo/.
Saguaros have a relatively long life span. They take up to 75 years to develop a side arm. The arms themselves are grown to increase the plant's reproductive capacity (more apices equal more flowers and fruit). The growth rate of saguaros is strongly dependent on local precipitation patterns, and saguaros in drier western Arizona grow only half as fast as those in and around Tucson, Arizona.
To the box: Take El Camino Del Cerro to its end which is also the El Camino Del Cerro trailhead. There is a nice parking area. From the parking take a look at the sign. You'll be taking the Sweetwater Trail until it turns away from the NPS boundary line. It is .2 miles from the sign to the Sweetwater Trail head. After hiking a short distance and up some stone steps, you can register your entry onto the trail. Hike, Hike, Hike until you are at a place where the fence line is very near the trail and after which the trail turns away from the fence. There is a pretty good size "rock" right at the edge of the trail for sitting and resting while you determine if muggles are around and how to plot your next move. When the coast seems clear, make your way to the fence. You will land about where a red/orange marker is next to the fence post. Counting this post, move 3 1/2 posts to your left. You will know you are in the right place when you find a nice rock to sit on that is part on the NPS side of the fence and part on the other side of the fence. While you are resting there. Remove the rock that is between your resting rock and the prickly pear. Here is "One Desert . . . To Another."
All the usual warning for the southwestern desert apply. Watch out for things that poke bite or sting. Use your walking stick to knock the rock off the top of the box before reaching for the box.
Remember to rebag and confirm bags are seal. This type box seals really well unless something is allowed to interrupt the seal. Check to make sure the bag is fully inside the box before putting on the lid.
What else do you need to know? Oh yeh, the camo side goes out.
You might want to search the clues. There may be another treasure based from this trail head.
Hike Length: 2.0 miles
Carved by Tdyans