Hike distance 6.3 miles
The Black Eagle Mine Road trail in Joshua Tree National Park was our last hike of the winter before we returned to New England. This remote dirt road skirts the side of Pinto Basin, crossing a number of dry washes, passing old wells and mine sites, and winding through canyons in the Eagle Mountains.
Due to recent heavy rains the road was closed to vehicle traffic. It didn't impact our decision, we had already decided to hike rather than drive the route.
Even though we were walking on a sandy road, there were a number of wildflowers and cactus flowers in bloom.
Except for moving to high-ground for lunch, we stayed on the road for the entire hike.
In addition to flower there were lots of insects including this master blister beetle traveling along the sandy road. Unlike some insects, blister beetles don’t have stingers, nor are their jaws strong enough to break human skin. The welts or blisters on your skin are a reaction to cantharidin, an odorless, colorless chemical, the beetle releases to protect itself against its enemies.
We climbed a hill that ran parallel to the road to get better lunch time views.
In the distance was Pinto Mountain which will definitely be one of our winter 2020 hikes.
Nothing spectacular for our last hike but we wanted to end the winter in Joshua Tree.