LA Times “The Wild”: The best part of Joshua Tree may be what you never see. That’s a good thing.

There’s a regenerative power in the desert, no matter how bone-chillingly cold it is on a January night.

Last weekend, I saw plenty of gorgeous granite — and even climbed it. Jumbo Rocks Campground in Joshua Tree National Park is radiant with inselbergs, or islands of rock formed by erosion, that are millions of years old. The feeling of hiking in the shadows of these behemoths is transformative.

I’d wanted to hike across the sand dunes I had heard about, including some of the 640 Cadiz Valley acres newly protected by the Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT). But, as we picked up s’mores ingredients at the Twentynine Palms grocery store, I briefly got online. What I read in the MDLT press release announcing the Mojave Trails National Monument area stopped me in my tracks. “As there is little human disturbance, this special property has ample signs of wildlife, with numerous animal tracks visible in the sandy soil,” the MDLT conservators wrote.

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