Thirteen Upper Campus students and three trip leaders braved cold temperatures this past weekend for some premier rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert. It was the first trip of the 2018 Outdoor Education season.
“This is the second time I have been on this trip and I can say that it is very fun, even if it is freezing cold,” said sophomore Stephanie Nostrant. “The people that I went with both times are nice and it’s always ‘group first.’ Mr. Byars makes it very interesting as well, with campfire songs and desserts. I would go on it again, next year mainly because there are good climbing destinations and magnificent views.”
Despite their reputation as barren wastelands, deserts are actually home to abundant wildlife — and this is particularly true for Joshua Tree. The National Park Service has recorded more than 250 species of birds, 44 species of reptiles, 52 species of mammals, more than 75 species of invertebrates, and a whopping 750-plus species of plants.
Joshua Tree is also rich in cultural sites. The Pinto, an American Indian tribe, inhabited the area 8,000 years ago. Those who know where to look can find rock art left behind, as well as prehistoric sites.
For OVS students, one of our favorite parts of the park are the myriad bouldering and rock climbing opportunities. The unusual geology in the park makes it a world-class area for climbing, for beginning to experienced climbers alike. Climbs are led by OVS Outdoor Education Coordinator Zach Byars and other faculty members.
Click here for photos from last year’s trip.
2018 trip photos coming soon!
Upcoming Outdoor Education trips include:
• Mountain Biking in Los Padres National Forest (Past trip photos)
• Hiking, climbing and exploring Canyonlands National Park in Utah
• Skiing and Snowboarding in Mammoth (Past trip photos)
• Surfing the world-famous waves at San Onofre (Past trip photos)
• Backpacking in the Sespe Wilderness (Past trip photos)
• Stargazing at Mt. Pinos
• Rafting on the Kern River (Past trip photos)