Upper Covington Flat

Dense Vegetation

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(2D images first. 3D Galleries further down the page will require redcyan glasses to see the full 3D effect. Click Photos to Enlarge.)

Upper Covington Flat Joshua Tree NP DSCF3790

Trek date: 2016 Mar 25. Explorers Murbachi & E!

Related Galleries

Lower Covington Flat

Upper Covington Flat ♦ Clouds

Joshua Tree Superbloom 2016

Parking Area and Backcountry Board

Small tree, multiple flower stalks

Small tree, multiple flower stalks

ON THIS PAGE WILL BE FOUND more of the beauty Joshua Tree National Park’s Covington Flats is famous for. There are many points of interest in the ‘Upper’ Covington section. Transcribing from the Backcountry Board: “Upper Covington Flat offers hikers access to the higher reaches of the park, where large Joshua trees grow in dense clusters and pinyon-juniper forests dominate. The 35-mile long California Riding and Hiking Trail, which begins at Black Rock Canyon and ends at the Park’s North Entrance, serves as the main trail stem, with side trails to Eureka Peak, Smith Water Canyon and Quail Mountain (the park’s highest peak, 5,814ft).”

Large juniper bushes

Large juniper bushes everywhere

As has been observed in the other Covington Flats and Black Rock Galleries, 2016 was a year that the Joshua trees experienced a superbloom cycle in JTNP (and presumably elsewhere from New Mexico, through the desert Southwest, and into Nevada).

Visitors will want to note that there are no picnic tables or restroom facilities at the Upper Covington loop parking area and Backcountry Board. However, close by is one very decent-sized shade tree (the tall mature tree, second in the block of four above with picnickers beneath it; and also the first of the five shown below) where you can toss down your picnic-mat or blanket to enjoy a leisurely meal. This particular specimen was hosting dozens of blossoms when we visited the area.

Additional examples of the superbloom trees and the beautiful cloud formations at Upper Covington Flat, not on this page, are available in the Joshua Tree Superbloom 2016 Gallery and the Upper Covington Flat Clouds page. There were simply too many for a single Gallery.

Some Tall, Impressive Joshuas at Upper Covington

(Click to Enlarge. Click a second time to Enlarge further. Note the numerous blossom stalks on these. Springtime in Joshua Tree NP.)

Upper Covington Flat Joshua Tree NP DSCF3817

The Upper and Lower flats receive thorough coverage in my friend Elliot Koeppel’s article HERE.

E! and I, while we did not traverse the entire valley at Upper Covington, we did encounter many of the aforementioned pockets of thick vegetation—and mighty fine looking tall old trees, many of them stately appearing. They dominate the desert floor. The taller ones stand out from the forest at a distance. We wanted to visit every one! Many Joshua Trees and Mojave yuccas were also displaying beautiful early Spring flower stalks. Upper Covington is connected to Lower Covington by a 5.7 mile ‘loop’ hiking trail as well as by a winding dirt road up over a 5200ft elevation ridge to the picnic area and parking circle in Lower Covington.

Most Joshua trees take on gangly, almost contorted shapes, but some are more rounded:

Upper Covington Flat Joshua Tree NP DSCF3704

Old-Timer, R.I.P.

Photographs from Patty Furbush’s Joshua Tree hiking guide, and two that E! shows on his Covington Flats web page, suggest that this skeleton is all that remains of what was once said to be the tallest Joshua Tree in JTNP. Captured in 3D for possibly the first and last time—see Anaglyph Gallery below—we bid it a fond farewell!

“The tree once stood about thirty-five feet high and had a circumference of about seventeen feet at the base. Unfortunately, it shed its last live branch in 2004. The large impressive tree trunk still stands amidst the pile of dead branches.”

— Patty Furbush


2D Miscellaneous

  • Use glasses to view 3D Anaglyphs
  • Click to Enlarge Photos

3D Anaglyph Gallery

Be my guest and download as many of the 3D Anaglyph or 3D Half Side-by-Side photographs as you wish. Note: 3D H-SBS images should only be saved if you have access to a 3D TV.

Old-Timer, R.I.P.

3D Half Side-by-Side Gallery

Suitable for 3D TV viewing. Half Side-by-Sides avoid the minor Anaglyph anomalies that can occur. Click images to enlarge. 1080p resolution. Or Windows users, right-click and choose SAVE LINK AS.

Elliot Koeppel's gorgeous digital post card

Elliot Koeppel’s gorgeous new digital post card

It was treat encountering so many large Joshua trees in this area; the juniper bushes were also quite large thanks to abundant moisture during the two rainy ‘seasons’ of the year, winter and summer, at this higher elevation in Joshua Tree National Park.

John Murbach

Temple City, California


Posted 2016 Apr 8

Updated 2017 Nov 4


Original at: http://cali49.com/jtnp/2016/4/8/greetings-from-joshua-tree

Elliot Koeppel’s Cali49.com web page is a must see if you are fascinated by California’s Gold Rush Country, Hwy 395, Joshua Tree NP, or Mojave Desert history and abandoned towns/mine sites. His book, The California Gold Country: Highway 49 Revisited (pub. Aug 15, 1999) is available from Amazon.com.


From “Harold And Maude” starring Bud Cort as Harold, and Ruth Gordon as Maude. Movie dialogue transcript:

Left Right Smaller Fatter

Maude. What flower would you like to be?

Harold. I don’t know. One of these maybe.

M. Why do you say that?

H. Because they’re all alike.

M. But they’re not.

Look, see, some are smaller… some are fatter.

Some grow to the left… some to the right.