Brownie Girl Dome to The Seitch

Popular Rock Climbs ♦ Scenic Vistas

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I TRAVERSED the Brownie Girl Dome to The Seitch formations on March 20 and April 24, 2015. This area is only 500-700 yards from the parking area at Keys Corner.

Keys Corner 20150320 3DA 1080p DSCF8313Joshua trees were blooming profusely the first trip; by the second, only a month later, they’d developed seed pods and almost none were seen in full bloom anymore. However, by late-April on the second visit, many of the small cacti were flowering, as were some startlingly beautiful (and in one instance, bee-covered) nolinas.

Once on the trail from Keys Corner Parking Lot and heading north-northeast, visitors will see the Brownie Girl Dome area close at hand, about 500 yards away. A photogenic multi-peak hill, Brownie Girl comprises a fair number of outcrops and inselbergs, with rock climbing routes developed on: Brownie Girl Dome, New Jersey Dome, The Deli, Bobcat Rock, The Seitch (an imposing 100ft tall block of granite rising straight up from the desert), and Patch Dome. Meanwhile, out on the flats are Mustang Ranch and Bear Island, which will be covered in the next Gallery. Click HERE.

 Views East, South and North

Aiding the photographer (or casual tourist) is any slight elevation off the desert floor. The Joshua trees often block your view, yet they are only 15 to 20 feet tall. Once looking above them, the scene expands markedly.

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Bobcat Rock ♦ The Seitch ♦ Patch Dome

A few hundred yards north of Brownie Girl, and part of the same erosional remnant, the same inselberg group, can be found Bobcat Rock, The Seitch, and Patch Dome. All are areas scoped-out by and popular with the rock climbing community. Rumor has it there are at least 4,000,000,033 rocks in Joshua Tree National Park, possibly more. I haven’t counted them personally, nor do I wish to capture each and every one in my 3D camera’s lenses, but this little grouping is nonetheless representative. Shapes, colors, and the layering of desert varnish distinguish one from the other. Once one familiarizes himself with the rock formations at Joshua Tree, the area no longer seems a place where you can get lost in.

On my most recent visit to Keys Corner/North Wonderland, I was about 33.3 yards off the main trail when a friendly couple nodded hello to me, and one of them asked me “Aren’t you worried you might get lost going off the main trail?” I had to smile. After collecting 20,000+ photographs at Joshua Tree, I am pretty familiar with the main areas, and couldn’t get lost if I tried. Although this cannot be said for my few ventures into the South and North Wonderland areas. There, it takes good planning and maps to know your way around. But still, as long as one can recognize at least one familiar formation, finding the way “back” can be a snap.

Here, then, are Bobcat Rock, The Seitch, and Patch Dome along with the various inselbergs nearby and a few of the many cacti and plants that I found blooming on this, the May 24th trip, after the Joshuas had finished flowering, but high-time for the rest of the community. Recall that California is suffering a severe drought in 2013-15. Yet the National Park had, fortunately received more than its average wintertime rainfall, mostly in January to March. (The other rainy season is July to September, from the Gulf of Mexico summer thunderstorms.)

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I appreciate your interest in seeing 2D and 3D photographs of this unique National Park in Southern California. Please return again to often.

John Murbach

Temple City, California


Posted 2015 May 6

Updated 2017 Nov 8

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