~ Red Rock State Park ~

On the recommendation of Linda, Sherry and Martin I stopped by Red Rock State Park on the way to Ridgecrest, California. I was eventually headed to Death Valley National Park, but my friends in Bakersfield had some places I shoud see on the way and Red Rock State Park was one of them. Thank you.

Red Rock Canyon State Park was established in 1968. It was the first state park in Kern County. This spectacular gash on the western edge of the El Paso Mountain Range was on the American Indian trade route for thousands of years. In the 1850s is was used again by footsore survivors of the famous Death Valley trek. The area has been used for prospecting for gold, as a stagecoach stop, a railroad route, a truck stop, and in recent times as a movie set, and a classroom for the study of geology and paleontology.




Getting There

The trip over the pass on California Highway 58 was the easiest I had made in California. Tehachapi Pass is 3793 feet in elevation and by far the lowest mountain crossing I encountered. Once I was through the pass, the San Joaquin Valley was behind me and in a very short time I was in the Mojave Desert.


Parts of the Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm; there were thousands of wind turbines stretched along the mountains.


Tehachapi Mountains


Red Rock State Park, California



Upon entering the park, I began shooting along Highway 14


The red rocks are caused by the high iron content in the rocks, which oxidizes to rust. When rain or water runoff carries some of the rust down onto the lighter colored rocks, it appears that the rock formations are bleeding. The black layer on top of the formations is lava.




Throughout the park the layers are slanted 17° from horizontal due to the action of the nearby Garlock fault zone.






"Bleeding" Rocks


On the left is the Turks Turbin. I wonder how long ago it fell from the formation behind it? Because of the iron content the red rocks are harder than the lighter sandstone and erode slower. Thus the appearance of white figures standing and holding up the red layers.


Some of the formations look like huge fortresses
















Changing shape
As I was driving back up Highway 14, I saw the two pyramid-shaped rocks in the distance with a large mountain behind. As I approached, the shapes changed until I was even with them, when the lighting and shapes were very different and the mountains were off to the left.

The Mojave Desert

The Mojave Desert (High Desert) occupies a significant portion of southeastern California and smaller parts of central California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona. Named after the Mohave tribe of Native Americans, it displays typical basin and range topography.
The Mojave Desert's boundaries are generally defined by the presence of Joshua trees; considered an indicator species for this desert. These trees have difficulty growing anywhere else. The Mojave is one of four deserts making up the North American Desert; the others are the Chihuahuan Desert, which is mainly in Mexico, the Sonoran Desert and the Great Basin. If everything goes as planned, I will have, at some point, visited each of these deserts. I have already been to all except the Sonoran Desert in Southwest Arizona.


Joshua Trees




Remains of a salt lake


Some old desert shanties I came across. The sign on the shack with the giant smoke stack looking thing, which is probably a water tower, reads, "RATTLE SNAKE AREA PRIVATE PROPERTY NO TRESSPASS." I wouldn't even consider it. The owner of the shack on the right used old tires to keep the corrugated steel roof in place.


Music is "True Colors"

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