Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Red Rock Canyon State Park

Red Rock Canyon is off the 14, about 25 miles past Mojave. We always pass by on the way up to Mammoth Lakes and have always wanted to check it out so we took a 1-night trip out there and camped at Ricardo campground.

We got there on Saturday so luckily there were a few spots open. We ended up getting a nice corner spot that was a bit secluded from other sites.

It was a HOT weekend and there were no clouds or shade, but after getting settled we took off and went exploring on a few short hiking trails around the area. The first was the Red Cliffs Trail, a mile or so loop that hugged the side of the rock formations.

We followed a wash out further and went to explore some more rock formations. red cliifs trail red rock canyon state park red cliffs trail red rock canyon state park

Jaime taking pics of me taking pics

A view from the top of the hike

Lastly, a panorama while we were back at the car eating lunch. red rock canyon state park red cliffs trail

Next we took a short drive to the Hagen Canyon trail, another short 1 mile hike.

It was pretty similar, a few named landmarks but nothing that really stood out. There was a spot that had a hole in one of the formations that looks out to the red cliffs trail. Nixon decided he wanted to be in the shot.

After hiking we headed to the visitor center to get some firewood and relax by the benches in the shade. There were some birds flying around so I took out my 300mm and walked around taking pics.

Snapped a few of a woodpecker and some other bird that was perched way up in the trees:

Woodpecker at red rock canyon state park Woodpecker, red rock canyon state park red rock canyon state park california

Got one of these things too.....

We headed back to the site to relax. Luckily our side had a big rock cliff that provided shade.

Even though there were no clouds I went back to the Red Cliffs trail to snap some sunset pics. Only stayed for about 20 minutes as the sky was boring and flat.

red rock canyon state park red cliffs sunset red rock canyon state park red cliffs panorama red rock canyon state park red cliffs sunset with cactus

Headed back to the site for some dinner. Normally when we camp we eat good, but for an overnight trip it was easier to just bring some dogs and cook them over the fire.

Brought some bacon to wrap around the dogs.....cause bacon makes everything better right?

Nixon yelling at the fire...

I was planning on taking some star shots that night, but the moon washed out pretty much the whole sky. So I set my alarm and got up the next morning at 4am and took some pics facing south towards the Milky Way incorporating the tent into the foreground. Couldn't really fumble around with the lighting too much as Jaime was still sleeping, but next time I will have to tone down the brightness of the headlamp.

red rock canyon milky way and tent red rock canyon state park milky way from campsite

The sky was clear with no clouds in sight so I didn't bother to stay up for sunrise. Got up the next day, ate a quick breakfast, packed up and left.

The JJ's "tent"

Photographing the stars and Milky Way has really peaked my interest. Nixon did good too, so we will all be heading out to Anza Borrego in a few weeks. A bit further, but hopefully a bit darker for some nice night shots.

Brandon Yoshizawa
B.A.Y | photography
Landscape and Wildlife photography