Mid Hills Campground

Mid Hills Campground    35°07’54”N 115°26’08”W Elevation 5603′


The Mid Hills

North View from campground

Topographic Map of Area

Location: Mojave National Preserve

Access: Take I-15 to the 40 east, turn north on Essex Road. Take a right on Black Canyon road, proceed about 22 miles. Watch for signs.

Facilities: 26 sites. Water, toilets, picnic tables, fire rings.

Season: Open year round.

Fees: $12/night

Nearby Hiking Trails: Wild Horse Canyon trail to the south takes you 7 miles to Hole-In-The-Wall.

Nearby 4X4 Trails: Numerous unnamed dirt and sand 4×4 trails.

Managing Agency: National Park Service

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Hole-in-the-Wall Campground

Hole-in-the-Wall Campground       35°02’36”N  115°23’45”W Elevation 4259′

The ‘Holes’ in the wall

Overlooking the campground

Topographic map of area

Access:
Take I-15 to the 40 east. Exit north on Essex Road. Just before the powerlines the road forks. Take the northeast fork and watch for the sign.
Facilities:
35 sites, pit toilets, fire rings, picnic tables.
Season:
Open year round. VERY hot in summer.
Fees:
$12 per night
Nearby Hiking Trails:
Too many dirt roads and trails to count!
Nearby 4×4 Trails:
Too many dirt roads and trails to count!
Comments:
Current Weather:
Click here for the current ‘pointcast’ for this spot. (‘Pops up’ in a new window)
Managing Agency:
National Park Service

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Afton Canyon Campground

Afton Canyon Campground       35°02’21”N  116°22’57”W Elevation 1414′

Afton Campground

Railroad bridge

Topographic map of area

Access:
Take I-15 37 miles north of Barstow to Afton R. exit. Follow Afton Rd 3 1/2 miles to campground.
Facilities:
22 sites, first come first serve.
Season:
Open year round. VERY hot in summer.
Fees:
$6 per night
Nearby Hiking Trails:
Numerous hiking trails throughout the Afton Natural Area.
Nearby 4×4 Trails:
This is a stopping point on the Mohave Road, a 150 year old pioneer trail from Barstow to the Colorado River.
Comments:
This is a great place to spot birds and wildlife. One of the few places where the Mojave River flows on the surface.
Current Weather:
Click here for the current ‘pointcast’ for this spot. (‘Pops up’ in a new window)
Managing Agency:
Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

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Jumbo Rocks  

Jumbo Rocks       33°59’28”N  116°03’38”W Elevation 4349′

Piles of Boulders

Now THAT’S a jumbo rock!

Topographic map of area

Access:

Interstate 10 East to Hwy 62 North (Twentynine Palms Highway). Turn south into the park Joshua Tree Village. Follow the main road bearing south and east.

Facilities:

125 sites, no water. Crowded on weekends.

Season:

Open all year, most popular in Winter/Spring

Fees:

$5 camping fee in addition to the $10 entrance fee.

Nearby Hiking Trails:

Skull Rock: 1.7-mile loop trail begins at Jumbo Rocks Campground, just beyond loop E.

Nearby 4×4 Trails:

Geology Tour Road: The road turns south from the paved road 2 miles west of Jumbo Rocks Campground. The distance from the junction to Squaw Tank is 5.4 miles. This section is mostly downhill but bumpy and sandy. Starting at Squaw Tank, a 6-mile circular route can be taken that explores Pleasant Valley.

Comments:
This is the most popular (and most crowded) campground in the park.
Current Weather:
Click here for the current ‘pointcast’ for this spot. (‘Pops up’ in a new window)
Managing Agency:
National Park Service

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Cottonwood Springs Campground

Cottonwood Springs Campground       33°44’42″N  115°48’45″W Elevation 3121′

Cottonwood Oasis

Cottonwood Oasis

Topographic map of area Click to enlarge for printing.

Access:  
From the south, enter the park off I-10 on Cottonwood Springs Road, 25 miles west of Indio.
Facilities:

62 sites, water and flush toilets, a good tent site; crowded on weekends. Group camping by reservation – 3 sites.
Season:
Open all year.
Fees:
$10, $15/group.
Nearby Hiking Trails:
Mastodon Peak Trail: 3-mile roundtrip, 2-3 hours, difficulty level is moderate. Trail begins at the Cottonwood Spring or Cottonwood Campground. On this trail you will see excellent views of the Eagle Mountains and Salton Sea. Summit elevation is 3371 feet. Lost Palms Trail: 8.0 miles one way, 4 – 6 hours, Moderate level. Canyon with numerous palm stands.
Nearby 4×4 Trails:
Old Dale Road ~ Gold Crown Road to Pinto Basin. 4WD Required, also excellent Mountain Bike Trail. Time by Car: 1.5 to 2 hours Distance: 23 Miles (one way)
Comments:
This is the most ‘developed’ campground in the park.
Current Weather:
Click here for the current ‘pointcast’ for this spot. (‘Pops up’ in a new window)
Managing Agency:
National Park Service

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Field Guide to Birds of Southern California

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides)


Written by: D. Gaines
Reviewed by: L. Mewaldt
Edited by: R. Duke

DISTRIBUTION, ABUNDANCE, AND SEASONALITY

A fairly common to common summer resident in sparse to open forests and other open habitats from about 1200-3700 m (4000-12,000 ft) in mountains and foothills of the state.  Most individuals winter below 1500 m (5000 ft), withdrawing from higher, snowy portions of breeding range.  Locally fairly common to abundant in Central Valley and surrounding foothills, in agricultural areas of Owens Valley, Inyo Co., Antelope Valley, Kern and Los
Angeles cos., and in arid valleys of inner Coast Ranges, as on Carrizo Plain, San Luis Obispo Co.  Less numerous and occurrence more erratic elsewhere in interior lowlands of state. Some years also winters locally throughout Mojave Desert, on coastal plains of southern California, and on Channel Islands (Grinnell and Miller 1944, Garrett and Dunn 1981).

SPECIFIC HABITAT REQUIREMENTS

Feeding:    From a low, exposed perch, hovers and stoops on insects on foliage or ground, and hawks flying insects.  Also eats berries and other small fruits, especially in winter (Martin et al. 1961, Power 1966).

Cover:    Prefers open terrain with an occasional tree, rock, fence post, power line, building, for foraging perch and other cover.  Requires suitable cavities for roosting and nesting, usually in a snag or dead portion of tree.

Reproduction:    Nest of herbaceous stems, rootlets, grasses, outer bark of shrub placed in natural cavity or woodpecker hole in snag or dead portion of tree.  Less frequently nests in crevice or cavity in rock, buiIding or other human structure; also uses nest box or nest of cliff swallow or other species (Bent 1949).

Water:    No information found.  Miller and Stebbins (1964) suggested that insect food provided adequate moisture in California deserts.

Pattern:    Breeders most numerous where meadows, grasslands, or other open habitats edge on woodland or rock formations affording suitable nesting sites.  In winter, occurs in virtually any open or sparsely wooded habitat, but shows a preference for agricultural fields and Pastures.

SPECIES LIFE HISTORY

Activity Patterns:    Yearlong, diurnal activity.

Seasonal Movements/Migration:    Breeders return to higher portions of nesting range March to June, depending on elevation and snow conditions, and depart by October or November.  Usually arrives on wintering areas in November and departs by March.

Home Range:    Estimates of breeding density include 30 per 40 ha (100 ac) in Wyoming aspen forest (Salt 1957), 15-18 per 40 ha in Wyoming (Finzel 1964), and 15.2 pairs per 40 ha in Sierra Nevada conifer forest (Bock and Lynch 1970).

Territory:    Power (1966) found territory boundary difficult to determine; inferred that 4 territories averaged 4.3 ha each (10.6 ac), range 1.8-6.8 ha (4.5-16.7 ac).  These estimates were minima; some territories “had no clear boundaries at all.”  Territory apparently centered on nest and included suitable flycatching perches and a large area of open space.  At Mt. Rainier, Washington, Jewett et al. (1953) reported that a nesting female foraged over about
2.6 ha (6.5 ac).

Reproduction:    Monogamous; lays eggs mid-April to mid-July, depending on elevation. May be double or triple-brooded.  Clutch 5-6 eggs.  Incubation 13-14 days by both sexes, and both sexes care for altricial young.  Fledging age 22-23 days (Bent 1949, Power 1966, Harrison 1978).

Niche:    Tree swallow, house wren, mountain chickadee, European starling, northern flicker and other woodpeckers, and rodents compete for nest sites.  Predators include prairie falcon and sharp-shinned hawk (Munro 1940, Marti and Braun 1975).  Numbers have declined in recent decades (Ehrlich et al. 1988).

REFERENCES

Bent, A. C.  1949.  Life histories of North American thrushes, kinglets, and their allies.  U.S.  Natl. Mus. Bull.  196.  454pp.

Bock, C. E., and J. F. Lynch.  1970.  Breeding bird populations of burned and unburned  conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada.  Condor  72:182-189.

Ehrlich, P. R., D. S. Dobkin, and D. Wheye.  1988.  The birder’s handbook.  Simon and Schuster, New York.  785pp.

Finzel, J. E.  1964.  Avian populations of four herbaceous communities in southeastern Wyoming.  Condor  66:496-510.

Garrett, K., and J. Dunn.  1981.  Birds of southern California.  Los Angeles Audubon Soc. 408pp.

Grinnell, J., and A. H. Miller.  1944.  The distribution of the birds of California.  Pac. Coast Avifauna No. 27.  608pp.

Haecker, F. W.  1948.  A nesting study of the mountain bluebird in Wyoming.  Condor 50:216-219.

Harrison, C.  1978.  A field guide to the nests, eggs and nestlings of north American birds.  W. Collins Sons and Co., Cleveland, OH.  416pp.

Jewett, S. G., W. P. Taylor, W. T. Shaw, and J. W. Aldrich. 1953.  Birds of Washington State. Univ. Washington Press, Seattle.  767pp.

Marti, C. D., and C. E. Braun.  1975.  Use of tundra habitats by prairie falcons in Colorado. Condor  77:213-214.

Martin, A. C., H. S. Zim, and A. L. Nelson.  1961.  American wildlife and plants, a guide to wildlife food habits.  Dover Publ., Inc., New York.  500pp.

Miller, A. H., and R. C. Stebbins.  1964.  The lives of desert animals in Joshua Tree National Monument.  Univ. California Press, Berkeley.  452pp.

Munro, J. A. 1940.  Food of the sharp-shinned hawk.  Condor  42:168-169. Power, H. W., III.  1966.  Biology of the mountain bluebird in Montana.  Condor  68:351-371.

Power, H. W., III.  1974.  The mountain bluebird:  sex and the evolution of foraging behavior. Ph.D. Thesis, Univ. Michigan, Ann Arbor.  405pp. Salt, G. W.  1957.  An analysis of avifaunas in the Teton Mountains and Jackson Hole,
Wyoming.  Condor  59:373-393.

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Freshwater Fishing

The rivers, lakes and streams of southern California offer some great fishing opportunities. If you have a favorite fishing spot that is not listed here, send email to postmaster@socalcamping.com.

 

Lakes / Reservoirs Anglers Lake Big Bear Lake
Lake Castaic Diamond Valley
Green Valley Lake Gregory Lake
Irvine Lake Jess Ranch
Laguna Niguel Lake Little Rock Res.
Lake Piru Mojave Narrows
Murray Lake Puddingstone Res.
Pyramid Lake Rancho Jurupa
Santa Ana River Lakes Barret Lake
Chollas Lake Corona Lake
Lake Cuyamaca Dixon Lake
Lake Elsinore Lake Hemet
Lake Henshaw Lake Hodges
Miramar Res. Otay Res.
Lake Perris Lake Poway
Salton Sea Lake San Vicente
Lake Silverwood Lake Skinner
Sweetwater Res. Wohlford Res.
Rivers / Streams All American Canal Big Rock Creek
Big Tujunga Creek Boquet Canyon Creek
Cleghorn Creek Colorado River
Fullermill Creek Little Rock Creek
Lytle Creek Mill Creek
Piru Creek San Gabriel River
San Jacinto River San Luis Rey Creek
Santa Ana River

 

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