One of the interesting sites in Joshua Tree National Park is Skull Rock. You can park by the side of the road and Skull Rock is a very short easy walk south. If you feel more adventurous, you can drive on to the Jumbo Rocks Camping Area and take a longer interpretive trail to Skull Rock. The trail is fairly well marked and has informative signs about plant and animal life along the way (see the next several tips).
Heading east towards Pinto Basin Road, you'll see a small pulloff where you can park and immediately see Skull Rock. As you can imagine, this is a rock formation that looks like a skull! There is a nature trail leading here from the campground, but I'll admit that I accidentally got very far off the path and had to head for high ground to get my bearings. If you're just interested in Skull Rock itself, you'll be able to get a look at it from across the street or up close and personal without any hiking.
This boulder looks like a huge human skull. It is close to Park Boulevard. As soon as some earth gathers in holes, desert plant grow. In the foreground, some of the vegetation characteristic of Joshua Tree National Park with, of course a few Joshua Trees, but also bushes of California sagebrush (Artemisia californica),
Joshua Tree National Park is not only famous for the Johua trees but also for its rock formations. Skull Rock is one of those weird looking rock formations which looks losely like a human skull. The rock sits very close to the park main road, so in order to see it you just need to cross the road from the parking lot. But if you want to see other weird looking rock formations you can turn it into a 1.5 miles hike along a loop that winds to the south and north of the park road. The south part of the trail has interpretative signs that point out the desert flora. The path turns north at the Jumbo Rocks campground and you'll have to follow the campground entrace road and cross the park road to get to the second part of the trail which completes the loop. Here you'll pass among giant, rounded rock formations and you'll be tempted to forget the trail and try to climb the big boulders. Finally, the trail brings you back to the Skull Rock parking area. There's almost no elevation gain on this trail so it's an easy one.
Skull Rock received its name as it resembles a huge human skull. If you look at it from the right angle it will not take much imagination to see the skull. There is a 1.7 mile loop trail that is easy and interesting to walk in the area. The trail winds through boulders, desert washes, and a rocky alleyway. Signs along the way will identify plants and explain geology of the Mojave Desert. The Rock can also be viewed from the road if you do not wish to hike the trail.
Just along Park Boulevard, Skull Rock is easily accessible to the general public. It is one of the park's most popular atttractions, primarily because it is so easy to access. This gigantic skull shaped formation is fun to climb about, and many people stop to play, take photos, and gawk in awe of this oddly shaped monster.
Skull Rock is just what it sounds like: a rock that looks like a skull. You'll find it right alongside the road on Park Blvd. This is a popular stop for tourists in Joshua Tree National Park. The rocks here are very easy to climb, and you'll often see lots of children jumping from rock to rock.
You'll want to stop for a little while, climb around on the rocks and take some photos.
Does it look like a skull? From a certain angle, I guess. But it looks more like a conehead to me. This rock is along the Park Boulevard on the south side. You can see it when you drive by without stopping. I only pulled over for a couple of minutes to take the photo. There's a short trail around the rock but nothing spectacular.
We enjoyed clambering among the rock formations just across the street from skull rock. You can venture out quite far from the road too.