On long rides, sometimes it’s nice to stop and smell the roses…or spot the tortoise! During your time at Babes Ride Out 6, we hope you’ll keep an eye out for the awesome desert plants and animals that make this location so special. Here are some notable flora and fauna that is active during the month of October in Joshua Tree and beyond. Just remember to give critters their space, don’t feed them, and watch out for animals crossing the road!
Mojave Yucca An iconic desert plant and close relative of the Joshua tree, these spiky shrubs can be seen all around Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, and in the southern portion of Mojave Trails.
Desert Holly It may only be October, but much like your local department store, the Mojave Desert is already getting in the Christmas spirit! You can spot these prickly clusters with red berries at Amboy Crater.
California Juniper These bushy trees can be found on desert slopes in Joshua Tree National Park. Keep your eyes – and nose! – open for beautiful blue berries and that refreshing juniper fragrance.
Pinyon Pine Harvested for timber and firewood over the centuries, the sweet pinyon wood fragrance invokes the image of pueblos and adobe homes. You can find these majestic, twisting trees throughout the desert on rocky, southern-facing slopes and mesas.
Honey Mesquite Known for its beautiful beans that sustained travelers in the frontier days, the mesquite is the most common shrub of the desert southwest. You can find honey mesquites and their pods in Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
Red-Tailed Hawk True to its name, the red-tailed hawk has a broad, rounded tail with a rich, russet hue. You can see these amazing aerial acrobats circling around in the sky throughout the desert, especially in north Mojave Trails.
Bighorn Sheep Mature male bighorn sheep have curled horns that can reach up to 33 inches, while juvenile and female horns never exceed a half-curl. These majestic creatures can be seen scrambling up mountain slopes during the day, especially in the morning when they feed, at the Whitewater Preserve.
Desert Tortoise With their domed shells and ambling gait, the California state reptile is one of the most recognizable species in the Mojave. October an active time of the year for the desert tortoise, so maybe you’ll get lucky and spot one among the shrubs. If you see a desert tortoise on the road, follow Joshua Tree National Park’s guide on when and how to move a desert tortoise.
Chuckwalla These plump, peaceful lizards are usually the size of your forearm and emerge in the morning to bask in the sun before hunting for food. Look for these regal reptiles at Amboy Crater amongst the lava rock.
Sphinx Moth The sphinx moths are among the largest flying insects in the desert and have fabulously flashy pink hind wings. You may confuse these beautiful bugs for hummingbirds when they are flapping around in the early evening throughout the desert lands.