We wanted to spend two nights in the vicinity of Catavina. The Cirios and cactus here are fascinating and, along with the rock formations, I thought this would be rich with photo opportunities. I figured two nights would give us opportunity to experience two sunsets and two sunrises and time to explore the cave paintings.
There are plenty of places to boondock in the desert here. We picked a spot that iOverlander identified as “Cactus Wonderland.” We found one other camper here, but we simply drove around to the other side of a rock outcrop and found a quiet spot to camp.
The next morning we walked to the cave paintings. Rather than walk on the highway, we decided to follow a dirt road that appeared to parallel the highway. This worked for a while until we started heading away from the highway. Using a GPS track on my phone from a previous trip, we were able to make our way over some rocks and head in the direction of the cave. Going over the rocks we encountered a rattlesnake hidden in the rocks. He let his presence be known with an alarming rattle.
We kept our distance and continued on to the cave. The cave is a bit of a climb up from the road and the parking area. We were happy to spend a few minutes in the cool respite of the cave since we were feeling the heat of the desert on the hike. As the crow flies, the walk to the cave was just over a mile. We managed to turn that into a four-mile round trip hike with our meanderings.
True to expectations, this area provided many fascinating photo opportunities. The Cirios, or Boojum trees, sometimes called Doctor Seus trees, were quite interesting and fanciful. More photos are available in an online gallery.