Joshua Tree NP

Window to the Stars | Joshua Tree NP

I went to Joshua Tree to celebrate a friend's birthday by shooting the Milky Way. Of course, it's very hot there in the summer and the high was 107F. To deal with the heat, we didn't start hiking until the late afternoon and we stuck to locations at higher altitude. Supposedly the temperature drops 3-5F every 1000' you go up.

Our first stop was Barker Dam. We thought we could scout out a spot and then return at night to get the MW with reflections in the water. However, the entire dam was dried out. There was maybe a puddle a few feet across right at the west end with the concrete dam wall. This totally surprised me because I had been here in May and there was a decent amount of water. The dried up resevoir bed wasn't even soft or muddy -- I saw people walking on it without any problem.

We kept checking out a few other spots in the park and found this amazing abandoned building. As soon as I saw the window, I knew I had to shoot it. I checked with an app on my phone and verified that the MW would line up at about 2am. I was stoked as I have been searching for an old building / cabin / barn where I could shoot the MW through a window but had no previous luck finding such a location.