Written by Meredith Strodel @hammockliving
Jimmy is a leader in the Sierra Club’s Wilderness Travel Course, and the group recently went to Joshua Tree National Park for a day of hiking. After a few hours, it was high time to hang the hammock and kick back. With no shortage of Joshua trees, we set up shop. When we posted the photo on @HammockLiving, we got a few strongly worded comments about disrespecting the fragile trees, which are being affected pretty badly by climate change. After some research, we were surprised to learn that while the trees are not listed as threatened or endangered (yet), you are not supposed to go near or touch them inside the park. We quickly removed the photo, no wanting to encourage others to think it was a good idea to be hanging hammocks there.
Since then, we’ve seen a handful of amazing photos of hammocks hung from Joshua trees, including some epic long exposure night shots with tons of stars in the sky. (“Half the park is after dark,” reads a poster we picked up while visiting, and it’s true. It comes alive at night.) A couple of these photographers and adventurers have large followings, yet no one was noticing or pointing out the faux pas, which doesn’t surprise us. After all, none of the WTC leaders or members were aware of the issue the day we hung from the Joshua trees, and that group is pretty well up to speed on all things outdoorsy, especially with regard to conservation and park rules.
We’re thankful to the well-educated and environmentally respectful and responsible nature lovers that are the @HammockLiving online community who taught us an important lesson, and we’re happy to oblige to the rules that help protect and preserve trees and land.
The next time we went to Joshua Tree, we took our trusty hammock stand and enjoyed the park all the same.