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Joshua Tree National Park, California: Samuelson's Rocks

Cranky messages were neatly carved into eight rock slabs by desert rat John Samuelson in the 1920s. He loved nature and hated Henry Ford. You have to hike to get to them.

Park Blvd, Joshua Tree National Park, CA
Roughly five miles southeast of the Park's west entrance. From the Quail Springs Picnic Area, drive northwest on Park Blvd for 3.3 miles. Park at the large pullout on the left (southwest) side of the road. Walk parallel to the road for 100 yards until you see a small wash. Follow this wash southwest for 1.8 miles; it becomes larger the farther south you go. At the confluence with Quail Wash, youll see a small hill directly in front of you. Samuelsons Rocks are there. Wear a hat. Bring water with you.
Park entrance fee: $25.
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Cranky rock.

Samuelson's Rocks

A cranky fella in the 1920s carved philosophical sayings into some boulders. He loved nature as much as he hated Henry Ford.

[Elizabeth Herndon, 11/23/2021]

John Samuelson lived on this patch of desert from 1926 to 1928 and carved messages into eight rock slabs. He then moved to L.A., killed two men, was locked in a nuthouse, escaped to Washington State, and died in a logging accident. Maybe he also carved messages into northwestern trees, but only his southwestern rocks have survived.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Unexploded Bomb ArtUnexploded Bomb Art, Joshua Tree, CA - 4 mi.
Big Josh: Cowboy Muffler ManBig Josh: Cowboy Muffler Man, Joshua Tree, CA - 6 mi.
World Famous Crochet MuseumWorld Famous Crochet Museum, Joshua Tree, CA - 6 mi.
In the region:
Outdoor Collection of Vintage Neon Signs, Twentynine Palms, CA - 11 mi.

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