So far at least, no one has identified the location for this travel puzzle. PHeymont correctly identified it as "Skull Rock", but did not provide a more specific site.
Gumbo was visiting one of America's most unusual parks, Joshua Tree NationalPark, situated in the Mojave desert near Palm Springs, California. While well known for its dramatic desert landscapes and hundreds of species of plants, Joshua Tree park is most famous for its "Joshua Trees" which were given this name by the Mormon pioneers. Joshua Trees are not actually trees but a type of giant lily which can grow to more than 12 meters (40 ft) tall and live to 900 years.
(hiking around Skull Rock, Joshua Tree National Park)
Joshua Tree National Park has some very unusual rock formations. One of my favorites is this one, Skull Rock. From the perspective in these photos, the name is self-evident, the sculpting of the rock into a skull-like shape due to erosion of the granite by wind, rain and ice. Skull Rock is situated along the main road in the park and is a place most tourists stop while visiting.