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Joshua Tree National Park

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General Information

Joshua Tree National Park
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Joshua Tree National Park
Description - Proclaimed a National Monument in 1936 and a Biosphere Reserve in 1984, Joshua Tree was designated a National Park in 1994. The area possesses a rich human history and a pristine natural environment. Two deserts, two large ecosystems whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation, come together at Joshua Tree National Park. Below 3,000 feet, the Colorado Desert encompasses the eastern part of the park and features natural gardens of creosote bush, ocotillo, and cholla cactus. The higher, moister, and slightly cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of the Joshua tree. Joshua tree forests occur in the western half of the park. This area also includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in California's deserts. In addition, five fan palm oases dot the park, indicating those few areas where water occurs naturally and where wildlife abounds.

Recreation - Visitors to Joshua Tree National Park can enjoy hiking, picnicking, wildflower viewing, birding, interpretive walks and talks and camping. Visitor centers, ranger stations, entrance stations and wayside exhibits are located along main roads leading into and through the park. These provide visitors with opportunities to acquaint yourself with park resources. Publications about the park are sold by the Joshua Tree National Park Association at visitor centers.

Park rangers are here to help you have an enjoyable, safe visit. Detailed information on weather, road conditions, backcountry use, campgrounds and regulations may be obtained at visitor centers or entrance stations.

Walks, hikes, and campfire talks are conducted chiefly in the spring and fall; information is posted on campground bulletin boards, at ranger stations and at visitor centers. Ranger conducted activities can increase your enjoyment and understanding of the park.

There are nine campgrounds with tables, fireplaces, and toilets. Several picnic areas for day use are available. You must bring water and firewood. Motels, stores, restaurants, dump stations, and auto services are located in nearby towns.

Climate - Days in south-central California are typically clear with less than 25% humidity. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high/low of 85 and 50 degrees F respectively. Winter brings cooler days, around 60 degrees F, and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at higher elevations. Summers are hot, over 100 degrees F during the day and not cooling much below 75 degrees F until the early hours of the morning.

Location - Joshua Tree National Park lies 140 miles east of Los Angeles. Visitors can approach it from the west via Interstate 10 and Highway 62 (29 Palms Highway). The north entrances to the park are located at the towns of Joshua Tree and 29 Palms.

The south entrance at Cottonwood Springs, which lies 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Indio, can be approached from the east or west, also via Interstate 10.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: James (Rockville, MD)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: I love this place! It is full of unique vegetation and wildlife. Visit the dam, that's where the wildlife go to drink. I saw a sheep there waaaaay up high on a rock formation!

Filed By: Paula
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Flowers still blooming at the south entrance (Cottonwood). Ocotillos will be blooming any minute. Camped at Jumbo Rocks, Tues & Wed. March 15 & 16. Almost a full campground. Even w/o flowers an amazing place.

Filed By: Ralph Auletta (Fullerton, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This park has seen great improvements over the last 5 years to the camping facilities and trail maintenance. One of the best landmarks in the park is The Hidden Valley (down the road from the Hidden Valley camp ground) where you can watch or participate in world class climbing at almpost any level with an outstanding view of most of Joshua Tree with a short 5 minute hike to the top of the rock formation there. Barker Dam is also an excellent hike during at the end of the dry season where it can be a completely dry lake bed and then again in spring where it can be a 12 foot deep lake complete with thousands of prehistoric shrimp the size of centipedes swimming near the shoreline. The trail around Barker Dam is filled with historical placards explaining the conditions that existed back when the area was used for cattle ranching. The petroglyphs in the area are abundant. Many petroglyphs are not marked by any tourist signs and it makes for a great journey to go off the established trail. Please respect the plant life and leave the area as clean and untouched as you found it. Take plenty of photographs!

More Information

Contact Information:
Joshua Tree National Park, 74485 National Park Drive , Twentynine Palms, CA, 92277, Phone: 760-367-5529, Fax: 760-367-6392

Additional Information:
California National Forests & Parks - California's National Parks, Monuments and Forests cover lands from the Pacific Ocean to the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Desert Region - The Desert Region encompasses the southeast corner of California. It features Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks. The region is studded with glittering yet relaxing resort cities, offers the ideal spot for re-energizing your senses.
Inland Empire Region - The Inland Empire lies between the coast and the deserts of Southern California. The Inland Empire offers soaring mountains, alpine lakes, historic sites, lush vineyards and colorful entertainment.
Route 62--29 Palms Highway - This State Scenic Highway, which features high desert country scenery, leads to or from Joshua Tree National Park. Large "windmill farms," where wind power is used to generate electricity, can be seen along the way.
Southern California -

Joshua Tree National Park - Official agency website


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