Joshua Tree National Park
74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
WELCOME To A Desert Park!
Viewed from the road, this desert park only
hints at its vitality. Closer examination reveals a fascinating
variety of plants and animals that make their home in this land
shaped by strong winds, unpredictable torrents of rain, and climatic
extremes. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal
geologic features add to the attraction of this place. Come see for
Places to Picnic
- Black Rock Campground
- Cottonseed Springs
- Hidden Valley
- Indian Cove
- Jumbo Rocks
Joshua Tree National Park may be visited year
round. Each season adds its personality to the desert�s character.
Visitor centers and wayside exhibits,
providing opportunities to acquaint yourself with park resources,
are located along main roads leading into and through the park.
Publications about the park are sold by the Joshua Tree National
Park Association at visitor centers and on the web.
Ranger-guided activities can increase your
enjoyment and understanding of the park. Walks, hikes, and campfire
talks are conducted chiefly in the spring and fall; schedules are
available at entrance stations and visitor centers, and are posted
on campground bulletin boards.
There are nine campgrounds with tables, fire
grates, and toilets. Several picnic areas for day use are available.
You must bring water and firewood.
While the Joshua Tree area has been
inhabited by humans for at least 5,000 years, by the late 1920s the
development of new roads into the desert had brought an influx of
land developers and cactus poachers. Minerva Hoyt, a Pasadena
resident who was extremely fond of desert plants, became concerned
about the removal of cacti and other plants to the gardens of Los
Angeles. Her tireless efforts to protect this area culminated in
825,000 acres being set aside as Joshua Tree National Monument in
The monument was administered by the
superintendent of Yosemite National Park until James Cole was
appointed as the first superintendent in 1940. The eastern portion
of the historic Oasis of Mara was deeded to the National Park
Service by the Twentynine Palms Corporation in 1950. That same year
the monument's size was reduced by 265,000 acres to exclude some
A National Park
As part of the Desert Protection Bill, Joshua Tree National
Monument was elevated to park status on October 31, 1994. The bill
also added 234,000 acres. The new park boundary follows natural
features and includes complete ecological units such as entire
mountain ranges. Previous boundaries divided these ranges along
survey lines. The additions provide better resource protection with
easier boundary identification and monitoring and important habitat
for desert bighorn sheep. Elevations in the park range from a low of
536 feet to a high of 5,814 feet at Quail Mountain.
In 1976 Congress designated 420,000 acres within the monument as
wilderness. Of the park's current 794,000 acres, 585,000 is
Joshua Tree provides habitat
for 712 higher plant species, 40 reptile species, 41 mammal species,
and 240 bird species. The federal register lists one park reptile,
the desert tortoise, as threatened and one park plant species, the
Coachella Valley milk vetch, as endangered. In addition there are 26
species of special concern being protected within the park.
Joshua Tree has one paleontological
area and potentially eight more. The park protects 501 archeological
sites, 88 historic structures, 19 cultural landscapes, and houses
123,253 items in its museum collection.
Park staff maintain 88
miles of paved roads and 81 miles of unpaved roads, nine campgrounds
with 523 campsites and two horsecamps, and 10 picnic areas with 38
picnic sites. There are 32 trailheads and 191 miles of hiking trails
throughout the park.
Park staff greet visitors at three
entrance stations, three visitor centers, and one nature center.
Behind the scenes the park maintains
10 water treatment facilities, nine solar power stations, four
maintenance facilities, eight employee housing units, and 95
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