According to IAMACCEPTED, Joshua Tree National Park is a desert landscape located in southeastern California. This California attraction is located right at the transition between the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert, bringing together two distinct desert ecosystems in the park.
To visit this beautiful attraction in the United States, you have to go to southern California. Joshua Tree National Park is located about 140 miles east of Los Angeles near Palm Springs. Three entrances lead to the national park, the main entrance near the town of Twentynine Palms, the west entrance at Joshua Tree Village, and the south entrance at Cottonwood Springs.
This area got its name from the many Joshua trees, yucca, which are called “Joshua Tree” in English. Mormons crossing the Mojave Desert gave Joshua Tree Park its name. They recognized the figure of the prophet Joshua in the trees, showing the Israelites the way to the promised land with outstretched arms.
In addition to the many Joshua Trees, there are many interesting geological formations in the national park. Everywhere in Joshua Park you will find various rock formations that tower up in the middle of the California desert between the yuccas. The most fascinating and spectacular rock formations are the Jumbo Rocks, Wonderland of Rocks and the Indian Coves.
Visit this beautiful national park on a round trip through America, go hiking or climbing on the beautiful rock formations and discover the fascinating variety of plants and animals.
At 35,000 square kilometers, the Mojave Desert is the driest desert in North America. It is found in the southwestern United States, primarily in southeastern California and southern Nevada. A small portion of the territory even extends to Utah and Arizona. Due to its climate, it offers an ideal habitat for all the yucca palms that grow here. In addition to the plants, there are many geological forms here that visitors like to climb.
Below 3,000 feet (910 m), the Colorado Desert encompasses the eastern portion of the park with yucca and cholla cacti. There are areas that appear like natural gardens due to the cacti. The lower Coachella Valley is on the southeastern side of the park with sandy bottomed meadows and desert dunes. Here you can go hiking and enjoy nature.
Activities in Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree Park has numerous roads and trails. On a paved main road can be reached by car to the main attractions in the park. You can also go rock climbing and admire the stars. To help you plan your visit a little further, we have put together some activities for you here:
Several hiking trails exist in the park, ranging from short trails, like the Hidden Valley hike, to long hikes that can take an entire day. The hiking trails are a good way to explore the beauty of the park and to get to viewpoints like Keys View. From here you have a wonderful view over the Coachella Valley and the Salton Sea.
There is the opportunity to explore the area on your own or to take part in a ranger tour. The advantage of a guided hike is that you learn more about the plants, animals and history of this fascinating place. It is here that the largest yucca palms grow in an area of 790,636 hectares, an area slightly larger than Rhode Island.
The highlights are five oases in the park where the only palm trees in California grow, the California Fan Palm. There is regular water in these areas and it is good to see wildlife.
Originally, the park was a fallback for rock climbers, especially in winter, while the areas of Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada were snowed in. The park is now becoming increasingly popular with climbers. Many different climbing routes with different levels of difficulty can be explored here. The routes are usually short, mostly the rocks are no more than 70 m high. In addition, the rocks are very rough, so that you can find support everywhere.
Over 250 species of birds live in the park and these can be easily spotted on bird watching tours. Well known bird watching spots in the park are at: Fan Palm Oases, Barker Dam, Smith Water Canyon, Queen Valley and Lost Horse Valley.
Joshua Tree is a popular site for amateur astronomers and stargazers, as is the nearby Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. This region is known for its dark skies, largely free from Southern California’s extreme light pollution. The park’s altitude and dry desert air, along with Southern California’s relatively stable atmosphere, often make for excellent astronomical observing conditions.
Many animals live in Joshua Tree Park, such as birds, lizards, squirrels, snakes, bighorn sheep, kangaroo rats, coyotes, and black-tailed rabbits. Some animals can be seen well during the day, others are nocturnal and are rarely seen. All animals that live here have adapted to the special climate, with little water and a lot of heat. There are five natural water points in the park where you can easily observe animal life. A good place to see wildlife is at Barker Dam, a short hike from a parking lot near Hidden Valley.
In addition to the Joshua Trees, approximately 700 different species of plants grow here, such as Piñon pines, junipers, oaks and many other plants.
The Joshua lilies in the Mojave Desert in the northwestern part of the park look like cacti but are members of the lily family. They grow up to 18 meters high and up to 900 years old. The highlight is when the palm lilies bloom in April and May.
The Joshua Trees were named by Mormons who roamed the park’s area in the 1840’s and believed they showed them the way west. The tallest Joshua tree in the park is in the Queen Valley Forest.
Excursion destinations in the park
Joshua Tree Park has some beautiful sights to offer. We have put a few together for you here:
Cottonwood Spring Oasis is approximately seven miles from the south entrance to the park. A place that was very important for the prospectors. They came here to use the water for gold processing, so some gold mills were found here. A number of hiking trails begin at Cottonwood Spring. The three-mile cross-country ski trail to Mastodon Peak offers spectacular views over Joshua Park.
Black Rock Canyon
Located in the northwestern part of the park. Here is a campsite, visitor center and many beautiful hiking trails. The campsites are located on a hill at the mouth of the canyon. A variety of hiking trails, including the Hi-View Nature Trail, start here. Longer hiking trails lead to Eureka Peak, Panorama Loop and Warren Peak.
A dirt road in Covington Flats provides access to some of the park’s largest Joshua trees, junipers and pinyons. There are a number of hiking trails in the area. Covington is located in the northwestern part of the park, between Black Rock Canyon and Joshua Tree.
Indian Cove is located 13 miles east of Joshua Tree Village and 10 miles west of Twentynine Palms on the north side of Wonderland of Rocks. Here is a campsite and some towering rock formations that are popular for rock climbing.
A popular destination on the crest of the small San Bernardino Mountains. From here you have a panoramic view of the Coachella Valley. Also, on a clear day, you can see as far as Signal Mountain in Mexico.
Two hollowed-out eye sockets carved into a rock shaped like a skull await you here. A beautiful 1.7-mile nature trail runs through the Skull Rock area.
Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center
There are three visitor centers in the national park that provide information about Joshua Tree National Park. There are exhibitions about the park’s ecosystem, its flora and fauna, geological formations, and the first inhabitants.
Joshua Tree National Park Camping & Lodging
There are nine established campsites in the park. Water and restrooms are available at three campgrounds: Black Rock Campground, Indian Cove Campground, and Cottonwood Campground. In the surrounding places there is the possibility to stay in a hotel.
Weather & Climate in Joshua Tree Park
The climate in Joshua Tree National Park is generally very dry, with spring and fall temperatures averaging high/low (29 and 10°C respectively). In winter, temperatures go down to 16°C. At this time, it can snow even at higher altitudes. Weather-wise, a visit is recommended, especially in winter. Many spend New Year’s Eve here. In midsummer the park is very empty – and sweltering hot from 9 a.m. onwards.
History of Joshua Tree National Park
In greener times, Indians lived here, of which only rock paintings remain. In the late 1800’s ranchers came to the desert and built dams to create water reserves. Miners prospecting for gold followed.
It was not until August 10, 1936 that the park was established as a National Monument covering 825,000 hectares after activist Minerva Hoyt convinced the state and governments that the area should be protected. In 1950, the size of the park was reduced by approximately 265,000 hectares to avoid trouble with legal lands belonging to mining owners.
On October 31, 1994, 234,000 hectares were added back to the area and the area was placed under protection as a national park.
Today, Joshua Park is 790,636 hectares in size, of which approximately 429,690 hectares are wilderness areas.
Opening hours & tickets
The park is always open and can be visited at any time. A vehicle permit is $25.00, motorcycle or bicycle pay – $12.00 and pedestrian $12.00. All tickets are valid for seven days
The address of the attraction Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park