Joshua Tree National Park resides in Southern California. It is a vast protected area known for rugged rock formations and stark desert landscapes. This place is particularly known for the region’s twisted and bristled Joshua trees. It expands over an area of 3,200 km square and was established on 31 October 1994.
This national park is famous for its distinct trees and the views of dusk and dawn. The Joshua trees were named by Mormons in the 1850s. The epic sights that these trees provide are undoubtedly mesmerizing. Joshua Tree National Park is divided into two segments:
- The Higher Mojave Desert
- The Lower Colorado Desert
The elevation of the region decides the characteristics of the ecosystem. There exists more than 3000 km of the desert to explore. The plants and wildlife of the region have adjusted themselves to the conditions of the desert. Some of the wildlife that one can find there are bighorn sheep, coyotes, rattlesnakes, scorpions, etc.
How To Reach Joshua Tree National Park
The closest airport from Joshua Tree National Park is Palm Springs International Airport. It lies 40 miles away from the park. It is advised to have some extra time in hand when visiting this park. One can even drive 200 miles southwest to the park from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.
There are three entrances to the Joshua Tree National Park:
- West Entrance: Joshua Tree Visitor Center
- South Entrance: Cottonwood Visitor Center
- North Entrance: Oasis Visitor Center
Best Time To Visit
Tourists are advised to visit the Joshua Tree National Park from March to May and October to November. The temperature in these months is quite moderate. It can raise the maximum up to 85 degrees. Fall is a great time to visit the park. Wildflowers can be seen during the spring season.
Things To Do In Joshua Tree National Park
Hidden Valley Nature Trail
The Hidden Valley Nature Trail is the best place for short hiking or simple wandering. It is a wonderful one-mile route into a large bowl surrounded by rock walls. In early times, this place was used by cattle rustlers for herding purposes. There also exists a giant monolith known as the Great Burrito. Tourists can even go for a picnic in this area.
Barker Dam Natural Trail
The Barker Dam Natural Trail is a loop expanding over a stretch of 1.3 miles. This place is perfect for a short trail in the Joshua Tree National Park. The area has huge Joshua trees, rocks, and water. This place has one of the best sceneries with many large trees beyond the dam.
Skull Rock comprises many rock formations which dominate the park. This hiking trail stretches over 1.7 miles through rocks and shrubby vegetation. The naturally sculpted rock beside the road often attracts a lot of crowds. One can even find many Joshua trees near Skull Rock.
Bouldering and Rock Climbing
If one wants to indulge in recreational activities in the Joshua Tree National Park, they should go for bouldering and rock climbing. There are around 8000 climbing routes and numerous climbing formations. Maps and pamphlets are also available to make travel easier. Winter months are preferred the most for climbing in Joshua Tree National Park.
Keys Ranch is a property that includes a house, schoolhouse, store, and workshop. It is the ranch of former homestead William F. Keys who resided here in the 1910s. This place is a National Historic Register Site that can be visited on ranger-led guided tours. One can learn a lot about the character and the issues that were faced by the family. One should get their reservation done 60 days in advance to visit this place.
Such a wonderful place it is. Yet another national park in California is the Kings Canyon, National Park. It is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. If you feel like reading more about it, do check our blog on Best Places in Kings Canyon National Park.