Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

National Park · Southern California


Joshua Tree National Park is located in southeastern California. Declared a U.S. National Park in 1994 when the U.S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act (Public Law 103-433), it had previously been a U.S. National Monument since 1936. It is named for the Joshua trees native to the park. It covers a land area of 790,636 acres —an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. A large part of the park, some 429,690 acres, is a designated wilderness area.

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The strange trees, innumerable rocks and wide sky of Joshua Tree National Park bring climbers, boulderers, desert campers, stargazers and geology geeks from all over — more than 3 million visitors in 2021. There’s also a thriving art scene and a growing number of funky shops, restaurants and vacation rentals in the nearby communities of Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms on Highway 62.
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This exotic desert landscape is populated by thousands of its famous namesake, Joshua trees—as well as the boulders and rock formations that make the views so iconic. Changes in elevation make for starkly contrasting environments inside Joshua Tree National Park, including bleached sand dunes, dry lakes, rugged mountains, valleys full of wildflowers and giant clusters of granite monoliths.
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The twisty tree shapes, Cholla cactus forests, and blobby boulders in Joshua Tree make wonderful Dr. Suess-style memories for your kids. For a quick day trip, stick to the exhibitions along the main roads. Don't want to hike it alone? Join one of their guided hike tours.
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Spend a day hiking or climbing in Joshua Tree National Park.
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Visitors to Joshua Tree National Park can explore 800,000 acres of beautiful terrain, where wildlife thrives in temperatures over 100 degrees. Take a picnic, plan a camping trip to one of the nine campgrounds, join rangers for a campfire talk, or explore the many museums and wayside exhibits throughout the park.
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Long honored, fanciful, and yes, even strange, the Joshua Tree is one of nature’s most peculiar and distinctive creations. Visitors can explore 800,000 acres of beautiful terrain in Joshua Tree National Park, where wildlife thrives in temperatures over 100 degrees. Although the park is open year-round, the weather is most comfortable during spring and fall when average daytime temperatures are in the mid 80's and fall at night to around 50 degrees.
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Boasting some of the darkest nights in Southern California, Joshua Tree National Park offers visitors the chance to admire the Milky Way and many other stars throughout the park on clear and moonless nights. If you’re planning on stargazing, make sure to bring food, water, a chair, and extra layers for when the temperatures drop in the evening. Use red lights only – not bright white flashlights, headlamps, or cell phones – to allow your eyes to fully adjust to very low light conditions.
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Also in southern California, Joshua Tree National Park brings together the distinct ecosystems from the Mojave and Colorado deserts to provide a home for an incredible range of plants and animals. The land has been shaped by strong weather over the years to create a fascinating landscape where you can enjoy hiking, camping, climbing, bird watching and stargazing.
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California, which already has hundreds of thousands of green jobs, has shifted the ecotourism landscape. For example, about 95 percent of Yosemite National Park is protected from urban activity, while efforts to decrease emissions for the other 5 percent include hybrid shuttle buses and green concessions. Meanwhile, in Palm Springs, you can go on eco-friendly excursions to the San Andreas Fault, Indian Canyons and Joshua Tree National Park.
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Enjoy the desert in Joshua Tree, CA: Joshua Tree is truly one-of-a-kind. The complete nothingness that emanates from the star-splattered sky at night here is an absolute titan of the California natural wonders hierarchy. It’s scenic as hell during the day (which, during the fall and winter, is a lot more manageable), too, what with all the eponymous Joshua Trees and weirdly picturesque rock formations.
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Accessibility Features
Wheelchair Accessible
Good for Kids
Accepts Credit Cards


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