Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park, established in 1994, is located between Riverside County and San Bernardino County, in the wilderness of southeastern California. The large desert park, which covers about 800,000 acres, is composed of two distinct desert ecosystem – the lower Colorado Desert and the higher Mojave Desert ecosystem. Its landscape is distinctively characterized by Yucca brevifolia, popularly called the Joshua Tree, from which the park’s name is derived, as well as rugged rocks, large boulders, trickling springs, and fascinating desert wildlife.
Explore The Park Where Two Desert Meet
The Joshua Tree National Park, with its dual desert ecosystem, offers tourists a wide range of attractions, and several outdoor activities, including hiking, rock climbing, camping, and stargazing. There are paved main roads linking all the parts of the park that allows you to drive to the major attractions if you are looking to spend just a day at the park. And, if you have a four-wheel drive, you can do a tour of the other attraction sites that are accessible via unpaved roads.
The park has a motel – the Pioneer-town motel, as well as nine established campgrounds where you can spend the night if you are looking to spend more than a day at the park. You can make a reservation ahead of your visit at four of the campgrounds, while the others are available on a first-come-first-served basis. However, if you wish to backpack through the camp, backcountry camping is permitted with a few regulations.
Joshua Tree National Park has about 400 unique rock formation and 8,000 known climbing routes, so you can also go rock climbing, and even do more than one climb in a day. Echo Cove is particularly great for both first timers and advanced climbers. The park also has several hiking trails, some as long as 35 miles and others as short as 1 mile. The 30-foot Arch Rock trail is a popular hiking trail surrounded by giant boulders you can explore. You can also enjoy spectacular views of the Coachella Valley, the Salton Sea, and the city of Palm Spring from Keys View, the highest point in the park, as well as spend your camping night stargazing into the park’s stunning, dark skies.
If you are in Southern California, the Joshua Tree National Park is definitely worth exploring, as it offers several attractions and outdoor activities you can enjoy.