Joshua Tree National Park is located in Southeastern California.
The park was initially designated as a National Monument in 1936 and includes over 825,000 acres. It straddles both the Mojave and the Colorado Desert and is known for the diversity of the ecosystems that exist in the various areas of the park.
The higher Mojave Desert is home to the trees for which the park is named. This area includes interesting landscapes, geological formations and flatland. This part of the park is popular with rock climbers and hikers and others seeking to explore the trails. The lower Colorado Desert covers the eastern part of the park and is home to a dense variety of cacti, tends to be greener and houses five naturally occurring oasis where water is available year-round.
The park is an ideal location for anyone who is an avid outdoor enthusiast.
Hiking, rock climbing, and camping are popular activities here and perhaps the best way to discover all that it has to offer. There are 12 short nature trails, more than 400 formations to climb and nine established campgrounds (three of which have running water and flush toilets available to campers). Other popular activities in the park include horseback riding, biking, stargazing, and backpacking.
Birding is also a popular activity at Joshua Tree. There are over 250 species of birds that call the park home. They include the greater roadrunner, cactus wren, mockingbirds, verdin, and Gambel’s quail. In addition there are species who use the location as a transitory home on their migration paths.
The park has many locations throughout it to view and photograph birds in their natural habitat.
Finally, Joshua Tree is a beloved location for amateur astronomers in Southern California. Its location outside of any major city means that there is a lack of light pollution that is found in the areas closer to the larger cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco. The dark skies, desert air and stable atmosphere mean that the conditions here are prime for viewing starts.
Whether you are seeking a daytime hiking adventure or a nighttime viewing of the sky, Joshua Tree National Park is the perfect spot to get out and connect with nature.