Joshua Tree National Park

More than half of the 320,000 hectares that make up Joshua Tree National Park in California’s Southeast have been designated wilderness areas. This means that this area has been left in its natural state and is protected as such so that its use is limited. Nevertheless, the National Park opened in 1994 offers a lot of opportunities to the 1.2 million visitors who find their way to Joshua Tree each year. Information on all activities possible at the park are available at the three Visitors Centers, which are all located near the entry points. One is close to the small town of Joshua Tree Village, one is near Twentynine Palms, both in the North of the park area, and one is in the South near Cottonwood Springs. The latter is easily accessible via Interstate I-10.

CA Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree National Park is especially popular with rock climbers who will find no less than 8000 different climbing routes here. There are some outdoor tour operators offering guided climbing trips into the rock formations which were formed due to volcanic activities. Mountainbikers will find trails with a total length of about 45 kilometers, with the network scheduled to be extended. Hikers have several short trails to good observation points, so-called Nature Walks, at their disposal. In addition, there a number of long trails, even multi-day trips are possible. The Park Rangers are also offering guided hiking trips and short walks, sometimes those have a specific theme such as bird watching.

Despite the temperatures in this desert region and the non-fertile soils, Joshua Tree National Park is a habitat for many planmts and animal species. Apart from coyotes, deer, bats and snails living here, the almost extinct desert tortoises are especially worth mentioning. There are even a few toads and frogs living here which have successfully adapted to living conditions in desert surroundings.

Joshua Tree National Park consists of two different habitats. On one hand, there is the Mojave desert in the northern section of the park which is a little cooler, on the other hand there is the Colorado desert in the eastern parts. There, summer temperatures can go up to 40C, with an average humidity of 25%. The Joshua trees that lend their name to the National Park - they are a yucca species - can be found in the Mojave desert. They have been given their name by mormons passing through because the outstretched arms of the trees reminded them of the prophet Joshua.

The park is open year-round. Because of the temperatures, the summer months usually see less visitors than in winter time.


More information on Joshua Tree National Park can be found on the National Park Service website.




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Deutsche Version: Kalifornien