Environment Featured Travelling

Joshua Tree National Park, where two deserts meet

Joshua Tree National Park

Two well-known American deserts, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together within the Joshua Tree National Park. A wonderful diversity of plants and animals inhabit a land sculpted by wind and rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history and surreal geologic features will fill your eye in this vast wilderness. Come explore for yourself!

The Joshua Tree National Park

The park was declared a U.S. National Park in 1994. That was when the U.S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act (Public Law 103-433). Since then, it had been a U.S. National Monument.

A typical view, By Tuxyso / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

The place takes its name from the Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia), native to the park. Straddling the San Bernardino and Riverside County borders, the park includes parts of two deserts. Both of them feature ecosystems determined primarily by elevation. Mojave Desert sits higher and Colorado Desert is in the lower parts of the park. The Little San Bernardino Mountains at the park’s southwest edge make for a fantastic backdrop.

Things you can do in the Park

#1. Camp under the stars

You can spend the nght in one of nine established campgrounds that exist in the park. Three of them (Black Rock Campground, Indian Cove Campground, Cottonwood Campground) even provide water and flush toilets. Reservations are accepted at Black Rock Campground and Indian Cove Campground for October through May, while the other campgrounds are first-come, first-served.

#2. Hike through the desert

You will find several amazing hiking trails within the park, many of which can be accessed from a campground. Shorter trails, such as the one mile hike through Hidden Valley, will give you the chance to view the beauty of the park without straying too far into the desert.