|Joshua Tree National Park|
|Location||Riverside County and San Bernardino County, California, United States|
|Nearest city||Twentynine Palms|
|Area||790,636 acres (1,235.4 sq mi; 3,199.6 km2)|
|Established||October 31, 1994|
|Visitors||2,399,542(in 2020 )|
|Governing body||National Park Service|
|Website||Joshua Tree National Park|
Joshua Tree National Park is an American national park in southeastern California, east of San Bernardino and Los Angeles and north Palm Springs. It is named after the Joshua trees ( Yucca brevifolia ) native to the Mojave Desert. Originally declared a national monument in 1936, Joshua Tree was redesignated as a national park in 1994 when the U.S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act. 790,636 acres (1,235.4 sq mi; 3,199.6 km2) – slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island – the park includes 429,690 acres (671.4 sq mi; 1,738.9 km2) of designated wilderness. Straddling San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, the park includes parts of two deserts, each an ecosystem whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation: the higher Mojave Desert and the lower Colorado Desert. The Little San Bernardino Mountains traverse the southwest edge of the park.Encompassing a total of
The earliest known residents of the land in and around what later became Joshua Tree National Park were the people of the Pinto Culture, who lived and hunted here between 8000 and 4000 BCE.Their stone tools and spear points, discovered in the Pinto Basin in the 1930s, suggest that they hunted game and gathered seasonal plants, but little else is known about them. Later residents included the Serrano, the Cahuilla, and the Chemehuevi peoples. All three lived at times in small villages in or near water, particularly the Oasis of Mara in what non-aboriginals later called Twentynine Palms. They were hunter-gatherers who subsisted largely on plant foods supplemented by small game, amphibians, and reptiles while using other plants for making medicines, bows and arrows, baskets, and other articles of daily life. A fourth group, the Mojaves, used the local resources as they traveled along trails between the Colorado River and the Pacific coast. In the 21st century, small numbers of all four peoples live in the region near the park; the Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians, descendants of the Chemehuevi, own a reservation in Twentynine Palms.
In 1772, a group of Spaniards led by Pedro Fages made the first European sightings of Joshua trees while pursuing native converts to Christianity who had run away from a mission in San Diego. By 1823, the year Mexico achieved independence from Spain, a Mexican expedition from Los Angeles, in what was then Alta California, is thought to have explored as far east as the Eagle Mountains in what later became the park. Three years later, Jedediah Smith led a group of American fur trappers and explorers along the nearby Mojave Trail, and others soon followed. Two decades after that, the United States defeated Mexico in the Mexican–American War (1846–48) and took over about half of Mexico's original territory, including California and the future parkland.
In 1870, white settlers began grazing cattle on the tall grasses that grew in the park. In 1888, a gang of cattle rustlers moved into the region near the Oasis of Mara. Led by brothers James. B. and William S. McHaney, they hid stolen cattle in a box canyon at Cow Camp.Throughout the region, ranchers dug wells and built rainwater catchments called "tanks", such as White Tank and Barker Dam. In 1900, C. O. Barker, a miner and cattleman, built the original Barker Dam, later improved by William "Bill" Keys, a rancher. Grazing continued in the park through 1945. Barker Dam was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1975.
Between the 1860s and the 1940s, miners worked about 300 pit mines, mostly small, in what later became the park. million in today's currency. Johnny Lang and others, the original owners of the Lost Horse Mine, installed a two-stamp mill to process ore at the site, and the next owner, J.D. Ryan, replaced it with a 10-stamp steam-powered mill. Ryan pumped water from his ranch to the mill and cut timber from the nearby hills to heat water to make steam. Most of the structures associated with the mine fell apart, and for safety reasons the National Park Service plugged the mine, which had collapsed. The Desert Queen Mine on Keys' Desert Queen Ranch was another productive gold mine. In the early 1930s, Keys bought a gasoline-powered two-stamp mill, the Wall Street Mill, and moved it to his ranch to process ore. The ranch and mill were added to the NRHP in 1975 and the mine in 1976. Some of the mines in the park yielded copper, zinc, and iron.The most successful, the Lost Horse Mine, produced gold and silver worth about $5
On August 10, 1936, after Minerva Hoyt and others persuaded the state and federal governments to protect the area, President Franklin D. Roosevelt used the power of the 1906 Antiquities Act to establish Joshua Tree National Monument, 825,000 acres (1,289.1 sq mi; 3,338.7 km2). In 1950, the size of the park was reduced by about 290,000 acres (453.1 sq mi; 1,173.6 km2) to open the land to more mining. The monument was redesignated as a national park on October 31, 1994, by the Desert Protection Act, which also added 234,000 acres (365.6 sq mi; 947.0 km2). In 2019, the park expanded by 4,518 acres (7.1 sq mi; 18.3 km2) under a bill included in the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act.protecting about
The Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) has conserved 10,290 acres (4,160 ha) within the park. These inholdings were private ownership within the national park that they were able to purchase. They also acquire private properties bordering federal protected properties. MDLT has sold 25,801 acres (10,441 ha) of acquired private property to the national park service which is more than any other similar organization.
According to the A. W. Kuchler U.S. Potential natural vegetation types, Joshua Tree National Park has two categories, a creosote bush potential vegetation type with a desert shrubland potential vegetation form in most of the area, and a juniper/pinyon pine potential vegetation type with a Great Basin montane forest/southwest forest potential vegetation form on the higher elevations of the western side of the park.
See main article: Mojave Desert
The higher and cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of Yucca brevifolia , the Joshua tree for which the park is named. It occurs in patterns from dense forests to distantly spaced specimens. In addition to Joshua tree forests, the western part of the park includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in California's deserts. The dominant geologic features of this landscape are hills of bare rock, usually broken up into loose boulders. These hills are popular among rock climbing and scrambling enthusiasts. The flatland between these hills is sparsely forested with Joshua trees. Together with the boulder piles and Skull Rock, the trees make the landscape otherworldly. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high/low of 85 and 50 °F (29 and 10 °C), respectively. Winter brings cooler days, around 60 °F (16 °C), and freezing nights. Snows occur occasionally at higher elevations. Summers are hot, over 100 °F (38 °C) during the day and not cooling much below 75 °F (24 °C) until the early hours of the morning.
Joshua trees dominate the open spaces of the park, but in among the rock outcroppings are piñon pine, California juniper ( Juniperus californica ), Quercus turbinella (desert scrub oak), Quercus john-tuckeri (Tucker's oak), and Quercus cornelius-mulleri (Muller's oak).These communities are under some stress, however, as the climate was wetter until the 1930s, with the same hot and dry conditions that provoked the Dust Bowl affecting the local climate. These cycles were nothing new, but the original vegetation did not prosper when wetter cycles returned. The difference may have been human development. Cattle grazing took out some of the natural cover and made it less resistant to the changes. The bigger problem, though, seems to be invasive species, such as cheatgrass, which during wetter periods fills in below and among the pines and oak. In drier times, they die back, but do not quickly decompose. This makes wildfires hotter and more destructive, which kills some of the trees that would have otherwise survived. When the area regenerates, these non-native grasses form a thick layer of turf that makes getting a roothold harder for the pine and oak seedlings.
Below 3,000 feet (910 m), the Colorado Desert encompasses the eastern part of the park and features habitats of creosote bush scrub, ocotillo, desert saltbush, and mixed scrub including yucca and cholla cactus (Cylindropuntia bigelovii). Some areas of such cactus are dense enough to appear as natural gardens. The lower Coachella Valley is on the southeastern side of the park with sandy soil grasslands and desert dunes.
The only palm native to California, the California fan palm ( Washingtonia filifera ), occurs naturally in five oases in the park, rare areas where water occurs naturally year-round and all forms of wildlife abound.
According to the Köppen climate classification system, Joshua Tree National Park has a hot desert climate (BWh). According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the plant hardiness zone at the Cottonwood Visitor Center at 3081 ft (939 m) elevation is 8b, with an average annual extreme minimum temperature of 19.8 °F (−6.8 °C).
|Climate data for Cottonwood Visitor Center, Joshua Tree National Park. Elev: 3104 ft (946 m)|
|Average high °F (°C)||59.2|
|Daily mean °F (°C)||47.2|
|Average low °F (°C)||35.1|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||0.88|
|Average relative humidity (%)||40.7||43.0||42.9||37.4||35.1||26.2||28.6||31.0||30.1||31.4||34.6||37.9||34.9|
|Average dew point °F (°C)||24.5|
|Source: PRISM Climate Group|
The park's oldest rocks, Pinto Gneiss among them, are 1.7 billion years old. They are exposed in places on the park's surface in the Cottonwood, Pinto, and Eagle Mountains. Much later, from 250 to 75 million years ago, tectonic plate movements forced volcanic material toward the surface at this location and formed granites, including monzogranite common to the Wonderland of Rocks, parts of the Pinto, Eagle, and Coxcomb Mountains, and elsewhere. Erosion eventually exposed the harder rocks, gneiss and granite, in the uplands and reduced the softer rocks to debris that filled the canyons and basins between the ranges. The debris, moved by gravity and water, formed alluvial fans at the mouths of canyons, and bajadas, where the alluvial fans overlapped.
The rock formations of Joshua Tree National Park owe their shape partly to groundwater, which filtered through the roughly rectangular joints of the monzonite and eroded the corners and edges of blocks of stone, and to flash floods, which washed away covering ground and left piles of rounded boulders.These prominent outcrops are known as inselbergs.
Of the park's six blocks of mountains, five—the Little San Bernardino, Hexie, Pinto, Cottonwood, and Eagle—are among the Transverse Ranges, which trend generally east–west in locations between the Eagle Mountains on the east and the northern Channel Islands, in the Pacific Ocean west of Santa Barbara, on the west. Tectonic forces along the San Andreas Fault system compressed and lifted the crust material that formed these ranges. The San Andreas Fault itself passes southwest of the park, but related parallel faults, including the Dillon, Blue Cut, and Pinto, run through the park, and movements along them have caused earthquakes. The easternmost range in the park, the Coxcomb Mountains, runs generally north–south and is part of the Basin and Range Province.
Nine established campgrounds exist in the park, two of which (Black Rock Campground and Cottonwood Campground) provide water and flush toilets. A fee is charged per night for each camping spot.Reservations are accepted at Black Rock Campground, Cottonwood Campground, Indian Cove Campground, and Jumbo Rocks Campground for October through May, while the other campgrounds are first-come, first-served. Backcountry camping, for those who wish to backpack, is permitted with a few regulations.
Several hiking trails are within the park, many of which can be accessed from a campground. Shorter trails, such as the one-mile hike through Hidden Valley, offer a chance to view the beauty of the park without straying too far into the desert. A section of the California Riding and Hiking Trail meanders for 35 miles (56 km) through the western side of the park. The lookout point at Keys View, towards the south of the park, offers views of the Coachella Valley, the Salton Sea, the San Andreas Fault, the Santa Rosa Mountains, and the city of Palm Springs.
Nature walks inside the park include:
Longer trails include:
Due to graffiti on at least 17 sites on trails, officials have closed them to the public. The closed sites include Native American sites, Rattlesnake Canyon, and Barker Dam. They blame the increase in vandalism on the increased use of social media.
The park is popular with rock climbers and was originally a winter practice area while Yosemite Valley and other parts of the Sierra Nevada were snowbound, but later became an area of interest in its own right. Its thousands of named climbing routes contain all levels of difficulty. The routes are typically short, the rocks being rarely more than 230 ft (70 m) in height, but access is usually a short, easy walk through the desert, and doing a number of interesting climbs in a single day is possible. The rocks are all composed of quartz monzonite, a very rough type of granite, made even more so as no snow or ice polishes it as in places such as Yosemite.
Some routes are permanently closed, while others are closed temporarily to protect sensitive wildlife in certain seasons. Climbing and bouldering routes that are permanently closed include Energy Crisis, the Schwarzenegger Wall, Zombie Woof Rock, the Maverick Boulder formation, Pictograph Boulder, Shindig, Lonely Stones Area #3, the Shipwreck formation, Indian Wave Boulders (except for Native Arete), and Wormholes. As of March 14,2018 [update] , seasonal closures include the Slatanic Area, Towers of Uncertainty, Patagonia Pile, and Jerry's Quarry.
The total visitors more than doubled from 2013 to 2019. Awareness of the wildflower bloom in the spring has brought increased visitation.
The paved main road allows visitors to drive to major attractions and through the park. The unpaved roads may require a vehicle with high ground clearance, and four-wheel drive. An example is the Geology Tour Road in the center of the park. Visitors with a four-wheel-drive vehicle can use this road for a self-guided tour with stops that describe the region's geology.
More than 250 bird species inhabit or visit the park, including resident desert birds such as the greater roadrunner, cactus wren, northern mockingbird, LeConte's thrasher, verdin, and Gambel's quail. About 78 species nest and raise their young within the park. Many migrating species spend only a short time feeding and resting at Joshua Tree, mainly in the winter, as the park lies along an inland stretch of the Pacific Flyway. Other species descend from their usual habitats in the mountains to escape winter snows.
Birdwatching spots include fan palm oases, the Barker Dam, and Smith Water Canyon. Queen Valley and Lost Horse Valley also provide good birdwatching, with a different range of species due to the lack of water, including the ladder-backed woodpecker and oak titmouse. A USGS bird checklist from 2006 contained 239 species in the park.
Joshua Tree is a popular observing site in Southern California for amateur astronomy and stargazing,along with nearby Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The park's elevation and dry desert air, along with the relatively stable atmosphere in the region, often make for excellent seeing conditions.
The park is well known for its naturally dark night skies, which are far away from and largely free of the light pollution typical in the urban areas. In 2017, the International Dark-Sky Association designated Joshua Tree a Dark Sky Park.
On clear nights around new moon, the sky darkness of Joshua Tree is rated a class 2–4 on the Bortle scale.This ranges from an "average dark sky" (class 2) in the easternmost region of the park to a sky quality typical of a rural/suburban transition (class 4) in the western regions near Palm Springs. In the easternmost regions of the park, visitors with optimal vision can expect to see the Andromeda (M31) and Triangulum (M33) galaxies with unaided eyes. The central Milky Way appears highly structured to the naked eye from this site, and zodiacal light appears as a faint yellowish glow when visible. In the western regions of the park, the Andromeda Galaxy is still visible, and only the brightest structures around the Galactic Center of the Milky Way can be distinguished; zodicial light is visible halfway to the zenith.
Birds, lizards, and ground squirrels are most likely to be seen because they are largely active during the day. However, at night desert animals come out to roam. Mostly nocturnal animals include snakes, bighorn sheep, kangaroo rats, coyotes, bobcats, and black-tailed jackrabbits. 4 inches (10 cm) long. The yucca moth Tegeticula paradoxa is responsible for pollinating the Joshua trees after which the park is named.The desert tortoise is a threatened reptile species that inhabits creosote bush lowlands in the Mojave Desert. The tortoise is well adapted to the arid conditions and rarely drinks water; instead, most of their water is obtained from the plants they consume. Bobcats are a dominant force in the ecosystem. The California tree frog, Pseudacris cadaverina, is found in the rocky, permanent water sources created by the Pinto Fault along the northern edge of the park. The red-spotted toad, Bufo punctatus, is a true denizen of the desert, where it spends most of its life underground. Found from one end of the park to the other, it appears after good, soaking rains. Golden eagles hunt in the park regularly. The roadrunner is an easily recognized resident. The call of Gambel's quail can frequently be heard. The tarantula Aphonopelma iodium , the green darner Anax junius, and the giant desert scorpion Hadrurus arizonensis are arthropods that can grow to be more than
Animals that thrive in Joshua Tree often have special adaptations for dealing with limited water and high summer temperatures. The smaller mammals and all reptiles take refuge from the heat underground. Desert mammals make more efficient use of their bodies’ water supply than does the human body. Reptiles are physiologically adapted to getting along with little water, and birds can fly to water sources when they need to drink. Nevertheless, the springs and seeps in the park are necessary to the survival of many animals. Most of the reptiles and many small rodents and insects go into an inactive state of hibernation during the winter. However, winter is the time of greatest bird concentrations in the park, because of the presence of many migrant species.
Of the park's total land area of 790,636 acres (1,235.4 sq mi; 3,199.6 km2), 429,690 acres (671.4 sq mi; 1,738.9 km2) are designated wilderness and managed by the National Park Service (NPS) in accordance with the Wilderness Act. The NPS requires registration for overnight camping at specific locations called registration boards. Other requirements include the use of a camp stove (since open campfires are prohibited) and employing Leave No Trace camping techniques (also known as "pack it in, pack it out"). Although bicycles are not allowed in wilderness areas, horses are, but a permit must be obtained in advance for travel in the backcountry. Cellular signals are weak to non-existent and should not be depended on while visiting the park.
On April 1, 2015, graffiti artist André was convicted and fined for vandalizing a boulder in the park.André posted photos of his vandalism on social media. Casey Schreiner, of the hiking blog site Modern Hiker, and some of his readers aided the National Park Service in tracking down and identifying André's vandalism. Before the conviction, André had attempted to silence the reporting with legal threats.
During the 2018–2019 federal government shutdown, reports of vandalism spiked as visitors allegedly chopped down Joshua trees, set illegal fires, drove off-road, and spray-painted rocks.Only eight park rangers were on duty during the government shutdown. Park botanists subsequently determined that one of three Joshua trees reported to have been cut down or damaged during the shutdown had been felled prior to the shutdown.
In 1972, the album cover photos for Eagles were shot in Joshua Tree National Monument.
In 1973, Phil Kaufman attempted to cremate singer/songwriter Gram Parsons' remains in the park.
In 1994, American Tejano singer Selena recorded her music video for "Amor Prohibido" at Joshua Tree National Park.
In 2008, an episode of Entourage aired that featured Vince and the gang going to Joshua Tree and taking shrooms to figure out his next career move. This was the fifth episode of Season 5and aired on HBO
The black comedy crime film Seven Psychopaths (2012) was partly filmed in the park,as were many other film and television productions beginning with Borderland (1937), a Hopalong Cassidy feature.
In 2016, Donald Glover (or Childish Gambino) performed six sold-out shows in Joshua Tree in promotion of his new album, Awaken, My Love! . The three-day event went by the name Pharos.
In 2017, American rock band Walk the Moon recorded the video "One Foot" in the park during that summer's solar eclipse.
Death Valley National Park is an American national park that straddles the California–Nevada border, east of the Sierra Nevada. The park boundaries include Death Valley, the northern section of Panamint Valley, the southern section of Eureka Valley and most of Saline Valley. The park occupies an interface zone between the arid Great Basin and Mojave deserts, protecting the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and its diverse environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons and mountains. Death Valley is the largest national park in the contiguous United States, as well as the hottest, driest and lowest of all the national parks in the United States. It contains Badwater Basin, the second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. More than 93% of the park is a designated wilderness area. The park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment including creosote bush, Joshua tree, bighorn sheep, coyote, and the Death Valley pupfish, a survivor from much wetter times. UNESCO included Death Valley as the principal feature of its Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve in 1984.
Acadia National Park is an American national park located along the mid-section of the Maine coast, southwest of Bar Harbor. The park preserves about half of Mount Desert Island, part of the Isle au Haut, the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula, and portions of 16 smaller outlying islands. It protects the natural beauty of the rocky headlands, including the highest mountains along the Atlantic coast. Acadia boasts a glaciated coastal and island landscape, an abundance of habitats, a high level of biodiversity, clean air and water, and a rich cultural heritage.
Yucca brevifolia is a plant species belonging to the genus Yucca. It is tree-like in habit, which is reflected in its common names: Joshua tree, yucca palm, tree yucca, and palm tree yucca.
The Great Basin is the largest area of contiguous endorheic watersheds – those with no outlets – in North America. It spans nearly all of Nevada, much of Utah, and portions of California, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, and Baja California, Mexico. It is noted for both its arid climate and the basin and range topography that varies from the North American low point at Badwater Basin in Death Valley to the highest point of the contiguous United States, less than 100 miles (160 km) away at the summit of Mount Whitney. The region spans several physiographic divisions, biomes, ecoregions, and deserts.
Mojave National Preserve is a United States National Preserve located in the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County, California, USA, between Interstate 15 and Interstate 40. The preserve was established October 31, 1994, with the passage of the California Desert Protection Act by the US Congress. Previously, it was the East Mojave National Scenic Area, under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management. At 1,542,776 acres (6,243 km2), it is the third largest unit of the National Park System in the contiguous United States.
Kings Canyon National Park is an American national park in the southern Sierra Nevada, in Fresno and Tulare Counties, California. Originally established in 1890 as General Grant National Park, the park was greatly expanded and renamed to Kings Canyon National Park on March 4, 1940. The park's namesake, Kings Canyon, is a rugged glacier-carved valley more than a mile (1,600 m) deep. Other natural features include multiple 14,000-foot (4,300 m) peaks, high mountain meadows, swift-flowing rivers, and some of the world's largest stands of giant sequoia trees. Kings Canyon is north of and contiguous with Sequoia National Park, and both parks are jointly administered by the National Park Service as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
The Sonoran Desert is a North American desert and ecoregion that covers large parts of the southwestern United States, as well as Sonora in northwestern Mexico in, Baja California, and Baja California Sur. It is the hottest desert in Mexico. It has an area of 260,000 square kilometers (100,000 sq mi).
Capitol Reef National Park is an American national park in south-central Utah. The park is approximately 60 miles (97 km) long on its north–south axis and just 6 miles (9.7 km) wide on average. The park was established in 1971 to preserve 241,904 acres of desert landscape and is open all year, with May through September being the highest visitation months.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a U.S. national recreation area in southeastern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. Operated by the National Park Service, Lake Mead NRA follows the Colorado River corridor from the westernmost boundary of Grand Canyon National Park to just north of the cities of Laughlin, Nevada and Bullhead City, Arizona. It includes all of the eponymous Lake Mead as well as the smaller Lake Mohave – reservoirs on the river created by Hoover Dam and Davis Dam, respectively – and the surrounding desert terrain and wilderness.
The Virgin Islands National Park is an American national park preserving about 60% of the land area of Saint John in the United States Virgin Islands, as well as more than 5,500 acres of adjacent ocean, and nearly all of Hassel Island, just off the Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas harbor.
The Coxcomb Mountains are a mountain range located in eastern Riverside County, Southern California.
The Sheep Hole Mountains are a mountain range in the Mojave Desert, to the north of Joshua Tree National Park, in San Bernardino County, California. The mountains were once Chemehuevi hunting grounds.
The Turtle Mountains, are located in northeastern San Bernardino County, in the southeastern part of California. The colorful Turtle Mountains vary from deep reds, browns, tans and grays, to black. The area has numerous springs and seeps. The Turtle Mountains are also a National Natural Landmark, with two mountain sections of entirely different composition.
The Castle Mountains are located in the Eastern Mojave Desert, in northeastern San Bernardino County, California and Clark County, Nevada. The range lies south and east of the New York Mountains, southwest of Searchlight and west of Cal-Nev-Ari, Nevada.
The Big Morongo Canyon Preserve is a 31,000-acres (130 km2) native plants habitat and wildlife preserve located in the Little San Bernardino Mountains of the Transverse Ranges, in the transition zone between the higher Mojave Desert and lower elevation Colorado Desert section of the Sonoran Desert. Due to its location within this transition zone, the area is especially high in natural diversity. The natural spring fed desert oasis found here is one of the 10 largest Cottonwood and Willow riparian habitats in California. It is also identified by the Audubon Society as one of the most important avian habitat areas in California.
The Darwin Falls Wilderness is a protected area in the northern Mojave Desert adjacent to Death Valley National Park. The 8,189-acre (3,314 ha) wilderness area was created by the California Desert Protection Act of 1994 and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.
The Calumet Mountains are a mountain range in San Bernardino County, California. They are north of Joshua Tree National Park and adjacent to the Sheep Hole Mountains in the Mojave Desert. The highest point is 829 meters.
Lost Palms Oasis Trail is a 7.2 mile day-hike trail located in the southernmost part of Joshua Tree National Park. The trail is generally completed in a loop. Known for the beautiful palm trees from which the trail gets its name, this hike is also known for its great bouldering, pools of water, and the ever-elusive "Victory Palms". Deemed by the National Park Service as a "Day-Use-Only" area, this trail is also home to bighorn sheep who use the pools as their main source of water.
Hidden Valley is a self-guiding, one-mile loop trail that winds among massive boulders through what was believed to be a legendary cattle rustlers' hideout. It is one of the most popular and scenic hiking trails in Joshua Tree National Park. The area is also a popular rock-climbing area. Many visitors enjoy just watching the climbers in action.
Elizabeth Campbell (1893–1971) was an American archeologist, notable for proposing a much earlier date for the presence of man in the desert Southwest than was generally accepted. She worked with her husband William (Bill) Campbell and first proposed that artifacts found along the shores of Lake Mojave and other Pleistocene lakes and rivers of the desert West were contemporaneous with the presence of water. They showed that there were virtually no sites that were not associated with archaic water sources. They hypothesized that the geologic features associated with the artifacts could be used to date the period of human habitation. This is the first use of what has become known as environmental archaeology.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents ofthe National Park Service .