Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Autumn Roadtrip: Joshua Tree National Park

October 7, 2010, 10:29 am

The deserts of the American southwest—the Sonoran, Mojave, Great Basin and Chihuahuan—can evoke vivid imagery. Tumbleweeds rolling across the wind-swept, sun-beaten plain, cacti standing rigidly like soldiers at attention, and sand dunes as far as the eye can see. While this might be how it is in many deserts of the southwest, Joshua Tree National Park’s desert teems with plants, wildlife and wind-swept rock formations that make it a recreational oasis just outside of Los Angeles.

Designated as a national park in 1994, Joshua Tree‘s 800,000 acres were set aside to protect the unique interplay of natural resources at the junction of three of California’s ecosystems. The designation recognized the importance of a special environment that supports the park’s namesake—the iconic Joshua Tree, found here and no where else in the world.

Whether you want to make a quick escape from LA or plan a longer visit, Joshua Tree offers a range of activities and breathtaking scenery. From mountain biking to rock climbing, ranger-led tours and backcountry or front country camping, the park’s recreational options and natural beauty will have you coming back again and again.