Joshua Tree National Park in California

Monday, 15 February 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Cyclops and Pee Wee Formations © Jarek Tuszyński/cc-by-sa-3.0

Cyclops and Pee Wee Formations © Jarek Tuszyński/cc-by-sa-3.0

Joshua Tree National Park is an American national park in southeastern California, east of Los Angeles and San Bernardino, near Palm Springs. It is named for 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. Encompassing a total of 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 (including the Coachella Valley). The Little San Bernardino Mountains traverse the southwest edge of the park.

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.

Joshua Tree © Man-ucommons/cc-by-sa-3.0 Joshua Tree Panicle © Takwish/cc-by-sa-3.0 Joshua Tree © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0 Cholla Cactus garden © Doug_Dolde Climbing the Old Woman Rock © Doug Dolde Cyclops and Pee Wee Formations © Jarek Tuszyński/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Cyclops and Pee Wee Formations © Jarek Tuszyński/cc-by-sa-3.0
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, 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.

Read more on NPS.gov – Joshua Tree National Park, Wikivoyage Joshua Tree National Park and Wikipedia Joshua Tree National Park (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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