Best Viewed in Large Size
Canon EOS 350D Canon Lens 25mm 1/320sec F/13 ISO-400
Spring Joshua Tree National Park April 8, 2009
Joshua Tree National Park is located in southeastern California. Declared a U.S. National Park in 1994, it had previously been a U.S. National Monument since 1936. It includes over 1,234 mi² (3,196 km²) of land. A large part of the park is designated to wilderness area; some 914 mi² (2,367 km²). Straddling the San Bernardino County/Riverside County border, the park includes parts of two deserts, each an ecosystem whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation. Below 3,000 feet (900 m), the Colorado Desert encompasses the eastern part of the park and features natural gardens of creosote bush, ocotillo, and cholla cactus. The Little San Bernardino Mountains run through the southwest edge of the park.
There are several 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, 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 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 and Salton Sea. Geology road is a dirt road in the south of the park which provides a self-guided tour for those visitors with a four-wheel drive vehicle. There are seventy two stops on the tour showcasing the region’s geology.