by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Joshua Tree Guide

Spring 2017

brochure Joshua Tree Guide - Spring 2017
Joshua Tree National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior The official newspaper February – May 2017 Spring Guide Brittlebush blooms on rocky slopes near Cottonwood Springs Oasis. NPS/Brad Sutton The Desert Unsung IT’S BEEN THIRTY YEARS SINCE THE BAND U2 RELEASED THE JOSHUA Tree in March 1987. It was this album that catapulted the four Irishmen to international stardom; it was this album that drew the curious eyes of a generation to the otherworldly landscapes of the Southern California desert. The iconic back cover photo by Anton Corbijn, showing the band standing near a lone Joshua tree, cemented the association between the park and the album—even though the picture was taken off Highway 190 near Death Valley, about 200 miles north of here. Desert, and roughly half of the park’s 792,510 acres lie in the hotter, drier, and lower-elevation Colorado Desert—a subsection of the Sonoran Desert. Many of the 2 million people who come to Joshua Tree National Park each year are specifically looking for Joshua trees. Something about the bizarre forms of these branching yuccas captures the imagination. There’s no denying the plants are charismatic and a highlight of a trip to the park. From the Turkey Flats backcountry board, for example, you can look across vast sweeps of undeveloped wilderness to the Coxcomb Mountains, 25 miles distant. Creosote bush and white bursage are the dominant shrubs growing in this huge basin. There isn’t a single Joshua tree in sight, but the Colorado Desert you’re standing in has charismatic trees of its own. One great way to round out your park visit is to make sure you spend time in both the Mojave and the Colorado Deserts. Even if you have only a short time in the park, head for the Pinto Basin and stop at one of the pullouts along the road. Step out of your car. Soak in the silence and admire the immensity of the vista before you. They aren’t the only highlight, though. VisitorsColorado Desert who travel through only the northwestern partMojave of Desert Transition Zone the park, where Joshua trees grow, are missing out: our namesake plants are found only in the Mojave Welcome to your park. I just wanted to take a moment and welcome you to Southern California’s national park. Joshua Tree is the iconic symbol of the Mojave Desert. This year you are joining millions of people from around the globe who will experience the diverse, inspiring scenery that stretches across the Dry washes are a great place to look for trees like Joshua Tree National Park ironwood, smoketree, and blue palo verde. Their seeds sprout after being tumbled and bounced with …continued on p. 10 park. As you discover the desert, I would encourage you to also explore the neighboring landscapes that are preserved Joshua Tree Visitor Center for your enjoyment and that of generations Oasis Visitor Center to come. In addition to our northern Black Rock Nature Center Mojave M N D R E A S F A U L T N A Ch ihu N D R E A AN A S F ah ua take some time to visit the millions of U L T CO LO RA DO D E ES RT Cottonwood Visitor Center acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service. Our newest neighbor to the east—Sand to Snow National Monument—links Joshua Tree to the wild slopes of Mt. San Gorgonio. To the north, Mojave Trails National Monument interprets prehistoric cultures as well as SE n A TR S SI TI Colorado Desert N N A Sonoran and Death Valley National Park, please E N A V DE sister parks at Mojave National Preserve T O S Joshua Tree O JA E R SE ZO Great Basin A LE VE L Route 66. The Colorado Desert is a subsection of the larger Sonoran Desert (left). The transition zone between the Colorado and Mojave Deserts hosts a wealth of biological diversity and is home to species characteristic of both deserts (right). Living in the west, we are truly lucky to have so many wonderful natural and Visiting on the Wing Fragments of the Past Safety; Rules & Regulations … p. 2 Springtime brings visitors of all types to Joshua How can the fossilized bones of extinct Tree, including not just humans but also our animals and artifacts left by past people help Hiking Trails … p. 4 feathered friends. Find out why birds not us understand how climate change may typically found in the desert show up here every affect Joshua Tree’s future? Take a look at spring. Get tips on where to spot commonly how scientists use fossils to reconstruct past (and not so commonly) seen species. Whether environments, learn about the creatures who you’re completely new to birdwatching or are once roamed this landscape, and discover how Night Sky Almanac ... p. 10 an advanced birder, the park’s birds are sure the environment shapes plants, animals, and Weather Information ... p. 11 to catch your eye, as Park Ranger Beth Hudick humans. Brad Sutton digs into what we have explains on p. 8. discovered about Joshua Tree’s past on p. 8. cultural treasures to enjoy. Take advantage What to See and Do; Leave No Trace ... p. 3 of these opportunities and relish the chance to see something new on your public lands. Camping; Equestrian Use … p. 5 Park Map; Essential Information ... p. 6-7 Geology; Joshua Trees ... p. 9 Ranger Programs … p. 12 Sincerely, David Smith David Smith Superintendent Safety: What You Need to Know National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Joshua Tree National Park preserves and protects the scenic, natural, and cultural resources representative of the Colorado and Mojave Deserts’ rich biological and geological diversity, cultural history, wilderness, recreational values, and outstanding opportunities for education and scientific study. We want your trip to Joshua Tree to be safe and enjoyable. Ultimately, your safety is your responsibility. This information will help you prepare. 7 Superintendent David Smith Park Information 760-367-5500 Emergency Dial 909-383-5651 or 911 Mailing Address 74485 National Park Drive Twentynine Palms, CA 92277 Website www.nps.gov/jotr Social Media instagram.com/ instagram.com/JoshuaTreeNPS twitter.com/ twitter.com/JoshuaTreeNPS facebook.com/ facebook.com/JoshuaTreeNPS flickr.com/ ickr.com/JoshuaTreeNP youtube.com/ youtube.com/JoshuaTreeNPS Email jotr_info@nps.gov Lost & Found Report lost items on the park website at nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/lostandfound.htm or email jotr_lost_and_found@nps.gov BRING WATER WITH YOU Water is available at only a few locations around the edges of the park: • Oasis Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms • Black Rock Campground • Cottonwood Campground • West Entrance (no RV water access) • Indian Cove Ranger Station (no RV water access) STAY HYDR ATED & EAT SALT Y SNACKS We recommend drinking a minimum of one gallon (about 4 liters) of water per person, per day. You will need more fluids if you are active: vigorous hiking, cycling, or climbing can cause you to lose water and salts at a rate of 1 ½ quarts per hour. Replace these fluids and electrolytes by drinking water or sports drinks and consuming salty foods. PREPARE FOR CHANGING WEATHER Prepare for temperature extremes by dressing in layers. Highs in May might reach 100°F (38°C), while winter lows can plunge into the teens (-10°C). Hypothermia is a hazard even when the air temperature is above freezing. Always have extra layers with you. CELL PHONES ARE UNRELIABLE Most of Joshua Tree National Park is remote wilderness and there is no cell coverage. Do not count on your phone for navigation or in case of emergency. IN C ASE OF EMERGENC Y Emergency phones are found at two locations: • Indian Cove Ranger Station • Intersection Rock parking area near Hidden Valley Campground If you are in an area with cell service and you have an emergency, dial 909-383-5651 or 911 for assistance. PREVENT BITES & STINGS Joshua Tree is home to seven species of rattlesnakes, as well as venomous scorpions and spiders. These animals are less active in winter, but may still be present on a warm day. You can avoid problems by paying attention to your surroundings. Never step or reach into places you cannot see. Use a flashlight or headlamp at night. Campers, check your shoes and bedding for critters before use. In hot weather, thirsty bees congregate around any source of moisture they can find, including human perspiration and car AC systems. Stay calm around bees and do not swat at them. Keep drinks and food inside your vehicle. % GIVE WILDLIFE A BR AKE Park roads are narrow and winding, and some areas are often congested. Obey posted speed limits. The maximum speed in the park is 45 mph (73 kph), and in many locations the speed limit is lower. Driving slowly and cautiously helps protect park wildlife. If you want to stop to view animals or scenery, please use a pullout and get completely out of the travel lanes to prevent accidents. DON’T TRUST GPS FOR DRIVING DIREC TIONS In the desert, some GPS units or navigation apps may try to direct you to roads that are unsafe for your vehicle. For safety, refer to the park map for navigation, or check with a ranger. TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN Flash floods occur when monsoon thunderstorms pour large amounts of rain in a short time. Avoid canyons and washes during rainstorms and be prepared to move to higher ground. While driving, be alert for water running across the road. Wait for floodwaters to subside rather than trying to drive through. STAY OUT, STAY ALIVE Many old mine sites exist within the park. If you choose to visit them, use extreme caution, appreciating them from a safe distance. Never enter old mine tunnels, shafts, or fenced areas. Please email comments or corrections: jotr_info@nps.gov Look out! The National Park Service cares for the special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage. E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A™ These rock climbers carry extra layers of clothing that allow for comfort and safety. Never put your hands or feet into rock crevices or onto ledges where you can’t see. Many historic mine sites exist within Joshua Tree National Park. Admire, but do not enter. Rules and Regulations ö Watch wildlife respectfully No collecting park resources, including living or dead vegetation We recommend staying at least 25 yards (23 m) from wildlife. If an animal reacts It is the mission of the National Park Service to preserve all natural and cultural to your presence by changing its behavior, you are too close—even if you are more resources unimpaired for future generations. Please leave everything in the park than 25 yards from it. Move quietly away to give the animal space. Remember, the as it is for others to enjoy. Do not destroy, deface, dig, collect, or otherwise park is home for wild animals. We are just visitors here. disturb any park resources including plants or animals (whether they are dead or alive), rocks, fossils, or artifacts. Never feed any wild animals Consuming human food is unhealthy for wildlife and may encourage aggressive behavior. Coyotes, squirrels, ravens, and other animals should be left alone to rely on natural sources of food. All food, trash, scented products, and cooking tools must be stored securely in a vehicle or hard-sided container. â Rock climbing Climbers may replace existing bolts if they are unsafe. New bolts may be placed in non-wilderness areas if in accordance with the bolting checklist, available on the park website. Bolting in wilderness requires a permit. Hand drills only. Travel responsibly with your pet All motor vehicles and bicycles must stay on roads Pets are allowed in the park, but their activities are restricted. Pets must be on a The desert environment is more fragile than it may look. The ruts and scars left leash at all times. They cannot go more than 100 feet (30 m) from a road, picnic by vehicles and bicycles illegally taken off-road can last for years or even decades. area, or campground. Pets are not allowed on hiking trails. Owners must never Red and green sticker dirt bikes, ATVs, and UTVs are prohibited in the park. leave a pet unattended or tied to an object. Bag and dispose of pet waste. Watch for tortoises No drones or remote controlled vehicles The desert tortoise is a threatened species that often dies from being hit by Remote controlled vehicles, including aircraft and rockcrawlers, are prohibited in cars. Drive carefully in the park: small tortoises on the road look a lot like rocks. Joshua Tree National Park. Drones and other remotely-operated craft can disturb Though tortoises typically stay underground during the winter months, fall visitors wildlife and disrupt the visitor experience. should still take care. Tortoises may drink from puddles on the roads after rains or take shelter from the hot sun under vehicles. Leave tortoises undisturbed. , Campfires Campfires are allowed only in designated fire rings or grills that are found in park Firearms and weapons campgrounds and picnic areas. Campfires are not allowed in the backcountry. Firearms may be possessed in accordance with California state and federal laws. Bring your own firewood and extra water to douse your campfire. Do not use park However, they may not be discharged in the park. Fireworks, traps, bows, BB vegetation, living or dead, for fuel. guns, paintball guns, and slingshots are not allowed in the park. 2 Joshua Tree Guide What to See and Do D Backcountry Roads J o s h u a Tr e e ’ s b a c k c o u n t r y roads allow properly equipped visitors to explore remote areas of the park, IF YOU HAVE AN ENTIRE DAY: but preparedness is crucial. Errors in • Drive through both the Mojave Desert judgment can be deadly. Always ask a and the Colorado Desert by going from the West Entrance to the South Entrance. ranger for current information about road conditions before venturing out. See where Joshua trees grow in the Birding is a popular activity in the springtime when many different species may be visible on their seasonal migration through the region. Read more on p. 8. Th e d e s e r t i s a t i t s b e s t w h e n viewed up close and at a slow pace. From a whizzing car, the landscape may at first appear bleak or drab. Closer examination, though, reveals a fascinating variety of plants and animals. Rocks sculpted by weather and time contrast with the brilliant blue of the desert sky. Joshua Tree National Park has endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. Begin your trip at a park visitor center, where a ranger will be happy to answer your questions and get you oriented. The two northern visitor centers are outside the park, in the communities of Twentynine Palms and Joshua Tree. See p. 7 for hours. IF YOU HAVE A FEW HOURS IN THE PARK: • Drive between the West Entrance and North Entrance to see our famous Joshua trees and boulder fields. • Drive to Keys View for a lovely vista of the Coachella Valley. On days with little air pollution, you may be able to see beyond the shining Salton Sea to Signal Mountain in Mexico. • Enjoy a short walk on one or two of the park’s nature trails (p. 4) to get an upclose look at desert scenery and plants. • Kids of all ages are invited to participate in our Junior Ranger program (p. 11). • Take a short side trip into the Pinto Basin to visit the Cholla Cactus Garden and Ocotillo Patch. Mojave, in the western half of the park, and observe the different vegetation of the Colorado in the lower elevations of the Pinto Basin and Cottonwood areas. • Attend a ranger-led activity like a patio talk, guided walk, or evening program (p. 12). If you’ll be visiting Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, consider joining a ranger-led Keys Ranch tour (fee). • Hike one or two of the park’s longer trails (p. 4). • Pleasant spring temperatures bring rock climbers to Joshua Tree from all over the world. Not a climber yourself? You may still enjoy watching climbers in action around Hidden Valley Campground and Intersection Rock. IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE DAY: • Spend the night in one of our campgrounds (p. 5). Or, if you have the right gear, experience, and fitness level, consider an overnight backcountry trip. • Explore the longer hiking trails around Black Rock or Cottonwood (p. 4). • If you have a mountain bike or highclearance vehicle, consider exploring a backcountry road (descriptions at right) to experience parts of the park that most visitors never see. The Geology Tour Road is often a great choice. Ask a ranger for advice before leaving the pavement. For your own safety and the protection of natural features, all wheeled vehicles (including bicycles) must remain on designated roads. Off road driving and riding are prohibited. GEOLOGY TOUR ROAD 18 mi (29 km) loop This route starts 2 mi (3.2 km) west of Jumbo Rocks. Pick up an interpretive guide from the brochure box at the start. A round trip takes about two hours. The first few miles of the road are open to most vehicles, with fourwheel drive needed after marker 9. QUEEN VALLEY ROADS 13.4 mi (21.7 km) total Usually passable to all vehicles, this network of dirt roads crisscrosses a valley of boulder piles and Joshua trees. The Queen Valley dirt roads are popular with cyclists and dog walkers. BERDOO C ANYON ROAD 11.5 mi (18.4 km) within the park Connecting the south end of Geology Tour Rd. with Dillon Rd. in the Coachella Valley, this challenging road requires a high level of driver skill as well as high clearance and four-wheel drive; narrow wheel-base suggested. PINKHAM C ANYON ROAD 20 mi (32.4 km) one way This challenging road begins at Cottonwood Visitor Center, travels along Smoke Tree Wash, and then turns south down Pinkham Canyon. Sections of the road run through soft sand and rocky plains. High clearance and four-wheel drive are required; narrow wheel-base suggested. BL ACK EAGLE MINE ROAD 9 mi (14.5 km) within the park This dead-end dirt road begins 6.5 mi (10.5 km) north of the Cottonwood Visitor Center. It runs along the southern edge of Pinto Basin, crossing several dry washes before reaching the park boundary. Beyond that is BLM land. High clearance and four-wheel drive required. OLD DALE MINE ROAD COVINGTON FL ATS ROADS 9 mi (21.7 km) total Covington Flats is home to some of the park’s largest Joshua trees, junipers, and pinyon pines. You can drive all the way to the summit of Eureka Peak (5,518 ft/ 1,682 m) for panoramic views from Palm Springs to the Morongo Basin. High clearance recommended. 12.3 mi (19.8 km) within the park Starts at the same point as Black Eagle Mine Rd., but heads north across sandy Pinto Basin, a dry lake bed. It then climbs steeply to the park boundary. About 11 miles (17.7 k) north of the park, it connects with Hwy 62. High clearance and four-wheel drive required; narrow wheel-base suggested. Leave No Trace l e av e j o s h u a t r e e p r i s t i n e f o r those who visit the park after you. Learn and practice the seven Leave No Trace principles. PL AN AHEAD & PREPARE • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit. • Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies. • Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use. • Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups. • Repackage food to minimize waste. • Use a map and compass. Do not set up rock cairns or other physical markers. TR AVEL & C AMP ON DUR ABLE SURFACES • In popular areas, concentrate use on existing trails and campsites. • In pristine areas, disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails. Avoid places where impacts are just beginning. DISPOSE OF WASTE PROPERLY • Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter. • Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished. • Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. These items do not break down in the arid desert environment, even when buried. • Durable surfaces include established LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND trails and campsites, rock, and gravel. • Preserve the past: examine, but do not • No camping in rock shelters or caves. touch, cultural or historic structures and • Allow wildlife free access to scarce desert artifacts. water sources. Do not camp nearby. • Leave rocks, plants and other natural • Good campsites are found, not made. objects as you find them. Altering a site is not necessary. Emergency: dial 909-383-5651 • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species. • Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches. MINIMIZE C AMPFIRE IMPAC TS • Campfires are allowed only in established metal fire rings in campgrounds and picnic areas with fire grates. All wood must be brought in from outside the park—no collecting. • Keep your fire small. Put it out completely before you leave your site. • No campfires in the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking. BE CONSIDER ATE OF OTHER VISITORS • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. • Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail. Hikers traveling uphill have rightof-way. • Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock. • Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors. • Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises. Respect campground quiet hours. RESPEC T WILDLIFE • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach animals. • Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to danger. • Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely. • Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or harsh weather conditions. Learn more about how to minimize recreation impacts and protect Joshua Tree’s wildlands for the future. Talk to a ranger or visit www.LNT.org. February – May 2017 3 ç Hiking No Leave information about your planned route and expected return time with a friend or family member before hiking. Check in with this person when you return. In an emergency, call 909-383-5651 or 911. Trail Trailhead Location ts on Tr a Pe ils Carefully review the safety information and regulations on p. 2. There is no guarantee of safety in a national park. Help us protect wildlife and keep pets safe On any desert hike, remember the Ten Essentials: • water • sturdy shoes • food • navigation (map & compass) • layers of clothing • pocket knife or multitool • sun protection • flashlight or headlamp • first aid kit • emergency shelter Distance Estimated Time Description 0.25 mi (0.4 km) 15-20 minutes Loop. Walk on a bajada and discover plants of the Colorado Desert on this easy, accessible path. ô South of Cottonwood Visitor Center; 0.5 mi (0.8 km) north of the South Entrance Barker Dam Barker Dam parking area 1.1 mi (1.8 km) 1 hour Loop. Explore cultural history and view a water tank built by early cattle ranchers. Watch for bighorn sheep. Cap Rock Cap Rock parking area, at the junction of Park Blvd. and Keys View Rd. 0.4 mi (0.6 km) 30-45 minutes Loop. View boulder piles, Joshua trees, and other desert plants on this easy, accessible path. Cholla Cactus Garden 20 mi (32 km) north of Cottonwood Visitor Center 0.25 mi (0.4 km) 15-30 minutes Loop. View thousands of densely concentrated, naturally growing cholla cactus. Stay on the trail, wear closed-toe shoes, and be aware of prickly cactus. Cottonwood Spring 1 mi (1.6 km) east of Cottonwood Visitor Center 0.1 mi (0.2 km) 10 minutes Short walk to fan palm oasis with cottonwood trees. Fantastic birding location with plentiful shade. Discovery Trail Skull Rock parking area just east of Jumbo Rocks Campground 0.7 mi (1.1 km) 30-45 minutes Loop. Connects Skull Rock and Split Rock Loop trails at Face Rock. Easy hike through boulder piles and desert washes. Hidden Valley Hidden Valley picnic area 1 mi (1.6 km) 1 hour Loop. Discover a rock-enclosed valley that was once rumored to have been used by cattle rustlers. Hi-View Northwest of Black Rock Campground 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from board at parking area. 3 mi (4.8 km) from visitor center. 1½ hours Loop. Discover the world of Joshua tree forests. Hike up a ridge on the western side of the park and take in panoramic views of the area. There are some steep sections, as well as several benches to take a break and enjoy the view. Elevation change is about 400 feet. Indian Cove West end of Indian Cove Campground 0.6 mi (1 km) 30-45 minutes Loop. Walk on a gently rolling path with a few steps. Take a closer look at desert plants and learn about their traditional uses by Native Americans. Keys View Keys View 0.25 mi (0.4 km) 30 minutes Accessible overlook. Short, paved loop path is steeper and may be accessible with assistance. Breathtaking views of the San Andreas Fault, Mt. San Jacinto, Mt. San Gorgonio, and the Salton Sea. Oasis Visitor Center, Twentynine Palms 0.5 mi (0.8 km) 30-45 minutes Loop. Explore a desert oasis on this easy, accessible walk. See how the Oasis of Mara has been used by wildlife and people throughout time. Ryan Ranch Ryan Ranch trailhead, about 0.5 mi (0.8 km) east of Ryan Campground 1 mi (1.6 km) 1 hour Out and back. Enjoy an easy hike along an old ranch road and see a historic adobe structure. Skull Rock Skull Rock parking area just east of Jumbo Rocks Campground; also accessible from within Jumbo Rocks Campground 1.7 mi (2.7 km) 1-2 hours Loop. Take an easy hike and explore boulder piles, desert washes, and of course the namesake Skull Rock. Fortynine Palms Oasis Fortynine Palms parking area, accessed off Hwy 62 3 mi (4.8 km) 2-3 hours Out and back. There is a 300 ft (91 m) elevation gain in both directions, as you hike up and over a ridge dotted with barrel cactus. Beyond the ridge, descend to a fan palm oasis in a rocky canyon. Avoid this trail when it’s hot out. Lost Horse Mine Lost Horse Mine trailhead off Keys View Rd. 4 mi (6.4 km) 2-3 hours Out and back. Explore around one of the most successful gold mines in the park. Stay outside the fenced area to protect the millsite and mine. For a longer option, see Lost Horse Loop, under Challenging Hikes. Elevation change is 550 feet. Mastodon Peak Cottonwood Spring parking area 3 mi (4.8 km) 11/2-21/2 hours Loop. An optional rock scramble takes you to the top of a craggy granite peak. The trail then loops around past an old gold mine. Elevation change is about 375 feet. Pine City Pine City trailhead at end of Desert Queen Mine Rd. 4 mi (6.4 km) 2-3 hours Out and back. The highlight of this fairly flat trail is a dense stand of junipers and pinyon. The trail also goes to an old mining site. Split Rock Loop Split Rock picnic area 2.5 mi (4.0 km) 11/2-21/2 hours Loop. Distance includes side trip to Face Rock. West Side Loop Black Rock 4.7 mi (7.6 km) 2½-4 hours Loop. Explore the ridges and washes west of Black Rock campground. Challenging Hikes — avoid these trails when it’s hot out (3.2 km) Wall Street Mill Barker Dam parking area 2 mi 11/2-21/2 hours Out and back. Travel to the remains of an historic gold milling site. Boy Scout Trail North end: Indian Cove backcountry board. South end: Boy Scout Trailhead. 8 mi (12.9 km) 6 hours One way. Go deep into the Wonderland of Rocks. Stay on trail to avoid getting lost among the boulders. Most hikers prefer to start at the south trailhead, inside the West Entrance, and finish at Indian Cove. Vehicle shuttle strongly recommended for hikers interested in doing the full length of the trail. California Riding and Hiking Trail Several. 35 mi (56.3 km) 2-3 days to hike entire length One way. Shorter hikes possible on sections of this long trail. Travel from Black Rock Canyon to the North Entrance of the park, passing through a variety of Mojave Desert landscapes. Lost Horse Loop Lost Horse Mine trailhead off Keys View Rd. 6.5 mi (10.5 km) 3-4 hours Loop. For a shorter option, see Lost Horse Mine, under Moderate Hikes. Elevation change is about 550 feet. Lost Palms Oasis Cottonwood Spring parking area 7.5 mi (12 km) 5-6 hours Out and back. Enjoy sandy washes and rolling terrain, then hike down into a canyon to explore a remote fan palm oasis. Climbing back out of the canyon is strenuous. Elevation change is about 500 feet. Panorama Loop Black Rock 6.6 mi (10.6 km) 31/2-41/2 hours Loop. Gain about 1,100 feet (336 m) in elevation as you hike up a sandy wash, then follow the ridgeline of the Little San Bernardino Mountains. Enjoy scenic views, dense Joshua tree forest, and pinyon-juniper woodland. Ryan Mountain Parking area between Sheep Pass and Ryan Campground 3 mi (4.8 km) 11/2-21/2 hours Out and back. Gain 1,000 feet in elevation as you hike to the summit of Ryan Mountain. This is one of the most popular hikes in the park. Warren Peak Black Rock 6.3 mi (10.1 km) Willow Hole Boy Scout Trailhead 7.2 mi (11.5 km) Short Walks and Nature Trails Bajada ô ô Oasis of Mara ô` Moderate Hikes 4 Joshua Tree Guide Out and back. Gain 1,000 ft (304 m) in elevation as you hike to the summit of Warren Peak. Enjoy panoramic views of the quiet western part of Joshua Tree. 4 hours Out and back. Mostly flat trail along the edge of the Wonderland of Rocks. Travel through Joshua tree forests, boulder landscape, and sandy washes. Trail ends at willow trees. − Camping Visitors staying overnight in the park must camp in a designated campground or backcountry camping area. Sleeping in your vehicle outside of a campground is prohibited, and there is no camping at roadside pullouts, trailheads, or along the side of the road. A maximum of six people, three tents, and two cars may occupy an individual campsite, if there is space. Some sites only have enough parking for one vehicle. Campground Belle Black Rock Cottonwood Number of Sites Fee Elevation 18 $15 3,800 ft 99 $20 62 Check in and check out are at noon. Camping fees must be paid within one hour of selecting a campsite. Quiet hours are from 10 pm-6 am. Generator use is permitted only from 7-9 am, 12-2 pm, and 5-7 pm. There is a 30-day camping limit each year. Only 14 of these nights may take place from October – May. All tents, tarps, and camping equipment must be set up within 25 ft of the picnic table or fire grate at a site. Do not set up slacklines in campgrounds. Water Flush Toilets Pit Toilets no no yes 4,000 ft yes yes $20 3,000 ft yes 44 $15 4,200 ft 101 $20 124 Tables Fire Grates Dump Station yes yes no no yes yes yes yes no yes yes yes no no yes yes yes no 3,200 ft no no yes yes yes no $15 4,400 ft no no yes yes yes no 31 $15 4,300 ft no no yes yes yes no 15 $15 3,800 ft no no yes yes yes no Hidden Valley RVs and trailers may not exceed a combined maximum length of 25 ft. Indian Cove Jumbo Rocks Ryan White Tank RVs and trailers may not exceed a combined maximum length of 25 ft. − Group Camping Reservations are required for group camping. Sites can accommodate groups of 10-60 people and may be reserved up to a year in advance, online at www.recreation.gov or by phone at 1-877-444-6777. Group camping is available at three locations in Joshua Tree National Park: • Cottonwood Group, elevation 3,000 ft (914 m). 3 sites, $35-40 depending on site capacity. Tents only. RVs and habitable trailers prohibited. • Indian Cove Group, elevation 3,200 ft (975 m). 13 sites, $35-50 depending on site capacity. Can accommodate RVs or trailers, maximum combined length 25 ft. • Sheep Pass Group, elevation 4,500 ft (1372 m). 6 sites, $35-50 depending on site capacity. Tents only. RVs and habitable trailers prohibited. Can’t Find A Campsite? Joshua Tree National Park

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