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The United States Congress designated the Joshua Tree Wilderness in 1976 and it now has a total of 594,502 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the National Park Service. The Joshua Tree Wilderness is bordered by the Sheephole Valley Wilderness to the north and the Pinto Mountains Wilderness to the north. The California Desert Protection Act of 1994 transformed Joshua Tree National Monument into a national park and expanded the old designated Wilderness by 133,382 acres. The additions thrust north into the Pinto Mountains, northeast into the Coxcomb Mountains, southeast into the Eagle Mountains, and southwest into the Little San Bernardino Mountains. Most of the park away from road corridors is wilderness, a fabulous meeting place of two desert ecosystems. The lower, drier Colorado Desert dominates the eastern half of the park, home to abundant creosote bushes, the spidery ocotillo, and the "jumping" cholla cactus. The slightly more cool and moist Mojave Desert covers the western half of the park, serving as a hospitable breeding ground for the undisciplined Joshua tree. You'll find examples of a third ecosystem within the park: five fan-palm oases, where surface or near-surface water gives life to the stately palms. By day, you might spy bighorn sheep on mountainous slopes, numerous lizards lazing in the heat, and eagles soaring in bright sunlight. Still, it's nighttime that truly brings the desert to life, with tarantulas, rattlesnakes, coyotes, jackrabbits, bobcats, kangaroo rats, and burrowing owls responding to the lure of the dry, cool air. You'll witness some of the most fascinating geologic displays to be found in any of Southern California's desertland: twisted rock formations and granite monoliths painted with faded colors into a giant and beautiful mosaic. These rocks are an immense attraction to rock climbers. You won't find a lot of trails, but you will find travel relatively easy in multitudes of arroyos and playas, bajadas, and narrow ravines that require scrambling over skin-scraping boulders. Carry water. Joshua Tree National Park is made up of 75 percent wilderness and lies 140 miles east of Los Angeles, 175 miles northeast of San Diego, and 215 miles southwest of Las Vegas. You can approach it from Interstate 10 and Hwy 62 (Twentynine Palms Highway). The closest airport is in Palm Springs. Public transportation to the park is not available. There are three park entrance stations: 1) The west entrance is located five miles south of the junction of Highway 62 and Park Boulevard at Joshua Tree Village. 2) The north entrance is in Twentynine Palms, three miles south of the junction of Highway 62 and Utah Trail. 3) The south entrance at Cottonwood Spring, which lies 25 miles east of Indio, can be approached from the east or west, also via Interstate 10.

hiking
18 hours ago

We really liked this hike. Lots of up and down climbing on rocks. Long enough for lunch break during the hike. We climbed up high in several places for big vistas. Super flowers all along the way. No one out there!

hiking
18 hours ago

Great loop hike with lots of opportunities for off trail exploration!

hiking
18 hours ago

Took the dogs which you're not supposed to in some areas so that can be challenging. It's not so much a hike to skull rock just a walk but usually a lot of traffic for photo opps depending on when you go.

simple hike right off the road that you can do quickly. It gets a bit confusing because part of the hike goes through the campgrounds and is not marked well.

great wildflowers in the spring.

good simple up and back hike. you get a great view of most of the park.

well marked and lots of traffic.

A must do spring hike. the wildflowers are amazing. Not a lot of people on the trail.

the trail head was not marked well like other places in the park, but keeps the crowds away.

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
1 day ago

Easy quick hike. Great trail to take folks who may not want to climb elevation but get out and enjoy Joshua Tree.

Nice easy hike with great views.

Great hike for the family. There were a lot of great opportunities to climb the rocks for some spectacular views. We went in April and there was water at the dam. We hiked both Hidden Valley and Barker Dam in a morning. Would recommend both.

Great easy hike in Joshua Tree. The park is incredible. Did some climbing on the rocks along this trail. We hiked Hidden Valley and Barker Dam in a morning. Would recommend both.