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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
12 hours ago

We went up the Burnt Hill Trail and came down the Eureka Peak Trail. Wasn't a fan of the sand hiking up the elevation, but the trail back was nice. Completely different scenery than the way up. Worth the view but the sand definitely kicks your butt!

hiking
14 hours ago

hiking
1 day ago

nice desert hike

hiking
1 day ago

Absolutely gorgeous oasis! Must do! Did it in a few hours!

Awesome incline for training and a view at sunset !

Easy peasy with good scrambling opportunities throughout!

I did this trail in September. It was my first short day hike of my 12 day road trip as I just arrived in San Diego the day before to start the journey. The part from the trailhead to the peak is relatively easy as the trail is super clear. It's a beaten path with stairs. The trail past the peak (where you can find a mine ruin) is pretty tricky. As I climbed over the peak on the west side, I wandered off more towards the west on the trail and followed a dried up riverbed, or wash instead and got myself lost. I only found out about it when the rocks were getting steeper and steeper. I couldn't image this being a part of an 'easy' rate hike. It definitely scared me for a moment. Luckily the gps on my phone worked so I could find the right direction to the trailhead. I ended up right behind the palm tree oase and had to bush wack for a bit. So, even though it's rated as an easy hike please be careful with the washes past the mine ruins / Mastodon peak. Get an offline or paper map.

hiking
2 days ago

If you come in from Gold Crown Road going south there are some really tough parts. Did it in a stock raptor. 4x4 a must. Lots of rocks and some driving along edge of mountains. Was fun and challenging.

hiking
2 days ago

off road driving
2 days ago

Super fun, but know your stuff if you plan to drive this. I personally, did not know much about off-roading, and we were caught on an incline throwing rocks and loosing air in one tire. Thankfully a small adjustment freed us from the rut and after throwing in a spare tire the only road ahead for us was the easy sandy roads of Geology Tour Rd. Personally, I would skip the off-roading and just cruise Geology Tour, make a pit stop to hike Pushwalla. That’s just me though, I’d rather not be stuck in a car.

off road driving
3 days ago

Short hike but beautiful view of the dam and a nice place to relax if you've been trekking much of the park.