• Sunrise at the Cholla Cactus Garden

    Joshua Tree

    National Park California

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  • Cottonwood Trails Closed

    Trail access remains closed to Cottonwood Spring Oasis, Lost Palms Oasis, and Mastodon Peak. More »

  • Pinto Basin Road Under Construction; Expect 30+ Minute Travel Delays

    Visitors should expect 30+ minute waits when heading north and sound bound on the Pinto Basin Road. Due to construction activity around Cottonwood Visitor Center, additional waits of 30 minutes may be in place when leaving the visitor center parking lot. More »

  • Deteriorating conditions of Black Rock Canyon Road

    The road leading to Black Rock campground has deep potholes, is deeply rutted, and can be difficult to negotiate, especially in large vehicles. Please drive with caution.

Ranger Guided

Second Grade

Natural History Earth's Bare Bones: Desert Landforms explores the different types of landforms found in deserts and helps students understand how rocks are formed and the makeup of minerals in rocks.


Third & Fourth Grades

Natural History Geo Kids: The Rocks of Joshua Tree National Park helps students discover how the rocks of Joshua Tree were formed and eroded.
Cultural History

Keys to the Past explores how successful homesteaders survived in the desert. (Limited to one class per program.)

Barker Dam: Survival in an Arid Land engages students in understanding how American Indians and early settlers survived in and adapted to the desert. (third grade)


Fifth & Sixth Grades

Natural History

Rocks and Faults engages students in how the ever-dynamic geology of Earth formed the landscape—and continues to shape it today.

Desert Water: A Secret from the Sun

Cultural History Keys to the Past explores how successful homesteaders survived in the desert. (Limited to one class per program.)


Middle School & Junior High

Natural History Tortoise, Tortoise launches students into a study of the desert tortoise through scientific study practices using tortoise replicas.


High School

Research Opportunities

Discovering the Ancients: Science in Action has students participate in a science research project for the park that deals with desert plants. An in-class presentation is required to participate.

Job Shadowing allows a student to accompany a national park ranger in order to experience what he or she does on a daily basis.

Did You Know?

Red Spotted Toad

The red-spotted toad is a true denizen of the desert, where it spends most of its life underground. Found from one end of the park to the other, it appears after good, soaking rains. More...