Plan A Field Trip
Joshua Tree National Park provides the perfect outdoor setting to enhance classroom-based learning. You can visit on your own or have a ranger join you for an outdoor education program. All ranger-led education programs are curriculum-based (California State Education Standards) and free of charge.
Self-Guided Field TripAcademic fee waivers are available for groups that elect to make a self-guided visit.
Ranger-led Field TripFollow the steps outlined below to schedule a ranger-led field trip.
Select a ProgramJoshua Tree National Park rangers offer in-park programs. Program lengths vary. Programs must be scheduled one month prior to date presented. Programs dates are on a first come, first served basis. Once a program date is confirmed, it cannot be changed.
Earth's Bare Bones: Desert Landforms (1st & 2nd Grades)
This program explores the different types of desert landforms and helps students understand how rocks form and the makeup of their minerals. [Standards]
Habitats (1st & 2nd Grades)
Introduces students to the concept of what animals need to survive, the difference between needs and wants, and allows students to search for animal habitats on their own. [Standards]
Barker Dam: Survival in an Arid Land (3rd Grade)
Students explore how Native Americans and early settlers survived in the desert. [Standards]
Joshua Tree Ecology (3rd & 4th Grades)
Engages students in exploring the world of the Joshua tree and its symbiotic relationship with many desert animals. [Standards]
Cottonwood Desert Adaptations (3rd - 6th Grades)
Engages students in exploring how plants and animals are adapted to the desert environment. (Recommended for east end Coachella Valley schools.) [Standards]
Geology Kids: The Rocks of Joshua Tree National Park (4th Grade)
Invites students to discover how the rocks of Joshua Tree National Park formed and the different weathering and erosion factors involved in the rock cycle. [Standards]
Keys to the Past (4th & 6th Grades)
Explores how a successful pioneer family survived at the Desert Queen Ranch. [Standards]
Desert Water: A Secret Under the Sun (5th Grade)
Introduces students to the arid landscape of the Mojave and Colorado deserts through hands-on measurement of the air and soil. [Standards]
Rocks and Faults (6th Grade)
This program allows students to discover the geologic processes (structure of the Earth, plate tectonics, etc.) that shape the landscape of Joshua Tree National Park. [Standards]
Tortoise, Tortoise (Middle School/Junior High)
Students study the threatened desert tortoise through scientific study practices using tortoise replicas. [Standards]
Discovering the Ancients: Science in Action (High School)
Teaches students how to determine the ages of desert plants by showing them how to take accurate measurements used by botanists. (Requires an in-class visit prior to the field trip.) [Standards]
Job Shadowing (High School)
Gives students an opportunity to shadow rangers as they perform their jobs. [Standards]
Submit a Reservation Request Form
Things to keep in mind while filling out this form:
- Select only one program topic per day
- Programs generally last 1-1.5 hours, not including driving or lunch time. Expect field trip length to be 3-4 hours.
Prepare Your Class
2) Review checklist provided in confirmation email;
3) Your assistance throughout the program in maintaining the attention, focus, and good behavior of your students;
4) Follow up with post-visit activities (if applicable).
With your assistance we're certain your field trip will be a memorable and educational event for all of your students!