In this section of the park website, you can learn more about how the National Park Service takes care of Joshua Tree for the benefit of the people. Explore the Laws & Policies that govern park management. See Your Dollars at Work to find out how entrance fee money supports park operations. On this page, learn about the significance of Joshua Tree and download planning documents.
What Makes Joshua Tree National Park Significant?
- Joshua trees. Joshua Tree National Park preserves a world-renowned, undisturbed population of Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia brevifolia), an integral component of the Mojave Desert ecosystem.
- Transition between two deserts. Outstanding examples of Mojave and Colorado Desert landscapes converge at Joshua Tree National Park to create a biologically rich system of plant and animal life characterized by iconic Joshua tree woodlands, native palm oases, and vast expanses of creosote scrub that are uniquely adapted to desert conditions. The park also contributes significantly to the
connectivity of large protected areas across the California desert.
- Desert wilderness close to major urban areas. Joshua Tree National Park provides accessible and diverse opportunities in a remote desert
wildland to large and burgeoning urban
- History and cultural traditions. Joshua Tree National Park preserves a rich array of prehistoric, historic, and contemporary
resources that demonstrate the integral
connection between deserts, land use, and human cultures.
- Where the Pacific Plate meets the North American Plate. Joshua Tree National Park lies along one of the world's most active tectonic boundaries, the San Andreas Fault. Geologic processes,
including tectonic activity, have played and continue to play a major role in shaping the mountains, valleys, and basins of the park.
- Scientific study. Joshua Tree National Park offers unparalleled
opportunities for research of arid land
ecosystems and processes, adaptations of and to desert life, sustainability, and indications of climate change. The proximity of the park to urban regions of Southern California and Nevada enhances the value of the park for scientific research and education.
- Bouldered landscape. Huge, eroded monzogranite boulder
formations are world-renowned natural
features that provide unique aesthetic,
educational, and recreational opportunities for Joshua Tree National Park visitors.
- Beautiful scenery. Geologic, climatic, and ecological processes
create scenic landscapes unique to deserts and
fundamental to the character of Joshua Tree National Park.