Free admission, warmer weather, and longer days make this a great time to visit a national park. To celebrate the start of summer, the National Park Service is waiving entrance fees at all parks on June 21.
"The longest day of the year is the perfect time to take a short trip. Celebrate an extended Father's Day with Dad, the start of summer break with the kids, or a job well done with your favorite graduate," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "With 394 national parks across the country, you could opt to visit an old favorite or explore a new place. Find a reason to get outside and enjoy the extra sunshine at a national park near you."
June weather can be brutally hot, but May and early June at Joshua Tree have been unusually cool this year making outdoor activity more pleasant than is typical in summer. "If the cooler weather holds, people will find this a great time to visit Joshua Tree," according to Superintendent Mark Butler, "the park should be uncrowded with plenty of campsites available." Normal camping fees and other user fees will still be collected in the park on June 21.
Park visitors will encounter road maintenance activity on Park Route 11 through the Pinto Basin. Asphalt replacement work will be underway in this area, and visitors could experience minor delays due to the road repair activity.
Visitors to Joshua Tree are reminded that summer often brings high daytime temperatures that can exceed 100 degrees in the middle of the day. Normal hot weather precautions should be taken. Visitors should limit strenuous activity to the cooler morning and evening hours. When hiking or walking, you should always carry plenty of water (1 gallon per person per day), use sunscreen, and wear a hat and light clothing to cover sensitive skin.
Campers and picnickers should bring drinking water as most park campgrounds and picnic areas do not have water available. Potable water is available at park visitor centers and at Black Rock and Cottonwood Campgrounds as well as the Indian Cove Ranger Station.