News Releases

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS

November 29, 2015
Joshua Tree Burned
Park dispatch received a visitor report at 8:10 p.m., Saturday, November 28, 2015, of a Joshua tree burning on the roadside within Joshua Tree National Park. Park law enforcement, an engine from San Bernardino Fire, and the National Park Service/Bureau of Land Management Fire Management Officer responded.

November 18, 2015
Park Prepares for Strong El Niño Forecast
Park management is taking a proactive approach to what scientists say could be the strongest El Niño on record. Staff preparations include a variety of planning scenarios ranging from dam safety, to extreme weather rescues, to road and transportation issues. Superintendent David Smith will also consider preemptive closures if a forecast seems to warrant it in order to ensure visitor safety.

November 05, 2015
Joshua Tree National Park to Honor Veterans with a Fee Free Day
In honor of our nation’s veterans and the sacrifices they make, Veteran’s Day, November 11th will be an entrance fee free day in the park.

October 14, 2015
Night Sky Festival at Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park will host the 2015 Joshua Tree National Park Night Sky Festival this weekend, beginning Friday, October 16th and ending Sunday, October 18th.

October 08, 2015
Park Confirms Respiratory Disease Outbreak in Bighorn Sheep
Park officials have confirmed an outbreak of pneumonia in the bighorn sheep population. The first report of a sick and coughing bighorn was reported in early May of this year. In mid-August, a dead lamb was found in the park and sent to a laboratory for necropsy. The results of laboratory analysis of blood and tissue samples confirmed that the animal was infected with pneumonia. The mortality rate for animals infected is 50-90% and there is no vaccine or cure. This form of disease typically enters into a population from contact with domestic sheep or goats. Biologists caution the public to avoid releasing domestic sheep or goats into the wild since they can carry the disease and show no symptoms. An outbreak such as this can cause a long term decline in the population that can last more than a decade.

October 07, 2015
Intermittent Closures of Hidden Valley Loop Trail
The Hidden Valley Loop Trail at the Hidden Valley Day Use Area will be closed to hikers intermittently, for up to 30 minutes at a time while park staff performs trail maintenance. The project will start on Tuesday, October 13th from 7:00am-3:00pm. Work on the trail is scheduled Monday through Friday and will continue for the next several weeks.

September 30, 2015
Joshua Tree National Park Artist-in-Residence Leads Photography Hikes for Park Visitors
Luke Matjas, the current Artist-in-Residence at Joshua Tree National Park, will be conducting photography hikes at Barker Dam for anyone wishing to participate. The public is invited to bring any type of camera (even cell phone) and the desire to learn how to photograph unusual and, many times, unseen images of nature.

September 28, 2015
Hiker Rescued in Joshua Tree National Park
Rescuers located a 21 year old male from Great Britain who had been hiking in the Rattlesnake Canyon area of the park and became separated from the others in his party.

September 21, 2015
Come Volunteer at Joshua Tree National Park for National Public Lands Day
Volunteers are invited to Joshua Tree National Park to participate in the 22nd annual National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 26, from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. National Public Lands Day is the largest single day of volunteerism each year on America’s public lands. It is also a fee-free day for visitors to the park.

September 18, 2015
Joshua Tree National Park Welcomes 4th Grade Students Through Every Kid In a Park Initiative
Joshua Tree National Park invites all 4th grade students to visit the park for free as part of the White House’s new Every Kid in a Park program. Starting September 1, 4th grade students can now go to to complete an activity and obtain a free annual entry pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks.

September 14, 2015
Joshua Tree National Park and Association Accepting Applications for Robert Lee Graduate Student Research Grants, 2015
Graduate students interested in doing research in Joshua Tree National Park are invited to apply for assistance through the 2015 Robert Lee Graduate Student Research Grants program. Applications for the grant are available now on the park’s website ( Research proposals should focus on some aspect of the natural or cultural resources of Joshua Tree National Park. The application deadline is October 23, 2015.

August 27, 2015
Minor Flood Event in Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree National Park experienced flooding on the Twentynine Palms section of the park road yesterday afternoon. The road did not officially close, but was strewn with considerable debris.

August 07, 2015
High Temperatures Require Planning and Safety
Visiting Joshua Tree National Park in the summer can be a relaxing and scenic experience away from the crowds during high season. Certain preparations and precautions should be observed by visitors in order to ensure a safe and pleasurable trip.

August 03, 2015
Selections Made for 2015-2016 Joshua Tree National Park Artist-in-Residence Program
Joshua Tree National Park and the Joshua Tree National Park Association are pleased to announce the selections for the 2015-2016 Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Program. One writer and five visual artists have been invited to participate in the program’s eighth year of hosting artists from around the country. The selectees are: Sarah Tourjee (Providence, RI-poet); Rebecca Reeve (Brooklyn, NY-photographer); Miguel Navarro (Pasadena, CA-sculptor); Marina Mangubi (Berkeley, CA-multimedia); Luke Matjas (Camarillo, CA-muralist); and Kim Zitzow (Chesterfield, VA-installation artist).

July 30, 2015
Joshua Tree National Park Experiencing Heavy Rainfall
At this time all roads are open in Joshua Tree National Park however visitors are advised to exercise caution while driving through the park. Earlier conditions required closure of several routes. Do not drive through fast moving water on the roadway. Travel is discouraged on non-paved roads due to water, rocks, sand and other debris which may present danger or impede travel. Check with visitor centers for daily conditions.

July 29, 2015
Hiker Suffers Fatal Heart Attack on 49 Palms Oasis Trail
A 73 year old woman from Louisiana suffered a fatal heart attack while hiking with family on the 49 Palms Oasis trail in Joshua Tree National Park on Monday, July 27th. Park staff, Joshua Tree National Park Search and Rescue, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept. and members of the Twentynine Palms Fire Dept. responded and administered CPR however the subject was unresponsive.

July 21, 2015
Pinto Basin Road Reopens At Joshua Tree National Park
The Pinto Basin Road is reopened after road crews worked for two days clearing mud, sand, rocks and debris caused by heavy rainfall over the weekend. At this time, all paved roads are open in the park. Box Canyon Rd. from Mecca provides access to Cottonwood Springs off the I-10. Park officials are discouraging visitors from travel on improved dirt roads until they have had time to absorb excess water and road crews have had the opportunity to survey for possible road hazards. It is advised to check with park staff about conditions.

July 20, 2015
Heavy Rains Result in Road Closure in Joshua Tree National Park
Heavy rains resulting in washed out road conditions have closed the Pinto Basin Road from White Tank Campground to Cottonwood Springs. Park maintenance crews expect to have the roadway cleared by early on July 22.

July 13, 2015
National Park Service Conducting Boundary Study of Eagle Mountain Area Near Joshua Tree National Park
The National Park Service (NPS) is conducting a boundary study to explore whether it would be appropriate and feasible to add lands in the Eagle Mountain area in Riverside County, California to Joshua Tree National Park. Joshua Tree National Park was established to preserve and protect the scenic, natural, and cultural resources representative of the Colorado and Mojave deserts’ rich biological and geological diversity, cultural history, wilderness, recreational values, and outstanding opportunities for education and scientific study. The initial comment period for the scoping phase of the study has started, and will extend through August 21, 2015. The NPS has published a newsletter on its public planning website that provides an overview of the study process and some preliminary findings and options under consideration. The NPS is also hosting several public meetings to explain the study process, answer questions, gather information, and listen to public ideas and concerns.

July 06, 2015
Visitors Asked to Be on the Lookout for Desert Tortoises on Roadways
With an early monsoon season upon us, visitors may be seeing desert tortoises on the roadways as they search out puddles from which to drink. Because of their presence on the roads, tortoises are extremely vulnerable to being hit by cars. In order to educate the public, the park has produced a video on when and how to safely move a tortoise out of the road. Keep in mind that tortoises should only be handled in emergency situations.

July 02, 2015
"Towers of Uncertainty" Climbing Area Reopens to the Public
The climbing area known as the “Towers of Uncertainty” has been reopened by the park. The area which is approximately 4 km or 2.5 miles south of Geology Road was closed March 30 in order to protect nesting raptors.

June 19, 2015
Fire Extinguished at Jumbo Rocks Campground
Interagency fire crews that included the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and Twentynine Palms Fire Dept. responded to a quarter of an acre fire at Jumbo Rocks Campground around 12:15 pm. The fire, which has been 100% contained, burned vegetation and damaged two road signs. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

June 19, 2015
Lake Fire Affecting Air Quality in Joshua Tree National Park
The 11,000 acre Lake Fire in San Bernardino National Forest is dropping ash in the park and producing less than healthy air quality, particularly for individuals with respiratory problems. While the park is open to visitors, officials caution anyone with existing breathing issues and discourage strenuous exercise such as hiking, climbing, running or cycling during existing conditions.

June 15, 2015
Joshua Tree National Park Voted as One of the Top 10 Musical Attractions Worldwide
Joshua Tree National Park has been voted one of the top musical attractions in the world, according to a poll sponsored by USA TODAY and 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards. After four weeks of voting, the park finished ninth in a field that included Graceland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and international attractions such as Hansa Studios in Berlin and Abbey Road in London.

May 22, 2015
Park To Close Some Campgrounds for Summer Season
Joshua Tree National Park will close some campgrounds for the 2015 summer season. Summer is the slow season at the park and there is less demand for overnight camping during these hot summer months. Seasonal campground closures allow impacted natural areas to recover, and also help to reduce the cost of maintaining these facilities.

May 15, 2015
Fees Increase at Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park announced that park fees will increase effective June 1, 2015. The fee increases come about after extensive civic engagement from Oct. 21-Nov. 22, 2014, and a high level of support from federal, state and county stakeholders as well as commercial operators. Outreach included radio broadcasts, town hall meetings, local community events, print media, and social media. Generally the public was in support of the fee increases despite some concern that the increases be made in smaller increments than originally planned. In consideration to those concerns the park will maintain the current fee for the annual park pass and reduced the proposed fee increase for motorcycles.

May 11, 2015
Oasis Visitor Center at Joshua Tree National Park Reopens
The official reopening of the Oasis Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms will be celebrated on Saturday, May 16th at 10am. The festivities will include Native American Bird Singers, remarks by Superintendent David Smith and refreshments.

April 28, 2015
Tourism to Joshua Tree National Park Creates $97M in Economic Benefits
A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 1,589,904 visitors to Joshua Tree National Park in 2014 spent over $73M in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,030 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $97M.

April 24, 2015
Climbing and Bouldering Routes Temporarily Closed for Nesting Raptors
Joshua Tree National Park acting superintendent Jeff Ohlfs issued a Temporary Emergency Closure to protect nearby nesting raptors. The climbing routes affected by this closure include: Patagonia Pile-(East and West Faces), The Head, Labor Dome and Wall of Biblical Fallacies. Bouldering routes in the closure area include: Iron Door Cave, Voices, Tidal Wave, Tilt-O-Meter, Lizzy, Dino’s Egg, and Chuckwalla bouldering area. This climbing area is approximately 380m northwest from the Hidden Valley Campground Loop.

April 24, 2015
Joshua Tree National Park Releases 2015 Superintendent's Compendium
Joshua Tree National Park has issued revised park regulations contained in the Superintendent’s Compendium. The Compendium is a list of park-specific regulations National Park Service superintendents are authorized to issue under the Code of Federal Regulations.

April 15, 2015
Street Artist "Mr. Andre" Pays Fine to National Park Service
The Swedish-Portuguese street artist Andre Saraiva, known as “Mr. Andre,” has paid the fine to the U.S. District Court for vandalizing a boulder in Joshua Tree National Park. On February 27th, 2015, park officials were notified by members of the public that Saraiva had posted Instagram photos of his “work” on one and possibly a second rock formation thought to be in the park. After investigation, only one location proved to be within park borders. He was subsequently fined an undisclosed amount which was paid on April 1st after he had returned to his home in France. Saraiva was cooperative with park rangers.

April 14, 2015
National Park Week at Joshua Tree National Park
Join Joshua Tree National Park in celebrating National Park Week, this April 18th-26th with special celebrations for kids on National Junior Ranger Day, April 25th. Help kids “Find Your Cool in the Desert: Explore, Learn, Protect” by visiting Joshua Tree National Park for lots of fun and adventure with a host of ranger programs for the entire family. Be sure to pick up your “Find Your Cool in the Desert” card at any of the visitor centers to help plan for the day.

April 01, 2015
Artist-in-Residence, Olivia Parkes Featured in Exhibit at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center
Twentynine Palms, CA Joshua Tree National Park announces the opening on Wednesday, April 1st of an exhibit of new paintings by artist Olivia Parkes, at the Joshua Tree visitor center, 6554 Park Blvd., in Joshua Tree, California. Ms. Parkes was a 2014 participant in the park’s Artist-in-Residence Program.

March 31, 2015
Joshua Tree National Park Joins National Find Your Park Movement
Joshua Tree National Park joins parks, programs and partners across the country to encourage everyone to find their park and share their stories online at Launched yesterday by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, Find Your Park is a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the milestone centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and setting the stage for its second century of service.

March 30, 2015
Climbing Area Temporarily Closed for Nesting Raptors, Spring 2015
Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent David Smith has enacted a Temporary Emergency Closure to protect nearby nesting raptors. The climbing area affected by this closure is the “Towers of Uncertainty” area, approximately 2.5 miles (4 km) south of Geology Tour Road.

February 26, 2015
Youth Conservation Corps Applications Now Available
This summer, Joshua Tree National Park will sponsor an 8-week, Youth Conservation Corps program. Youths between the ages of 15 and 18 are encouraged to apply. To be eligible, applicants may not reach their 19th birthday during the program. Selected applicants will start work on June 15, 2015 and continue in the program until August 6, 2015. Corps members will earn the hourly California Minimum Wage. Work hours are Monday through Friday from 7:00 am until 3:30 pm, with every other Friday off.

February 06, 2015
Celebrate Presidents Day Weekend at Joshua Tree National Park
Free admission, warmer weather, longer days, and fewer crowds make this day a great time to visit a national park. To celebrate Presidents Day weekend, the parks are waiving entrance fees on Saturday, February 14 through Monday, February 16, 2015.

February 02, 2015
Joshua Tree National Park Search and Rescue (JOSAR) Has Openings for New Volunteer Members
JOSAR is recruiting new volunteer members. No prior training or experience is required. Joshua Tree National Park provides extensive training in land searching, tracking, incident management and high-angle rope rescue techniques. You may participate as a rescue member, field searcher or in a support capacity for team operations and logistics.

January 09, 2015
Joshua Tree National Park Sees Record Visitation in 2014
Nearly 1.6 million people visited Joshua Tree National Park in calendar year 2014, up from 1.4 million in 2013. That is good news for the park and also for the surrounding communities. National park tourism is a significant economic engine for local communities, returning $10 for every $1 invested.

December 30, 2014
Joshua Tree National Park Search and Rescue Teams Kept Busy Over Holiday Week
Joshua Tree Search and Rescue (JOSAR) responded to several incidents during the holiday season.

December 29, 2014
Winter Weather Advisory for Joshua Tree National Park
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch in effect for the park from Tuesday afternoon, December 30th, through Thursday morning, January 1st.

December 16, 2014
Temporary Visitor Center to Open at Park Headquarters
The visitor information desk and bookstore at Oasis Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms will be moved to a temporary building just south of the visitor center while the park completes a seismic retrofit project for the health and safety of visitors and staff. Visitor services will be unaffected and signs will provide directions to the temporary location. The move will take effect December 29.

Did You Know?