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.
Within the park there are six distinct mountain ranges: the Little San Bernardino Mountains in the southwestern part; the Cottonwood, Hexie, and Pinto Mountains in the center; and the Eagle and Coxcomb Mountains in the eastern part. Both the southern and northern margins of the park are marked by steep escarpments that rise abruptly from the lower desert areas. Much of the park lies at elevations above 4,000 feet.
Between the park’s numerous mountain ranges, there are valleys, which are classified according to their method of formation. Queen Valley and Lost Horse Valley were formed by a difference in the rate of erosion between the rock underlying the valley itself and the rock composing the surrounding mountains. The mountainous rock is more resistant to erosion and therefore rises above the valleys. Pleasant Valley, on the other hand, was formed by down-dropped motion along faults that formed basins (called grabens). Some valleys have playas: lakes that may contain water a few weeks a year during the rainy season.
Did You Know?
In the high desert country that was to become Joshua Tree National Park, rugged individuals tried their luck at cattle ranching, mining, and homesteading. William Keys and his family are particularly representative of the hard work and ingenuity it took to settle and prosper in the Mojave Desert. More...