• Sunrise at the Cholla Cactus Garden

    Joshua Tree

    National Park California

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • 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.

Mountains

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?

Joshua Tree Blooms

One of the most beautiful spectacles in spring is the creamy-white blossoms of Joshua trees. These white candles can be seen from February to late March. Joshua trees do not branch until after they bloom, and they don’t bloom every year. More...