• Sunrise at the Cholla Cactus Garden

    Joshua Tree

    National Park California

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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.

Research Permits

Guidelines for Conducting Research
To obtain initial permission to conduct field research and/or collecting of specimens within areas administered by the National Park Service, you are required to complete and submit materials that enable park staff to evaluate the proposed activities and potential impacts on resources, policy, and visitor experiences. These materials include:

  • an application form
  • a study proposal
  • copies of existing peer-reviews or the names of individuals you recommend to review your proposal.

Your Permit May Be Delayed
If your research will involve ground disturbance, your permit may be delayed. Research proposals that involve ground disturbance, such as digging or scraping of surface materials, may require an extended period of time for review.

Ground disturbing activities often have the potential to impact archeological resources both on and below the ground surface. As such, applications that propose ground disturbance warrant a more thorough review under section 106 of National Historic Preservation Act.

This may require additional park staff time to evaluate applications and to survey the locations of the proposed disturbance. Depending on staff availability, this may considerably delay the issuing of the research permit.

Please consider using alternative methods that do not require ground disturbance (e.g. Sherman traps versus pitfall traps). If not possible, be prepared to provide precise GPS locations of the study/sample sites when submitting the application.

Altering locations or adding supplemental locations after the park reviews the application will further delay the issuance of the permit.

The Research Permit and Reporting System
To begin the permit application process, visit the National Park Service Research Permit and Reporting System website. This site provides instructions for the application process, answers to frequently asked questions, links to related websites, and links to submit or view reports detailing the accomplishments of ongoing or completed research projects.

Did You Know?

Red Spotted Toad

The red-spotted toad is a true denizen of the desert, where it spends most of its life underground. Found from one end of the park to the other, it appears after good, soaking rains. More...