• 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.

Park Seeks Information About Dead Tortoise

On August 4, 2008, Joshua Tree National Park staff discovered a tortoise that had apparently been burned to death. The tortoise was found in a fire grate in Black Rock Campground, which is located south of the town of Yucca Valley.

It is currently unknown when the death occured and who is responsible. National Park Service rangers conducting the investigation request that anyone who might be able to provide information about the incident call 760-367-5541.

The protection of native wildlife is a primary mission of the National Park Service. The desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, is California’s state reptile and was placed on both the California and Federal Endangered Species Lists in 1989 and 1990, respectively. Its status is “threatened”—just one notch below “endangered.”

Handling wild tortoises is illegal under the Endangered Species Act. The only reason for picking one up is when the tortoise is on or near a road and is in imminent danger of being struck by a vehicle. For more information about the desert tortoise click here.

Did You Know?

Desert Queen Ranch branding iron

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...