Pinto Basin Road Renovation
Pinto Basin Road is being renovated. On weekdays you may encounter travel delays of up to 30 minutes. Cholla Cactus Garden is closed on weekdays. Cottonwood Visitor Center hours are 9 to 4 on weekdays, 8 to 4 weekends. More »
Rattlesnake Canyon Will Remain Closed Through May
To provide additional time to mitigate the vandalism, Rattlesnake Canyon will remain completely closed to the public for another 30 days. More »
© Wally Pacholka/AstroPics.com
It is estimated that only around 10 percent of the population of the United States is able to see the night sky in its natural, unpolluted state. No wonder visitors to Joshua Tree National Park are awed and astounded when they get their first glimpse of the night sky.
Tour the Milky Way
Find one of those star clouds and, without taking your gaze away from it, raise your binoculars to your eyes. The cloud will resolve into hundreds of stars, with perhaps smaller clumps and hazy patches in the field of view.
Notice how the Milky Way seems to be very bright and dense to the south near the horizon? You are looking toward the center of our galaxy, where the stars are richest.
To help identify the many objects you will find with binoculars, you will want a star chart. A circular “star finder,” also known as a “planisphere,” will show the location of many celestial objects.
Night Sky Programs
Rangers present a variety of night sky programs both at Cottonwood Campground and at the Oasis Visitor Center. Programs are subject to change in the case of inclement weather or illness.
Did You Know?
With nearly 750 species of vascular plants, Joshua Tree is renowned for its plant diversity. No wonder that when the area was first proposed for preservation in the early 1930s, the name suggested was Desert Plants National Park. More...