Pinto Basin Road Under Construction; Expect travel delays up to 30-minutes
The ongoing construction project to improve Pinto Basin Road will impact travel between the northern portion of the park and the Cottonwood/I-10 area. Please plan accordingly. The project is expected to be completed in August 2014. 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.
Access to some Cottonwood trails remains closed
Trail access remains closed to Cottonwood Spring Oasis, Lost Palms Oasis, and Mastodon Peak. 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.
Did You Know?
Five of North America's 158 desert fan palm oases are located in Joshua Tree National Park, where fault lines force water to the surface. More...