Acting Superintendent John Slaughter announced that the Lost Horse Mine Trail will be re-opened for public use on Monday, August 10. However, Jumbo Rocks Campground, closed on July 7 due to swarming bees, will remain closed until Friday, August 28. Ryan Campground will continue to be open for camping in lieu of Jumbo Rocks Campground.
The Lost Horse Mine Road and Trail were closed in late may due to the Lost Horse Mine wildfire. Following full containment of the fire on May 26, park Superintendent Curt Sauer placed a temporary closure of the burn area for public safety and to allow germination of fragile desert plants following the fire. While the Lost Horse Mine Trail is being re-opened, park visitors are urged to remain on the trail while hiking through the area. The pace of germination and post-fire re-growth has been slowed somewhat due to the lack of summer rainfall and generally dry conditions across the park.
Nonaggressive, swarming bees continue to remain a problem at Jumbo Rocks Campground. The lack of natural moisture in the environment causes local bees to seek moisture in human environments like the campground where the bees actively seek moisture at campsites, restrooms, trash cans, and even on exposed human skin. It is anticipated that summer rain showers will cause the bees to disperse once they have access to more natural sources of water. Park staff will continue to monitor the bee situation in the campground.
For more information and updates on visiting Joshua Tree National Park, the public can go to the park's website at: www.nps.gov/jotr or call 760-367-5500.