Torrential rains caused widespread flooding in the Pinto Basin and Cottonwood Spring areas of Joshua Tree National Park on Tuesday morning, September 13. Extensive flood damage occurred to the Pinto Basin Road, with loss of pavement in numerous areas. The Cottonwood Visitor Center was flooded and parts of Cottonwood Campground were washed away. It is estimated that at least three inches of rain fell during the morning storm.
Pinto Basin Road from Interstate 10 on the south boundary to White Tank Campground. Cottonwood Visitor Center and Cottonwood Campground are also closed. Park crews are continuing to assess the full extent of the damage though it may be some time before complete damage estimates are available.
No visitors or park employees were injured during the flood event and no vehicles were damaged.
Other park roads including the scenic Park Boulevard between Twentynine Palms and Joshua Tree remain open for visitor use. Other park campgrounds, picnic areas, and trails are also open for normal summer use, although travelers should pay close attention to local weather reports for current updates on storm and flash flood warnings. The Oasis Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms and the Joshua Tree Visitor Center in the community of Joshua Tree remain open for regular operations from 8 am to 5 pm every day.
Updates about the Pinto Basin flood event and general information on Joshua Tree National Park can be found by visiting the park's website at: www.nps.gov/jotr