Preserving Keys Ranch

Joshua Tree wants to rehabilitate the main house at Keys Ranch to allow visitors access to the house interior on ranger-led tours. Historic Keys Ranch preserves the remarkable story of Bill Keys and his epic tale of survival and success in the high desert. Help us open the door to the past and open the doors to the Keys Ranch house.

Partners in Preservation, a project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is providing $2 million to parks for historic preservation projects. Joshua Tree is one of 20 national park sites around the country that is being considered for a share of this funding. Public voting will determine whose projects are funded.

 
Keys Ranch
The Keys Ranch house is nestled in a picturesque valley surrounded by boulders.

NPS/Hannah Schwalbe

 

Open House

Come visit Keys Ranch! June 18th and 19th, Father's Day weekend, is a Keys Ranch extravaganza. We will have six free tours each day. Reservations are required. To reserve a spot on a tour, call 760-367-5522. This tour will take you on an adventure into the heart of the park to see the historic Keys Ranch, arguably the most successful homestead in Joshua Tree. Meet archeologists and rangers as you tour around the main house, old cars, the windmill, and more.

Keys Ranch tour schedule for the open house on June 18-19, 2016:

  • 8:00 am - 9:30 am
  • 9:30 am - 11:00 am
  • 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
  • 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
  • 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
  • 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

The average high temperature for Joshua Tree National Park in June is around 95ºF (35°C) and the high is reached around midday, with temperatures remaining very hot throughout the afternoon. However, mornings and evenings are usually pleasant.

Do not come to the Keys Ranch Gate without a reservation.

Visiting the park at a different time? You can sign up for a standard Keys Ranch tour on another date. Find more information about our Keys Ranch Tours.

 

Keys Ranch offers a glimpse into the scrappy, extraordinary lives of early Joshua Tree settlers. In the high desert, rugged individuals tried their luck at cattle ranching, mining, and homesteading, but few were able to succeed. Bill and Frances Keys were exceptional—not only surviving, but thriving in the desert for 60 years while they raised their family in this remote location. The ranch house, school house, store and workshop still stand; the orchard has been replanted; and the grounds are full of cars, trucks, mining equipment, and spare parts that complete the Keys Ranch story. Today, the ranch is listed as a National Historic District, but needs an investment of preservation work to persist into the future.

Last updated: August 16, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597

Phone:

(760) 367-5500

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