Ranger Programs

A ranger smiles in front of a crowd of seated visitors at sunset. Desert plants and rolling mountains fill the background.
Ranger programs are a great way to get a behind-the-scenes view of Joshua Tree.

NPS / Brad Sutton

Upcoming ranger programs can be found on our searchable Calendar.

Ranger Programs

February 5–April 30, 2017
Discover Joshua Tree with free guided walks, talks, and evening programs given by park rangers and volunteers. Learn how humans, wildlife, and vegetation have adapted to survive in the desert, and how geologic forces have shaped this arid land.

Programs start promptly at the times noted below, so arrive a few minutes early to allow time for parking. Children under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Programs take place outdoors, but may be canceled or moved inside during inclement weather or in there is a danger of lightning.

Please bring a hat, wear sunscreen, and carry plenty of water with you. For evening programs, bring warm layers and a flashlight.

Fossil Chat

Joshua Tree Visitor Center by the back patio mural
Fridays and Saturdays, 9–10 am
Discover the past, present, and future of our diverse desert ecosystems on this drop-in program. This program is wheelchair-accessible.

Patio Talk

Sundays through Thursdays, 9 am at Joshua Tree Visitor Center
Mondays through Fridays, 10 am at Oasis Visitor Center
daily, 2 at Cottonwood Visitor Center
Ranger's choice! Learn about one of many fascinating aspects of the park on this 15–30 minute program. This program is wheelchair-accessible.

Artists' Tea

Cap Rock parking area
Sundays, 9–11 am (except April 16)
Meet a local artist! Find inspiration and see how the artistic community can help protect and promote the beauty of Joshua Tree National Park at this drop-in program. Bring your own mug to enjoy a free cup of tea. Participating artists vary from week to week.

Mastodon Peak Hike

Cottonwood Springs parking area
Saturdays, 9 am
Discover the early mining history of the park. This hike has steep grades and is strenuous. It will last for 2–3 hours and we will cover 3 miles (4.8 km).

Cottonwood Springs Chat

Cottonwood Springs parking area
Fridays, 9–10:30 am
Drop in for a casual conversation with a ranger. Bring your questions about Cottonwood Springs and the Colorado Desert.

Joshua Tree Rocks!

Skull Rock parking area
Fridays, 9:30 am
Examine the geology of this remarkable area. The program will last for 1–1.5 hours and we will walk 1 mile (1.6 km).

Desert Reflections

Oasis Visitor Center
Saturdays, 10 am
Join a ranger for an interactive discussion about the park. Check at a visitor center for topics. This program will last for 1–1.5 hours. This program is wheelchair-accessible.

Cholla Garden Chat

Cholla Cactus Garden
Sundays, 10–11:30 am
Drop in for a casual conversation with a ranger. Bring your questions about the Cholla Cactus Garden and the Pinto Basin.

Jr. Ranger Discover Walk

Skull Rock parking area
Sundays, 9:30 am
Especially for families with children! This short hike will help kids earn a Jr. Ranger badge. The program lasts for 1–1.5 hours and we will walk 0.7 miles (1.1 km). This program is wheelchair-accessible.

"I Speak for the Trees" Walk

Cap Rock Nature Trail
Sundays, 2 pm
Take a walk with a ranger and discover the park's namesake on this 1 hour program. The trail is 0.4 miles (0.6 km) long.

Keys Ranch Tour

Keys Ranch Gate, tickets required
Thursdays through Saturdays, 2 pm
Explore the colorful story and numerous artifacts of this premier historical site. Tickets are required. Tickets must be purchased in person on the day of the tour at the Oasis Visitor Center from 8:30 am–noon. Adults (12 & up) $10; Senior Pass or Access Pass holders $5; children ages 6-11 $5; children under 6 free. The program lasts 1.5 hours and we will walk 0.5 miles (0.8 km). More information can be found on our Keys Ranch Tour page.

Keys View Chat

Keys View overlook
Tuesdays, 2–4 pm
Drop in for a casual conversation with a ranger about the San Andreas Fault and park geology. This program is wheelchair-accessible.

Oasis Walk

Oasis of Mara Visitor Center
Tuesdays, 3 pm
Explore the history and ecology of a desert oasis. This program will last for 1–1.5 hours and we will walk a half mile (0.8 km).

Evening Program

Jumbo Rocks and Cottonwood campground amphitheaters
Fridays and Saturdays
7 pm in February, 8 pm in March and April
Relax beneath the stars and enjoy a presentation about the park's fascinating natural or cultural history. Check at a visitor center for topics. The program will last for 45 minutes.

Last updated: February 8, 2017

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Mailing Address:

74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597


(760) 367-5500

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