With nearly 800,000 acres of mystical beauty, Joshua Tree National Park is undoubtedly one of the world’s most incredible natural desert treasures. Sweeping, grand in scale and populated by granite monoliths and voluptuous rock and boulder formations, the park offers wonder to eco-travelers, outdoor adventurists and naturalists. Two large ecosystems come together to form this quiet land, conducive to meditation and roaming, that have been carved by extremes in climate from wind to rain to an ever-present, relentless sun. Evidence of many diverse forms of plant life from creosote and ocotillo are found everywhere, but none as unique or prevalent as the park’s namesake: the Joshua tree, standing majestically across the vast topography. During the day, life may seem scarce since the park is largely nocturnal – featuring reptiles and animals that adapt to the lack of water and high temperatures by going underground.

Ways to enjoy Joshua Tree National Park are nearly as vast as the park itself. Arrive for a few hours to hike on countless trails suitable for all levels of hikers or plan an adrenaline-infused rock climb among rare boulder outcroppings. Multiple campsites provide those with more time in one of nature’s most alluring desert escapes. Park rangers offer special programs and ranger-led tours that educate visitors about the park’s geography, wildlife and plant life, as well as its colorful history dating back to the early Pinto Man and the gold seekers of the 1800s. Recently designated an International Dark Sky Park, Joshua Tree always grants night visitors a tour of the dazzling star display above.

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