Take a Tour through Joshua Tree National Park

There's lots to be seen where two deserts meet.

By Google Arts & Culture

Joshua Tree National Park

The area of Joshua Tree has long been recognised as one of outstanding beauty and national importance. The park is found where the Colorado and the Mojave deserts meet, and is home to a rich variety of wildlife and geological formations.

Cottonwood Spring

Head north until you reach the visitor centre at Cottonwood. South-east of here is the campsite and if you go on a little further, you'll find the spring itself. From here, you can follow the rocky trail on foot to reach Lost Palms Oasis.

Lost Palms Oasis

The Lost Palms Oasis trail is about 7.2 miles, not bad on a day like this. At the end of the trail you can loop back around, or try continue on to try and find the 'Victory Palms', named because of the difficulty of the route ahead.

High View Nature Loop Trail

Along the High View Nature loop Trail you can get up close to the Joshua Tree, the iconic plant that this park is named for. The early Spanish explorers of this land named it izote de desierto, or the desert dagger.

Ryan Mountain

This peak, named for the rancher and mine operator J.D. Ryan, marks the highest point in the whole of Joshua Tree. Here, you're 5,456 feet above sea level. It's a tough hike, but the views alone are worth it.

Keys View

From this lookout point you can see the southern side of the park, and all the way to the Coachella Valley, the Salton Sea, the San Andreas Fault, the Santa Rosa Mountains, and even the city of Palm Springs.

Lost Horse Mine

The story of Lost Horse Mine is one straight out of the Wild West, featuring horse thieves, cattle rustlers, and dirty double crosses. From this ridge you can see the old track that was made by Johnny Lang, who founded the mine and lies buried at its entrance.

Skull Rock

Shaped by the wind and rain, this prominent boulder has taken on the uncanny form of a human skull, complete with eyeless sockets and hollow nose. Some imagination (and a good camera angle) is required, but it's a memorable sight in the arid desert.

Panorama Loop Trail

Start this looped trail by following the ridgeline of the Little San Bernardino Mountains. Along the way, look out for dense Joshua tree forest and pinyon-juniper woodland, as well as the unbelievable views.

Barker Dam

Water in a desert? It's more likely than you think. This reservoir was built by the cattle farmer C.O. Barker in 1900. But the area has been inhabited for thousands of years, nearby you can find Native American petroglyphs.

Rock Climbing

The unique geological features of Joshua Tree make it an amazing location for rock climbers. There are more than 8000 established climbs for all skill levels, ranging from easy scrambles and bouldering, to extreme vertical cliff faces.

Backcountry Roads

If 4x4s and motorbikes are more your thing, why not take a drive along the park's many tracks. See abandoned ruins along the Berdoo Canyon Road, the dry washes of Black Eagle Mine Road, and the junipers and pinyon pines of Covington Flat.

A Helicopter View Of The Us (1951) by Margaret Bourke-WhiteLIFE Photo Collection

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