Joshua Tree National Park
The extremely popular Joshua Tree National Park is located in the US state of California. Over 1.2 million visitors come to California to experience Joshua Tree National Park. The desert landscape extends over an area of 3,112 km² and was founded on October 31, 1994.
Joshua Tree National Park is the transition between the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert. The park gets its name from the palm avenue which consists of the Joschuapalmen, i.e. the Joshua Trees.
Before the area was declared a national park, it was named a National Monument in 1936. The rocky area is particularly popular with rock climbers.
There are height differences of up to 1,772 meters here. Climbing the summit of Quail Mountain is particularly popular among mountaineers.
Geology of the park
For researchers as well as visitors, the geology of the park is of great importance and inspires again and again. The decisive factor is that the park has two different ecosystems, or rather combines these two ecosystems. The Colorado Desert, which is particularly characterized by scrubland, cacti and fan palms, as well as the Mojave Desert at higher altitudes. The Joshua palms thrive here.
In Joshua Tree National Park you can find monzzogranite formations that are particularly impressive because of their optics. These formed as magma cooled below the surface of the earth. The resulting layer was uncovered by natural erosion after millions of years. The stones at Jumbo Rocks, Wonderland of Rocks and Indian Cove are particularly popular with visitors.
The climate is also very typical for California. Temperatures of 20 degrees can be found in the spring and autumn months. At night these drop to 10 degrees. In summer, however, there is a hot 35 degrees. In winter there will rarely be below zero degrees at night, but around 15 degrees during the day. So if you freeze quickly, you are in good hands here.
The first residents
According to archaeological finds, the Mormons were the first to live in the Mojave Desert. They gave the Joshua Tree Park its current name. For the Mormons, the palm trees were shaped like their prophet Joshua. According to legend, he raised his arms to heaven. For the Mormons, the idea of this gesture came closest to the appearance of the Joshua Trees. The area has kept that name ever since.
Plants and animals in Joshua Tree National Park
With over 700 different plant species, the park is well positioned. There is a lot of activity at the five large, natural water holes. The animals gather in these places to hunt, sleep and of course to quench their thirst before moving on through their territory. One of the permanent residents in Joshua Tree National Park is the Desert Bighorn Sheep. In addition, many different species of birds can be observed, but most of the animals are nocturnal. This is not uncommon for desert-like areas.
A little more information about Joshua Trees
The name palm doesn’t quite fit it. Because actually these trees look like cacti, but belong to the lily family. They can reach a height of up to 18 meters and some are up to 900 years old. The Joshua trees bloom in April and May.