Joshua Tree National Park

Twentynine Palms, California, is the main entrance to Joshua Tree National Park and home of Park Headquarters and NEW Cultural Center and Visitor Center. The park's nearly 800,000 scenic acres contain a rich cultural history, surreal geologic features, monolithic rock formations, ancient Joshua trees, spring wildflowers, and abundant desert flora and fauna. World-class rock climbing, bouldering, hiking, camping, historical mine sites, ranger programs, and Keys Ranch tours are just a few of the park's highlights. Two important features accessed directly from the west end of the city are the scenic trail to 49 Palms Oasis, which has its trailhead south of the highway on Canyon Road; and the entrance to Indian Cove, which contains a campground, amphitheater, rock climbing area, and access to the Boy Scout Trail into the park.
Joshua Tree Cultural Center and Visitor Center
6533 Freedom Way, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
(760) 367-5535 |
Open Daily | 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Joshua Tree National Park Association operates Joshua Tree National Park's new Cultural Center and Visitor Center. Plan your visit to the new Cultural Center to see the beautiful opening exhibition, Home Maintenance: Keys Ranch, which tells the story of the park's role in the preservation of cultural resources. For more information about the Joshua Tree National Park Association, call (760) 367-5525 or visit their website at
Here in the heart of downtown Twentynine Palms, California, our scenic National Park Drive leads visitors south 1 mile from 29 Palms Hwy. to the Joshua Tree National Park Headquarters, situated at the historic Oasis of Mara. A few minutes further up the road lies the north entrance to this magnificent national park, where quail, roadrunners, and coyotes coexist with monolithic granite boulders, a variety of cacti, and forests of Joshua trees.
Joshua Tree National Park is known worldwide for its spectacular desert and mountain views, excellent rock climbing, bouldering, hiking trails, wildlife, rock formations, and iconic Joshua trees. The nearly 800,000-acre Joshua Tree National Park encompasses two diverse ecosystems, primarily determined by elevation: the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert. Here in the Mojave section, slightly higher, cooler, and wetter, is the habitat of the undisciplined Joshua tree, which gave the park its name. It is said that Mormon visitors to the area in the 1800s, seeing groves of immature two-armed plants, likened them to the biblical Joshua reaching up to God.
The park may be visited year-round. Visitor centers, ranger stations, entrances, and wayside exhibits are located along main roads leading into and through the park. Rangers are on hand to help ensure an enjoyable, safe visit and to provide information about weather and road conditions, backcountry use, wildlife, and camping in the 550 campsites.
Ranger activities include walks, hikes, campfire talks, and tours of park sites like the historic Keys Ranch (Desert Queen Ranch) of the early 1900s gold mining era. Picnic areas are available for day use only. Those who prefer to drive through the park will drive along well-maintained paved roads.
Visitors are cautioned to carry plenty of water and be aware of canyons and washes where flash floods occur after sudden rainstorms. Most important–while boulder piles are attractive to children and tempting for rock scrambling, weathering can cause loosening of the rock particles.


Oasis of Mara, 29 Palms, California


In deserts around the world, the presence of water, that rarest of desert commodities, allows life to flourish and provides an oasis for natural and human activity. The historic Oasis of Mara in Twentynine Palms is a cornerstone of the Joshua Tree National Park story and has been a source of life-giving water for more than 9,000 years.
Before the community of Twentynine Palms existed, a landmark line of Washingtonia filifera palm trees stood on the horizon near the oasis and signaled water and shade for Serrano, Chemehuevi, and Cahuilla Indians, gold prospectors of the late 1800s, and the first desert travelers and homesteaders of the early 1900s.
Today, a series of palm trees mark the line of original springs that once stretched from today's Joshua Tree National Park Headquarters and Oasis Visitor Center along National Park Drive to the historic 29 Palms Inn, the site of the last remaining pond of water. Contact the 29 Palms Inn at the Oasis of Mara at (760) 367-3505 about Oasis Walks with naturalist Pat Flanagan on Saturday and Sunday mornings (pictured above).