Joshua Tree National Park
The Joshua Tree National Park can be visited in the southeastern part of California. It was first to be declared as a United States National Park which was during the passing of the California Desert Protection Act by the United States congress in 1994 (Public Law, 103-433). Before that, it had been called the U.S. Monument dating back to 1936.3 It received its name after the Joshua trees, ‘Yucca Brevifolia’, as they are native of the park. The park covers an area of 790,636 acres, which is 1,235.37 square miles or 3,199.59 kilometers. This entire area is a just little larger the size of Rhode Island (the state). There is a large part of the area that is designated as a wilderness area, it is straddling the border in between San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. This park consists of a little of the Mojave Desert and a little of the Colorado Desert, the characteristics are primarily determined by the elevation of the area, such as the Mojave Desert having a higher elevation and the Colorado Desert having a lower elevation. Running through the southwest edge of this National Park is the ‘Little San Bernardino Mountains’.
The earliest people known to live on the land that eventually became Joshua National Park was people from the culture of the ‘Pinto’. The Pinto’s lived and hunted in this area between 8000 and 4000 (BCE). In the 1930’s the stone tools of the Pinto’s were stumbled upon in the Pinto Basin, along with the spear points they had used for hunting. This led to the belief that they had hunted game, gathering seasonal plants for food, however, there is not anything other than that we know of them. Back in 1888, there was cattle rustlers who had moved to the region and settled close to the Oasis of Mara. Then between the 1860’s and the 1940’s miners moved in and begin working around 300 different mines, which were nearly all small ones, and this was also in the area that later became the National Park.
There are some of the oldest rocks to be found in the area of the park, including the Pinto gneiss which has an age of being 1.7 billion years old. In the parks mountains there are ranges which were created and formed by being compressed and lifted by the San Andreas Fault system. Which itself runs through the parks southwest side, however, there are parallel faults which include Dillon Blue Cut and the Pinto running throughout the park which movements have been felt along them that have caused earthquakes. There are nine different established campgrounds that include toilets that flush and water is provided. There are fees for each campground site which is charged by the day.
Rancho Mirage offers hiking, climbing, bird watching, astronomy, wildlife, wilderness, among so many other things to offer their locals and tourist alike.