About Joshua Tree National Park

NPS Representatives, as of January 22, 2017

  • David Smith – Park Superintendent
  • Karyl Yeston – Chief Ranger
  • Dan Messaros –District Ranger
  • Dylan Moe – Ranger/Search & Rescue Coordinator
  • Jennifer Albrinck – Chief of Interpretation
  • Jane Rodgers – Chief of Resource Management

Joshua Tree National Park is a world-renowned climbing destination, with over 8,000 named climbs and over 1,000 named bouldering problems within its boundaries. Joshua Tree enjoys mild winter weather, with day time temperatures in the high elevations of the Park (e.g., Hidden Valley Campground at 4,200’ above sea level) averaging around 50 degrees F (10 C), and night time temperatures averaging around 25 degrees F (-4 C).

Three campgrounds in the Park are by reservation only: Black Rock, Sheep Pass and Indian Cove. Group sites at the Cottonwood campground are also by reservation only. Reservations must be made through the national public lands reservation website: www.recreation.gov. All other campsites in the Park are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. There are 296 such sites and they are in the Hidden Valley, Ryan, Jumbo Rocks, Belle, White Tank and Cottonwood campgrounds.

Backcountry camping is allowed in the Park. There is no fee. However, vehicles may be parked overnight only at designated Back Country Boards, and registration at such sites is also required (so Rangers know whether to come looking for you). No fires are allowed in the back country whatsoever, and campsites must be located outside of Day-Use areas, one mile from any road, and 500 feet from any trail.

Dogs are allowed in the Park, but must be on a leash at all times (except when in a vehicle, tent or other enclosure). Dogs are allowed in the campgrounds, picnic areas, parking lots, on established roads, and within 100 feet of such areas. Dogs are not allowed on trails or in the backcountry. The rules are primarily for the benefit and protection of the Desert Big Horn Sheep that live in the Park. Domestic dogs are different from coyotes and foxes, and Big Horn Sheep are extremely sensitive to domestic dogs. The mere presence or passing through by a domestic dog, even if it doesn’t urinate, can be enough to disrupt use of the area by the Big Horn Sheep – they may avoid the area for an extended period of time, and this can stress the animals and even make them more vulnerable to predators, especially if the area affected was used for food, cover or resting.

Please follow Leave No Trace protocols whenever you are in the Park: www.leavenotrace.org

For more information about Joshua Tree National Park.