Joshua Tree National Park is located in southern California and protects desert area filled with the park's namesake Joshua trees. The park covers an area larger than the state of Rhode Island and includes portions of two deserts, the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert. The San Bernardino Mountains also run through a portion of the park, providing start contrast to the surround desert.
Joshua Tree provides families with a variety of outdoor recreation. There is an extensive system of hiking trails that range in difficulty and length. Camping is a popular family activity and there are 9 campgrounds within the park offering 497 individual campsites. There are no RV hookups at campsites and there are limits to RV size. For larger groups, there are also 22 group sites that can accommodate between 10 and 60 people. Properly licensed and leashed pets are permitted within the campgrounds, but are prohibited on trails.
The park offers great birding and over 250 species of birds have been identified within the park. Frequently seen species include roadrunners, cactus wrens, Gambel’s quail, scrub-jays and great horned owls. The USGS offers a checklist of bird species within Joshua Tree National Park. Notable wildlife includes coyote, bobcat, bighorn sheep, ground squirrels and a variety of snakes and lizards.
Over 400,000 acres are designated wilderness and have a strict Leave No Trace policy.