Joshua Tree National Park got its name from the Joshua Tree (known scientifically as Yucca brevifolia), which is native to the park. Legend has it that the tree was named by Mormons who were reminded of the biblical story of Joshua reaching his hands to the sky after seeing the tree’s branches.


The park serves as a crossroad between two very distinct desert systems, the Mojave and Colorado. The Mojave is situated on the more elevated portion of the park and is characterized by being wetter and having more vegetation of the two desert systems. Colorado, on the other hand, lies below 3,000 feet on park’s much lower eastern portion making it more sparse and arid. First timers in the park are usually surprised by the abrupt transition between the Mojave and the Colorado ecosystems.


Though Joshua Tree National Park is an all-year park, the best time to go is during spring and fall where temperatures range between 50�F and 85�F.

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