A vast park situated in the Southern California Desert, Joshua Tree National Park comprises parts of both the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. A popular destination for hikers, it’s imperative that park visitors take the necessary safety precautions before visiting this unique region.
The weather at Joshua Tree is the greatest safety threat you face when visiting the park. Desert temperatures can get scorching hot during the day then dramatically drop to freezing at night. It is essential to come prepared with plenty of water if you plan to visit Joshua Tree, and be sure to bring much more with you than you think you’ll need.
Don’t forget to wear sunscreen and bring layers to adapt to changing weather. Inclement weather including frequent flash flooding is also common here, so be sure to find higher ground, seek shelter, and avoid canyons and washes in case of rain.
Venomous animals like rattlesnakes, scorpions, and black widow spiders are prevalent throughout the park. Always watch where you step or climb and be particularly careful around rocky areas. You’ll want to avoid touching or feeding any wildlife you encounter, as doing so can have dangerous repercussions. Avoid touching cacti and other prickly or thorny flora you come across.
Abandoned mines are an important safety issue to take note of when visiting Joshua Tree. Though most of the park’s mines have been sealed, those that have been missed are over 100 years old and pose a dangerous threat. Do not enter any mine you encounter.
Cell phone coverage is limited within the park, so if there’s an emergency, head to the ranger station in Indian Cove or the parking lot at Intersection Rock for emergency phones.