Two desert worlds - two subtly distinct
ecosystems - come together in Joshua Tree
National Park. Here the higher, slightly
wetter Mojave Desert yields to the hotter
low desert, the Colorado. Each supports
its own unique array of life.
Joshua Tree is also a mosiac of natural and
human history. Twisted rocks, water-scoured
canyons, and granite monoliths hint at the
immense forces that continue to shape this
landscape. The imprint of American Indians,
cattlement, and miners is everywhere evident.
Man and His Biosphere. The United Nations
has designated Joshua Tree National Park as
part of an International Biosphere Reserve
for the Colorado and Mojave Deserts. Each
biosphere reserve represents a major
ecosystem, and each is intended to be a
model of how we should live with nature.
The western half of Joshua Tree
National Park is in the Mojave
Desert, the eastern half in the
Colorado Desert. Between them
is a transition zone in which
the characteristics of both can
sometimes be seen
The Mojave - the high desert.
Home of the Joshua Tree, Creosote
bush and burroweed abound here.
Oases - lush pockets of green
amidst miles of rock and
sand - dot the desert in Joshua
Tree National Park. They attract
life of all kinds.
The Colorado - the low desert,
Creosote bush, paloverde, and
ocotillo thrive here. All survive
on about three inches of rain