Joshua Tree National Park Warnings and Dangers
Joshua Tree National Park in California is a natural wonderland with hiking trails and rocks to climb. However, it is also a desert wilderness and one needs to be prepared for the unexpected.
Prepare Yourself for Desert Conditions
Even though Joshua Tree National Park is at a higher elevation, it gets extremely hot during the summer months and fairly warm even in the early spring and late fall. Carry plenty of water at all times of the year and dress in light, loose clothing. During the summer, you may experience a sudden thunderstorm and flash flood. These floods could change the condition of some of the dirt roads in the area making a recently passible road impassible. During the winter, it can get very cold, especially at night, so bring warm clothing and bedding if you’re going to camp overnight. Be prepared for the lack of amenities such as flush toilets and places to buy snacks.
Joshua Tree National Park has a variety of desert wildlife and prickly plants which can cause problems. Do not feed any animals as it may make them less fearful of humans and they could become aggressive. Don’t be concerned if you see a tarantula running around as they are basically harmless. Follow the ranger’s advice when it comes to dealing with any of the park’s wildlife. Plants can be a problem, also, as a large percentage of them have painful needles and thorns. Some plants, such as the “jumping” cholla, can become hooked in your skin with only the lightest touch. Keep children and pets from wandering off the trail or roads and getting hurt by these plants or running into dangerous wildlife.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Joshua Tree National Park.