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Joshua Tree National Park, CA (Oct 15th - Oct 21st 2017)

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Just several hours to the east of Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park’s 790,636 acres offers a fascinating study in desert environments. There are two desert ecosystems within the Park, defined by elevation. The higher elevations feature Mojave desert, home to the Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) that give the Park it’s name. In the lower elevations visitors find the Colorado desert which features habitats of Creosote bush scrub Ocotillo, desert Saltbush and mixed scrub including Yucca and Cholla cactus. There are areas of such cactus density they appear as natural gardens. The lower Coachella Valley is on the southeastern side of the Park with sandy soil grasslands and desert dunes.

The higher and cooler Mojave Desert is home for the Joshua tree that occurs in patterns from dense forests to distantly spaced specimens. In addition to Joshua tree forests, you can find piñon pine, California juniper, and various oaks. The northern and western part of the park includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in California's deserts. The dominant geologic features of this landscape are hills of bare rock, usually broken up into loose boulders. These hills are popular among rock climbing and scrambling enthusiasts. The flatland between these hills is sparsely forested with Joshua trees. Together with the boulder piles and Skull Rock, the trees make the landscape otherworldly, as if drawn by Dr. Seuss.

Our third service project with the Park Service's trail crew will assist with various trail maintenance and campground restoration projects throughout the Park. We will camp in one of the Park’s designated campgrounds and hike or make short drives to work sites that will offer a view of both desert ecosystems, depending on what the project need is as our dates get closer. Despite the late October dates, be prepared for sun and heat during the day, and cooler nights as we give back in this fantastic National Park.

This project is rated as a strenuous project.

Check out more photos from last year's Joshua Tree National Park project in our gallery.


Oct 15th - Oct 21st 2017

Service Project

Trail work and campsite restoration

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Free Days

Hiking, rock climbing, photography, sunning, relaxing


Tent and car camping

Project Difficulty

Strenuous : Bending, digging, lifting, raking


Mary Powell
Ashely Northcutt

Equipment List