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  • Sunset at Mojave Desert in Twentynine Palms, CA

Did you know there are over 400 national parks across the country? Each year, the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service invite everyone to celebrate these incredible wonders during National Park Week. This year’s theme is sPark Connections. Spend National Park Week in 29 Palms, CA, when you visit Joshua Tree National Park.

The celebration begins Saturday, April 16, with sPark Discovery. National Park Week kicks off with a fee-free day to encourage everyone to find something new by visiting a national park. It can be one that may be close to home, a park you haven’t considered visiting, or one you never realized is a national park! Beat the long wait time to venture into Joshua Tree National Park when using the North Entrance. Located just a few minutes from the Oasis Visitor Center in 29 Palms, the North Entrance to the park is the best place to begin your Joshua Tree National Park adventure. What’s something new about Joshua Tree National Park you may discover?

Sunday, April 17, challenges us to sPark Creativity. National parks have inspired artistic expression and creativity for generations—artists worldwide flock to Joshua Tree National Park to capture its beauty. The annual Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition is just one of the ways we see how the park sparks creativity in artists. The Art Expo takes place every November and features artwork depicting or inspired by Joshua Tree National Park created by more than 50 artists from California and across the United States. What masterpiece can you make?

National Park Week - Artist Painting in Cholla Cactus Garden

(NPS photo by Carmen Aurrecoechea)

sPark Collaboration on Monday, April 18, and get involved! We get along with a bit of help from our friends. Public support is a critical component in the management of National Park Service lands. No other federal agency relies as heavily on the stewardship and generosity of its visitors. Several local and national organizations partner with Joshua Tree National Park every year, including Joshua Tree National Park Association, Mojave Desert Land Trust, Friends of Joshua Tree, 29 Palms Art Gallery, and more. Find out how you can get involved with Joshua Tree National Park here.

The National Park Service incorporates the latest technology to support conservation and preservation efforts while consistently working to improve the visitor experience. On Tuesday, April 19, speak with a local park ranger about how they sPark Innovation in Joshua Tree National Park. One of our favorite ways the National Park Service incorporates technology is by being able to purchase your park pass online! Recreation.gov is the perfect way to get your park pass before heading into Joshua Tree National Park. Get yours today here!

On Wednesday, April 20, it’s Workforce Wednesday! Learn about the National Park Foundation’s work and the employment opportunities available in the National Park Service as they sPark Opportunities. About 100 full-time equivalent positions make up the park staff in fields including administration, education and interpretation, law enforcement, maintenance, resource management and science, and visitor services. Every role is vital for the park to fulfill its mission of preserving natural and cultural resources for future generations. Learn more about employment opportunities with Joshua Tree National Park here.

Continuing the celebration, Thursday, April 21, is all about how you can sPark Preservation. The National Park Service is a leader and partner in preserving historical, cultural, natural, and recreational resources nationally—and even internationally! Be sure to visit the Oasis Visitor Center in 29 Palms to learn more about Joshua Tree National Park’s work in preserving the land and history of one of the country’s most ventured national parks.

National Park Week - Historic Preservation at Keys Ranch

(NPS photo by Kelsey Graczyk)

Earth Day is Friday, April 22, so it is time to sPark Action! Taking place annually on April 22, Earth Day is the day to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First held on April 22, 1970, it now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by EarthDay.org, including 1 billion people in more than 193 countries. Today is the day for all of us to look at the health of the environment and how we impact its wellbeing and vice versa. Take some time to get outside, enjoy nature, and reflect on how you can better the environment for generations to come.

The National Park Service preserves and protects unique places with fascinating stories and amazing landscapes. Is there any place in Joshua Tree National Park you have always been curious about? Why is it called Hidden Valley? How does the rock stay on Cap Rock? Why can you only find Joshua trees in the Mojave Desert? On Saturday, April 23, sPark Curiosity, speak with a park ranger at the Oasis Visitor Center and find out all there is to know about Joshua Tree National Park.

Rounding out the festivities on Sunday, April 24, sPark Memories and enjoy all Joshua Tree National Park offers. Generations of visitors have created lasting memories in national parks. Today, spend time with family, friends, and loved ones, making memories and more in Joshua Tree National Park. Visit the Cholla Cactus Garden and enjoy basking in the desert sunrise. Trek to the top of Ryan Mountain and take in the gorgeous Mojave Desert views. Drive up to Keys View and look out over the Coachella Valley in the evening. Spend a night under the stars away from the hustle and bustle of life.

There is so much to see and do when visiting Joshua Tree National Park. Mark your calendars for April 16-24, 2022, and make Joshua Tree National Park your destination to sPark Connections this National Park Week.

As our modern lifestyles cause us to be increasingly plugged-in to technology, it becomes more and more vital to find balance, and ways to maintain and restore our health and well-being. Taking a break from our daily, fast-paced routines helps us recharge and re-energize our senses, and while there are countless ways to consider doing so, none are as tried and true as getting outdoors for some fresh air and quality time in nature. Spending time in nature has immediate positive impacts to our lives, especially for our overall health, fitness, and wellness.

From the quiet and soothing sounds of nature, to an otherworldly landscape with fascinating flora and fauna, to commanding sunsets and night skies bursting with stars, the California Desert offers unparalleled opportunities to connect with the natural environment and recharge your senses, and 29 Palms is the perfect destination to experience it all.

Here’s three ways to improve your health, fitness, and wellness in 29 Palms:

1. Hike your way to wellness

From feeling the warm sunshine on your face, to taking in the calming sights and sounds of nature, to the rush of endorphins as you reach the summit, you’ll feel good about lacing up those hiking boots and hitting the trails this winter. While hiking is proven to have significant health and fitness benefits, it can also help boost your mood and improve your mental health by reducing stress and calming anxiety.

Planning a visit to 29 Palms opens up endless opportunities for hiking, climbing, and exploration in the California Desert region, and whether you’re looking to start with short and scenic trails like the 0.5-mile Indian Cove nature trail, something more moderate like Lost Horse Mine or 49 Palms Oasis, or ready to take on the challenging Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park offers nearly 300 miles of world-class hiking trails.

For those seeking solitude on the trails, plan your visit to Joshua Tree National Park during a quieter weekday, and consider exploring new areas in Mojave Trails National Monument or taking the scenic drive out to the Mojave National Preserve where you’re sure to find a nice variety of hiking trails.

2. Stop for the sunset

Few places in California offer such commanding sunsets as the Mojave Desert. There’s always been something inherently powerful and spiritual about the sunset, and with research showing the experience of sitting outside and watching the sunset enhances our overall sense of satisfaction in life, we can all benefit from making more time for sunsets.

Key’s View in Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most popular places to watch the sunset, and for a good reason. At over 5,000 feet in elevation, the lookout at Key’s View offers panoramic views of the Coachella Valley and Salton Sea, and Mount San Jacinto and Mount San Gorgonio, two of the tallest mountains in southern California.

While Key’s View can be crowded during the peak holiday periods, sunset chasers looking for an equally stunning vantage point but with less people should consider making the drive to the iconic Amboy Crater Natural Landmark in Mojave Trails National Monument, or the exotic Kelso Sand Dunes in the Mojave National Preserve. Both locations will reward you will an outstanding spot to sit and watch the dramatic shift in the colors and tones of light across the vast desert landscape.  

And let’s not forget about those sunrises; an equally powerful and calming experience for those willing to get up before dawn. Early risers seeking a quiet and serene place to watch the sunrise will want to plan a drive to Cholla Cactus Garden in Joshua Tree National Park, where the rewarding east facing views and picture perfect vantage point offer an incredible view of the sun rising over the horizon.

3. Find solitude under the stars

There’s nothing like looking up at a clear night sky and getting lost in the stars. After a rejuvenating day spent outdoors in the fresh air, pull up a comfy chair, rest your legs, and spend the evening under our breathtaking dark night sky, where the shinning stars and stunning constellations will surely take your breath away.

Enhance your stargazing experience with a private star viewing party with the 29 Palms Astronomy Club who bring the telescopes and passionate astronomers to you – whether you’re in the national park or lounging on the patio at your hotel or vacation rental. If you’re looking to enjoy the night sky in a social setting, look no further than Sky’s The Limit Observatory and Nature Center who offer free public star parties every Saturday evening. Sky’s The Limit is located on Utah Trail, just outside of the north entrance of Joshua Tree National Park.

Find accommodations
Book your stay in 29 Palms where you can choose from the areas largest collection of hotels and motels, plus a wide variety of vacation rentals – all located within in minutes of the north entrance of Joshua Tree National Park.

Plan your adventure
Once you arrive, be sure to drop by the 29 Palms Visitor Center where you’ll find helpful staff, informative resources and a great collection of free road maps for Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave Trails National Monument, the Mojave National Preserve and surrounding areas. Open daily from 10:00am – 4:00pm at the corner of Hwy 62 and Desert Queen Ave in downtown 29 Palms.

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