Short film showing some of California’s beautiful Joshua Tree National Park. It was declared a U.S. National Park in 1994, it had previously been a U.S. National Monument since 1936. It is named for the Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) native to the park. It covers a land area of 3,199.59 km2 – an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. Straddling the San Bernardino County/Riverside County border, the park includes parts of two deserts, each an ecosystem whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation: the higher Mojave Desert and lower Colorado Desert. The Little San Bernardino Mountains run through the South-West edge of the park.
The dominant geologic features of this landscape are hills of bare rock, usually broken up into loose boulders. These hills are popular amongst 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. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and autumn, with an average high/low of 29 and 10 °C respectively. Winter brings cooler days, around 16 °C, and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at higher elevations. Summers are hot, over 38 °C during the day and not cooling much below 24 °C until the early hours of the morning.
Joshua trees dominate the open spaces of the park, but in among the rock outcroppings are piñon pine, California juniper (Juniperus californica), Quercus turbinella (desert scrub oak), Quercus john-tuckeri (Tucker’s oak), and Quercus cornelius-mulleri (Muller’s oak).
The rock formations of Joshua Tree National Park were formed more than 100 million years ago from the cooling of magma beneath the surface into monzogranite, with roughly rectangular joints. Groundwater then filtered through the joints to erode away the corners and edges to create rounded stones, and flash floods washed away covering ground to create piles of boulders. These prominent outcrops are known as inselbergs.
Park areas featured in this film include: Hidden Valley, Cholla Cactus Garden, Ryan Mountain, Keyes View & Skull Rock
The music is ‘The Backward Step’ by Hammock © Marc Byrd / Andrew Thompson (2010) from the album ‘Chasing After Shadows… Living with the Ghosts’ out on the band’s label Hammock Music.