Approximately 230 kilometres east of Los Angeles and close to Palm Springs is the Joshua Tree National Park. Founded in 1994, this nature preserve, near to the Little San Bernardino Mountains, covers an area of around 2,000 square kilometres.
It consists of 2 different types of desert. In the southern part, the Sonora Desert extends to the neighboring state of Arizona. The northern section of the park forms part of the Mojave Desert and, being in California, is located within a cooler climatic zone 1,000 metres above sea level. Even its rocks can be divided into 2 different geological forms. The powerful, dark scree mountains are called Pinto Gneis. The distinctly bright rock of the Monzogranite is the opposite of the Pinto Gneis that can be found in 6 different mountain ranges within the national park.
The bulbous roots of the Joshua Tree were used by the Serrano Indians. Chopped and pounded, they were transformed into soap, string and mats where baskets were made from the plantís leaves.
At the end of the 19th century, when the gold mines in the northern part of California had been abandoned, the regionís rocky terrain became a focus of attention. Gold diggers began to travel to the south of the state and in 1865, the precious metal was discovered in this region. The most successful gold digging area was Lost Horse Mine, in the foothills of the Little San Bernardino Mountains.
Each evening, fantastic sunsets cover this precious, untouched world with a fabulous light while the landscape becomes a captivating, blurred silhouette. When this colorful spectacle of nature takes place, the day draws to an end and the breeze takes a stroll across the vast expanses of the desert.