Joshua Tree National Park encompasses approximately 800,000 acres of desert land just 40 miles east of the California-Nevada border. The land has been inhabited by humans for an estimated 5,000 years, filling it with a rich history as well as numerous archeological sites and historical structures. Famous for its biodiversity, Joshua Tree is home to more than 800 different plant species. Visit between the months of March and June to view the impressive wildflowers in full bloom. Many of the local species close up during the cool nights and reopen with the sunshine in the morning, so don’t be fooled by the barren appearance at twilight. Hiking trails are by far the primary attraction at Joshua Tree. If you and your family have never been to Joshua Tree before, there are a few hikes you won’t want to miss. The first is the Lost Horse Mine, a historical mine located inside the National Park. You can explore the mine itself or stroll along the 6.5 mile loop surrounding the site, where you can see other mines as well as Malpais Hill. The second must-see attraction is Carey’s Castle, a series of abandoned caverns that were once inhabited by squatters who worked in the nearby mines.
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