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Joshua Tree National Park - Mojave Desert Ecozone:
Nature Trails

Cap Rock

Nature Trail

.4 mile loop - Paved, wheelchair accessible. Begins in Cap Rock parking area at junction of Park Blvd. and Keys View Road.

    In the Land of Little Rain

    The Mojave Desert, called by Mary Austin "the land of little rain", is located between the higher, colder Great Basin Desert and the lower warmer Sonoran Desert. Because of its intermediate elevation, much of the year the land bakes in the hot, dry air, but winters can mean snow and freezing nights. Heat and arid winds combine to evaporate most available moisture. How does anything survive? Due to some unique adaptations, many plants and animals are able to meet the challenges of this harsh land.

    Peachthorn

    Many Mojave Desert plants, such as this peachthorn, Lycium cooperi, may look dead ...

    Desert Almond

    The leaf structures of most desert perennials are modified in some way to ...

    Mormon Tea

    Mormon tea, Ephedra spp., has gone a step further. It has dispensed with ...

    Microhabitats

    In areas around large boulder piles, vegetation is thicker and more diverse ...

    Galleta Grass

    In the more arid flats, wide spacing is a solution to survival. This reduces ...

    Mojave Yucca

    Most desert insects make use of plants. Sometimes the plants also ...

    Lichens

    On boulders may live some colorful lichens, a "marriage" of algae and ...

    Wanted - Dead or Alive

    The Joshua tree, Yucca brevifolia, living or dead, has a large role in the ...

    Joshua Tree with Offshoots

    Joshua trees can reproduce in two ways. Seeds produce tender seedlings that ...

    Cactus

    Unlike the Sonoran Desert, the cacti species found here, such as silver cholla, ...

    Juniper

    The basic adaptation of desert perennials is the ability of their roots to ...

    Annuals

    Annual wildflowers are drought escapers, able to wait out years of drought as ...

    Designed for Desert Living

    Life in the desert is possible as long as all residents adjust to ...

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Cap Rock

ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - glossary - comments
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