Joshua Tree National Park -
Joshua Tree Guide
As old as the desert may look, it is but a temporary phenomenon in the
incomprehensible time-scale of
During the Pleistocene, one of the Southwest's earliest cultures, the
Pinto people, lived here, hunting and gathering along a slow-moving river
that ran through the now-dry Pinto Basin. Later, other
groups traveled through this area in tune with harvests of
pinyon pine nuts,
mesquite beans, acorns, and cactus fruit, leaving behind
and pottery ollas as reminders of their
passing. In the 1800s
explorers, cattlemen and miners
came to the desert.
to create water tanks and dug up and tunneled the earth
in search of gold.
They are gone now, and left behind are their remnants; the
mines and the
Desert Queen Ranch.
In the 1930s homesteaders came seeking free land and the chance to start
new lives. Today many people come to the park's nearly 800,000 acres of
open space seeking the clear skies and clean air, the peace and
tranquility, the quietude and beauty that only the deserts offer.