Joshua Tree National Forest lies on 794,000 acres in the high desert (where the Mojave and Colorado deserts meet), about 140 miles east of Los Angeles. The thousands of spiny Joshua trees (which are actually yuccas) are set against large, rounded boulders that were once created by volcanic magma. The effect is surreal, yet serene.
Give your park a silver lining with custom designed lapel pins.
One would think that nothing could survive in an area of searing 100-degree temperatures that receives less than five inches of rainfall each year. However, among the boulders are pinyon pines, junipers, scrub oaks, prickly pear cacti and the formidable Joshua trees that can reach 40 feet high.
Joshua Tree National Park is also home to many birds, including the red-tailed hawk, the American kestrel, the western scrub jay and the ladder-backed woodpecker. Desert animals include the black-tailed jackrabbit, the desert tortoise, the antelope ground squirrel and the speckled rattlesnake, among others.
Thousands of visitors arrive at Joshua Tree National Park each year, including hikers, climbers, and photographers. At any one of the three visitor centers, they can take away mementos, including lapel pins. One popular one depicts a colorful sunset with a silhouette of a Joshua Tree in the foreground. Beneath the photo is the words, “Joshua Tree National Park.” The lapel pin sells for $8 and nearly all of the proceeds go towards the park.