A few months ago we released a blog series, Green Getaways, that highlighted local oases in the Philadelphia area. In this new series, we take that notion one step further to bring you Homeland Hideaways, the National Park Blog series. In this first installment, we’ll be diving into the California novelty of Joshua Tree National Park.
Did you know that Joshua Tree has been occupied by humans for at least 5,000 years, the first group being the Pinto Culture?
Joshua Tree National Park is the meeting ground for two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, providing a vast sanctuary for wildlife. While there are plenty of animals that make their way around Joshua Tree during the day, it is the animals lurking around in the late hours of dusk that are most interesting. Snakes, bighorn sheep, kangaroo rats, coyotes and black-tailed jackrabbits are just a few of the funky creatures that roam comfortably in this desert.
While the wilderness of Joshua Tree is intriguing, it’s the history of the park that has been known to draw visitors in from all across the world. For example, bedrock mortars, which were used to pulverize seeds during food preparation, are scattered throughout the Wonderland of Rocks campsite left behind by Nomadic groups of Native Americans that would settle only for the harvest season.
Along with its extensive history, Joshua Tree is home to many artist inspirations, and exhibits. Noah Purifoy, one of the many innovators that created masterpieces within the park, started the The Outdoor Desert Art Museum of Assemblage Sculpture. Purifoy began the free gallery in 1989 with sculptures made from discarded and foraged materials. This is known to embody the attitude of “do your own thing, and see what happens”, welcoming people of all different perspectives and values with one common thread: art speaks when words cannot.
If you’re looking for a national park that is rich in culture with a variety of outdoor activities, then Joshua Tree is the Homeland Hideaway for you.