Rising abruptly from the desert floor, the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument reaches an elevation of 10,834 feet at the summit of Mount San Jacinto. Providing a picturesque backdrop to local communities, the National Monument significantly contributes to the Coachella Valley's lure as a popular resort and retirement community. It is also a desirable backcountry destination that can be accessed via trails from both the valley floor and the alpine village of Idyllwild.The National Monument's boundary encompasses about 272,000 acres, including 65,000 acres within the San Jacinto Ranger District of the San Bernardino National Forest, and 89,500 acres within the Bureau of Land Management's California Desert Conservation Area. The National Monument includes two federal Wilderness Areas: the Santa Rosa Wilderness which contains 61,600 acres of BLM and Forest Service lands, and 19,470 acres of the Forest Service's San Jacinto Wilderness. Its boundary also surrounds lands owned and administered by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, California Department of Parks and Recreation, California Department of Fish and Game, other agencies of the State of California, and private landowners. An advisory committee comprised of individuals representing various jurisdictions and interests makes recommendations that help guide management of the National Monument. The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument was established by an Act of Congress on October 24, 2000 "in order to preserve the nationally significant biological, cultural, recreational, geological, educational, and scientific values found in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains and to secure now and for future generations the opportunity to experience and enjoy the magnificent vistas, wildlife, land forms, and natural and cultural resources in these mountains and to recreate therein" (Public Law 106-351). Establishment of the National Monument reflects the vision of local citizens and national leaders to ensure this special landscape is protected for all time.
Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California. Come explore for yourself.
Places to GoFind out about different parts of the park, from must-see spots like Skull Rock and Keys View to the quieter areas around Cottonwood Spring and Black Rock Canyon. There's so much to do in Joshua Tree!
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway—the world's largest rotating tramcar—travels over two-and-one-half miles along the breathtaking cliffs of Chino Canyon, transporting riders to the pristine wilderness of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park. During your approximately ten-minute journey, tram cars rotate slowly, offering picturesque and spectacular vistas of the valley floor below. Once you reach the Mountain Station—elevation 8,516 feet—enjoy two restaurants, observation decks, natural history museum, two documentary theaters, gift shop and over 50 miles of hiking trails.