Located in southeastern California near Palm Springs, this park is 792,510 acres of desert where the Mojave and Colorado deserts converge. The Eastern half of the park is occupied by the Colorado Desert and is dominated by the creosote bush. The western half of the park is occupied by the higher, cooler and wetter Mojave Desert which is the special habitat of the Joshua Tree. We only visited the western portion of the park and therefore missed the main attraction in the park which is the transition area from the Mojave desert to the Colorado desert.
Joshua Trees are not actually trees at all but part of the Yucca plant family. Its waxy, spiny leaves expose little surface area, conserving moisture. The Joshua Tree grows only an inch per year and can grow to 40 feet. A photo I took of a fine specimen:
We picked the hike up Ryan Mountain for the views