Tag Archives: joshua tree national park


Those of us who cherish our spectacular desert wilderness understand the importance of “Leave No Trace”—leaving the land the same or better than you found it. There’s an upcoming event that delves deep into the reasoning and social complexities behind that philosophy. Reporter Heather Clisby has details…

The Desert Institute, the educational arm of Joshua Tree National Park, is hosting a virtual Desert Live Program “Why Leave No Trace” on Thursday, August 13 at 4 p.m. 

As locals, we are tasked with protecting our desert wilderness not only from our own usage but from our heavy tourism traffic.

The program will explore the why and who of the practice and how we can do better. A panel of experts will lead a live discussion on outdoor ethics and the seven Leave No Trace principles. Panelists include:

Sirena Rana Dufault, who runs Trails Inspire, which promotes diversity, equity and inclusion for outdoor spaces.

Dani Reyes-Acosta, a brand strategist, backcountry athlete, freelance writer and owner of Nomad Creativa consulting firm.

Sophia Schwartz, a professional free-ski athlete and ski mountaineer based Jackson, WY.

Rounding out the panelists is Gabaccia, a storyteller with a passion for responsible outdoor recreation and tourism.

To access the program on August 13 at 4 p.m., go to joshuatree.org/live and click on “tune in.”


A La Quinta man who went hiking alone in Joshua Tree National Park last Thursday is lucky to be alive after he fell and broke his leg and was stranded in the desert for nearly two days. Robert Ringo went to the park Thursday and parked his car about 1 ½ miles from the Keys View overlook area. He then hiked east into the desert. He hadn’t gone far—about a quarter of a mile—before he fell and broke his left leg. Ringo said he had tagged his location before he left, and on Friday, his family started looking for him. Park rangers were notified in the early morning hours by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department about the missing hiker. When rangers arrived at the Keys View area at 5 a.m. Saturday, they found deputies on scene with Ringo’s vehicle. Canine and human trackers, as well as a CHP helicopter, quickly located Ringo about one-quarter mile east of the Key’s View Road. He was transported by backboard to a CHP helicopter, and then flown to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs where he had surgery on his broken leg. Ringo is expected to make a full recovery, and said he plans to continue hiking.

Managing editor Tami Roleff offers these tips on hiking safely in the desert…

The first rule of hiking is don’t hike alone. The second rule is to tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. Bring at least one quart of water for every hour you plan to be gone. Hike in the early morning or late evening hours and avoid the hottest part of the day. Even experienced hikers can be overcome by heat-related illness. Most areas of Joshua Tree National Park and many areas of the Mojave Desert have no cell phone service; to be extra safe, bring a satellite phone or a personal locator beacon that you can activate in case of an emergency.


Visitors come from around the world to experience California’s deserts. After decades of financial neglect, the Great American Outdoors Act was passed by Congress Wednesday; the Act will help address the deteriorating infrastructure in our national parks, increase funding for the conservation of the desert’s vast public lands, and improve public access. The act requires a mandatory funding of $900 million a year; the funds do not come from taxpayer dollars, but rather from revenue generated by energy projects on public lands. The bill now awaits final signature by Donald Trump.


The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on today a bill that would provide funding for national parks, including Joshua Tree National Park. The $900 million allocated in Great American Outdoors Act would tackle a massive maintenance backlog at national parks. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more…

“Being in SoCal, not everybody can afford to go to Disneyland. But everybody can afford to visit their public lands. It is very cost-friendly for a large family to go and enjoy time together. And so having access to those public lands is super important for our community.”

Christine Tamara with Hispanic Access Foundation says public lands offer an important release for families who need a break from the asphalt jungle. Public lands, such as Joshua Tree National Park, provide thousands of jobs and millions of dollars to the local economy, and a portion of admittance revenues are returned to the park for maintenance and some salaries. But with the COVID-19 shutdown, and last year’s government shutdown, Joshua Tree National Park was closed and lost millions of dollars in revenue; this bill will provide funds for many much-needed repairs, upgrades, and maintenance.

The Senate has already passed its version of the bill; the House is expected to vote today.

Jose Gonzalez with Latino Outdoors says public lands are important.

“They are part of our cultural history. We have a connection to the land, and we can ensure that these continue to stay protected.”


“Desert Magazine” was founded in 1937 as a family-friendly magazine that offered stories on the history, geology, and botany of the Southwestern desert. On Friday, the Desert Institute, the educational arm of Joshua Tree National Park, will offer a virtual presentation on “The Golden Era of Desert Magazine.” Rebecca Havely has more…

Julie Sizek, who presented a virtual lecture two weeks ago on jackrabbit homesteads, will present another virtual lecture Friday on “The Golden Era of Desert Magazine.” Sizek will compare contemporary nostalgic views of the magazine and what the magazine meant as a window into the frontier West back when it was published. She traces the magazine as a historical object that embraces a certain kind of veracity—the kind that sells papers—showing its relationship to pulp magazines and desert real estate.

The lecture is set for 4 p.m. To register for the lecture, go to joshuatree.org/live.