Joshua Tree National Park is located in southeastern California. Declared a U.S. National Park in 1994 when the U.S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act.
It is named for the Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) forests native to the park. It covers a land area of 790,636 acres (1,235.37 sq mi; 3,199.59 km2) – an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island.
The park includes parts of two deserts, each an ecosystem whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation: the higher Mojave Desert and lower Colorado Desert. The Little San Bernardino Mountains run through the southwest edge of the park.