This iconic park preserves portions of two spectacular desert ecosystems. The Colorado Desert in the eastern portion of the park features natural gardens of creosote bush, ocotillo and cholla cactus. The higher, slightly cooler Mojave Desert offers dazzling vistas of Joshua trees and yucca. The vast park also contains spectacularly sculpted formations of a type of rock known as monzogranite and is a mecca for rock climbers around the world.

Prayer Plant?

Mormon settlers may have given Joshua trees their name in the mid-1800s. The story goes that these pioneers believed the trees' limbs resembled the upstretched arms of the Biblical figure Joshua raising his hands in prayer.

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