by Kira Weiner
Joshua Tree covers a land area of 760, 636 acres in southeastern California. The park includes parts of the Mojave Desert, the Colorado Desert, and the San Bernadino Mountains. Named for the Joshua trees (yucca brevifolia) native to the park, Joshua tree became a National Monument in 1936 after Minerva Hoyt led activism to gain government protection for the area. In 1994, the Desert Protection Act elevated Joshua Tree to a National Park. Today, hundreds of people come from all over California and beyond to go hiking, rock-climbing, and mountain biking.