While at Joshua Tree National Park I stopped by the Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center near the west entrance to the park early in the morning to see if there was anything I should know before I started my exploration that day. It was quite busy for a Monday, but the customers seemed to only be interested in the store section of the center. I decided to take a look at the other side.
I started by checking out the map on the wall to get my bearings to see if there were any other small hikes that I could explore on my own, but only came up with the few I already had in mind. Then I spent a little time watching a video about the older days of the park. Last, I took a look at Lichenologist, Kerry Knudsen‘s inventory of lichen that can be found through out the park. Currently, he has found 145 different species of lichen in the park.
By the time I was finished study the knowledge part of the center most of the customers had left. I took a few moments to see what they had for sale and eventually decided to leave without speaking with the employees. I’m sure they would have been able to give me very knowledgable information had I asked, but I was excited to get my day started.
Next time your at Joshua Tree National Park, stop by the visitor center and see what they have in store for that week. Who knows, if your timing is right maybe you can join one of their guided tours or catch a short patio talk by a park ranger to learn even more about the park. Next time I go back I’m for sure going to schedule a Ranger Program such as their Keys Ranch Tour.