Joshua Tree National Park has announced that it had record setting attendance during Thanksgiving Weekend.
The park announced that all 540 campsites were full and the west entrance experienced mile-long backups (!)! just to get into the park. In all, 22,000 people visited Joshua Tree National Park during the Thursday to Sunday stretch. Even the park’s new shuttle service operated at capacity during the four day period and significantly relieved pressure on traffic and parking.
Superintendent David Smith said, “This jump in visitation is unprecedented but I feel strongly that our staff and community are adapting to serve the visitor and protect the resource. With the new visitor center in Cottonwood and the expanded entrance stations in Joshua Tree, we believe we will be able to provide more education to more people while processing them in and out of the park with greater speed.” Smith also acknowledged, “I know that the traffic and congestion have greatly affected our neighbors and local partners. We hear what you’re saying and are doing everything in our power—with new staff on the ground, the shuttle bus, and new trailheads—to help expand capacity and still protect one of the most magical places on the planet.”
For those looking to go to the park when it’s a little less crowded, you can check here.