Joshua Tree National Park reopening with limitations

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. (AP) — Joshua Tree National Park is slowly reopening after a lengthy closure to slow spread of the coronavirus.

The California park announced this week that it is using a phased approach.

Park entrances, roads, parking lots, trails, individual campsites and most restrooms are open.

Visitor centers and group campsites remain closed and all campsite reservations made through the are canceled.

The park says all campsites are first-come, first-served until Sept. 4, and campers must pay as normal at each campground.

All programs remain canceled.

Joshua Tree Hikers

FILE – In this Jan. 10, 2019 file photo people visit Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California’s Mojave Desert. Joshua Tree National Park is gearing up for the huge crowds drawn to the Southern California desert during the holidays. The National Park Service says the period from late December through Jan. 1 brings some of the busiest days, and campgrounds and parking lots will likely be full. At times, the park becomes drive-through-only because there are no more parking spaces. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong,File)

Recent years have seen a big increase in the popularity of Joshua Tree, which straddles the Mojave and Colorado deserts 140 miles (225 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.

Spring and fall are the best times to visit. The rapidly approaching summer will bring scorching heat, intense sunlight and the need to drink at least one gallon (4 liters) of water a day.

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