Joshua Tree Partially Reopens Following Tropical Storm Hilary — What to Know

The park will be open for day visits while fellow California park Death Valley remains closed.

Joshua Tree National Park will reopen on Tuesday after temporarily closing to weather Tropical Storm Hilary.

The national park will reopen for daytime use with all visitor centers and paved roads ready to welcome travelers, according to the National Park Service. Dirt roads and campgrounds remain closed.

“This past weekend, Joshua Tree National Park experienced heavy rains and flooding from Tropical Storm Hilary. Park staff began assessing the park early Monday morning,” the NPS wrote in a statement. “Road crews found large amounts of sand and debris on roadways and have begun clearing the roads.”

The tropical storm slammed California over the weekend, dumping intense amounts of rain and halting travel up and down the West Coast.

While Joshua Tree planned to reopen, Death Valley National Park would remain closed. The park — one of the hottest places on earth — received a year's worth of rain in one day, the NPS noted. In all, a National Weather Service rain gauge at Furnace Creek recorded 2.2 inches of rain, which amounts to the park’s entire average annual rainfall and beats the previous single day record of 1.7 inches set on Aug. 5, 2022.

It was not clear when the park would reopen.

“An estimated 400 residents, travelers, and employees are sheltering in place at Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells, and Panamint Springs until area roads are safely passable,” the NPS wrote in a statement. “The unprecedented rain came in two bursts, with about an inch of rain Sunday morning and another inch of rain Sunday night.”

As of Tuesday, electricity and cell service had been restored in the park, but landline phones were still down and damaged roads and infrastructure posed a challenge.

This isn’t the first time a national park closed due to extreme weather. In July, the Giant Forest in California’s Sequoia National Park had a delayed reopening after clearing snow and making road repairs to recover from a historic winter. And Yosemite National Park temporarily closed over the spring to recover from up to 15 feet of snow.

Last year, Yellowstone National Park was also forced to temporarily shut following a devastating flood, which saw several collapsed roads. The majority of the park reopened weeks later.

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