California - Joshua Tree National Park
Native to the Southwestern United States, the Joshua tree has been a distinctive feature of the Mojave Desert. As the story goes, the Joshua Tree was named by Mormon settlers in the 19th century. To prevent complete devastation and extinction of Joshua trees and the entire desert ecosystem due to the extensive land development and activity of cactus poachers, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established Joshua Tree national monument in 1936. As a part of the Desert Protection Bill, it was converted to a national park in 1994. At present, Joshua Tree National Park protects hundreds of plant and animal species and archeological, historical, and cultural sites. It offers miles of hiking trails, many rock-climbing sites, interesting ranger-led programs, and convenient campgrounds. As far as photography goes, the landscape is fascinating, and birds are present at any time of the year. However, if you are into astrophotography, the park was designated as the International Dark Sky Park providing an excellent opportunity to capture all kinds of celestial bodies.
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