Happy 75th, Joshua Tree National Park

YUCCA BREVIFOLIA: Even the most intrepid outdoorsy types may sometimes have issues with identifying a certain plant or tree. "Is it... a... pine? Or some sort of... fir?" But everyone everywhere, just about, knows a Joshua Tree on sight. It's iconic, it's all spindly spectacularness, it is even a bit mysterious. Where the Joshua Trees grow certainly lends to that air of mystery, given that it is truly foreboding and fabulous, all at the same time. That place, Joshua Tree National Park, turns 75 in 2011.

1936-2011: The park promises a number of events throughout the year to celebrate its 75ness, but things will kick off on Satuday, Jan. 29 with the presenting of the Minerva Hoyt award (read more here). Wildflowery to-dos are further ahead, and National Park Week in mid-April. Or you can mark the milestone with a weekend of hiking and stargazing, something thousands upon thousands have done since Joshua Tree was established, and long, long before 1936, too.

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