Picacho State Recreation Area will be closed for the Memorial Day weekend and until further notice due to a wildfire and its aftermath. For public safety reasons, all shoreline, side channels, backwaters, and lakes on the Colorado River between Island Lake and Catfish Cove have been closed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service due to the Island Lake Fire. The main river channel remains open.
Summer is the slow season at Joshua Tree, and there is a reduced need for overnight camping during the hot summer months. Seasonal campground closures allow impacted areas to recover and also helps reduce the cost of maintaining these facilities.
These facilities will reopen October 4, 2013 for Columbus Day weekend, or earlier if park visitation warrants. All other park facilities including visitor centers, picnic areas, and other campgrounds remain open for normal visitor use.
Effective May 8, 2013, Kelso Depot Visitor Center in Mojave National Preserve will be closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays.The Visitor Center will remain open Fridays through Tuesdays from 9 am to 5 pm. Mojave National Preserve's Headquarters Information Center at 2701 Barstow Road, Barstow, California, is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. to provide information and assist with trip planning.
Since January, individuals have defaced the day-use and canyon area of Rattlesnake Canyon with graffiti. This damage resulted in a three week closure of the popular hiking and day-use area. Because a more extensive cleanup program is required to remediate vandalism in Rattlesnake Canyon, Joshua Tree National Park is extending the closure for an additional 30 days.
Motorists traveling on Interstate 15 (I-15) through the High Desert will have help avoiding traffic trouble spots. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has completed a $2.3 million project which provides seventy-nine Vehicle Detection Stations (VDS) along I-15 between Devore and the Nevada State Line.
One hundred ten 4th through 8th graders from the Morongo Unified School District's Gifted and Talented Education Kaleidoscope program worked with park rangers last summer to design a trail especially for kids. An exhibit of the presentation boards they created to offer their suggestions for the trail will open on April 24, 2013 at Joshua Tree Visitor Center and run for two weeks.
Death Valley National Park is seeking public comments regarding pricing for nineteen improved campsites and the establishment of three new group sites in the Furnace Creek Campground. The National Park Service is seeking input from the public and interested groups from now until May 17, 2013. A final decision will be made based on that input, as well as budgetary concerns and comparisons with similar sites elsewhere.