Flash Floods Cause Extensive Damage In Joshua Tree National Park

Heavy rains Tuesday morning caused damaging flash-flooding in parts of Joshua Tree National Park, where sections of Park Route 11 were washed away and the Cottonwood Campground was heavily impacted. NPS photos.

Flash-flooding Tuesday morning caused extensive damage in parts of Joshua Tree National Park, where parts of roads and the Cottonwood Campground were washed away. No visitors or park employees were injured and no vehicles were damaged, officials said.

Stretches of Park Route 11 were ripped out and undercut by the flood waters created by a morning storm that dumped at least 3 inches of rain, while the Cottonwood Visitor Center was flooded, according to park reports. Until further notice, Park Rt. 11 is closed from the entrance of White Tank Campground to the park’s South Boundary at Interstate 10.

The Cottonwood Visitor Center and Cottonwood Campground are also closed, the park said.

Park crews are continuing Tuesday evening to assess the full extent of the damage, though it might be some time before complete damage estimates are available.

Other park roads, including the scenic Park Rt. 12 between Twentynine Palms and Joshua Tree, California, remain open for visitor use. All other park campgrounds, picnic areas, and trails are open for normal summer use, although travelers should pay close attention to local weather reports for current updates on storm and flash flood warnings.

The Oasis Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms and the Joshua Tree Visitor Center in the community of Joshua Tree remain open for regular operations from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every
day.

Updates about the Pinto Basin flood event and general information on Joshua Tree National Park can be found by visiting the park’s website at: www.nps.gov/jotr

Comments

Wow, heard the news but had not seen these photos, that's some serious flash flooding that came through the area. I took pics of a 5' deep washout along one of the nearby 4x4 trails (outside of park) and I imagine that's currently closed as well.