TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. (AP) — Joshua Tree National Park is slowly reopening after a lengthy closure to slow spread of the coronavirus. The California park announced this week that it is using a phased approach.
Park entrances, roads, parking lots, trails, individual campsites and most restrooms are open.
Visitor centers and group campsites remain closed and all campsite reservations made through recreation.gov are canceled.
The park says all campsites are first-come, first-served until Sept. 4, and campers must pay as normal at each campground.
Spring and fall are the best times to visit. Summer brings scorching heat and the need to drink at least one gallon (4 liters) of water a day.
The parking lots of 27 California state parks have partially reopened weeks after the 280 state parks and beaches closed their parking lots to discourage non-local visitors.
State officials said Tuesday parking lots were partially reopened at Jack London State Historic Park in Sonoma County, Lake Oroville State Recreation Area in Butte County and several state beaches in Orange County, including Huntington, Bolsa Chica and Crystal Cove, among others.
The deputy director of California’s state parks department says even though there is increased access at some parks and beaches, officials are still encouraging people to stay close to home.