The Cholla Cactus Garden is one of Joshua Tree National Park’s true one-of-a-kind features. Located at the merger of the upper Mojave Desert and the lower Colorado Desert, this level quarter-mile loop provides access to an intense concentration of cholla cacti.
Perhaps the cutest cactus on the planet, the cholla has been nicknamed the “teddy bear” cactus, but this is one teddy bear you do not want to hug! The cactus is covered in spines that will latch in to your skin on the slightest touch. This defense mechanism is effective for desert survival but can create an unpleasant experience for those who don’t stick to to the trail. There is a pamphlet at the trailhead that provides more information about this unique desert plant. The short easy hike is well worth the stop.
Cholla Cactus Garden
To get to the trailhead: The Cholla Cactus Garden is the main attraction on Pinto Basin Road on the way to Cottonwood Springs (and the trailhead to Lost Palms Oasis). From Park Boulevard, take Pinto Basin Road for 12 miles. The Cactus Garden is on the south side of the road.
Trailhead address: Pinto Basin Road, Joshua Tree National Park, CA 92277
Trailhead coordinates: 33.925302, -115.928777 (33° 55′ 31.08″N 115° 55′ 43.59″W)
Use the map below to create your own directions:
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