Joshua Tree National Park was first established as a national monument in 1936 before being designated a national park in 1994. It is named for the unique tree that reminded Mormon pioneers of the Biblical story where Joshua reaches up to the sky as he prays. The park consists of over 800,000 acres desert, brush, and oases that support a wide variety of plant and animals. The park is open year round but visitors tend to visit Spring and Fall seasons when temperatures are cooler. Hiking, backpacking, and camping are some of the activities visitors can do in the park. Visitors should be aware that the park has few facilities and is mostly wilderness.