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Desert Campgrounds Begin to Reopen After Storms, Shutdown

Jumbo Rocks Campground in Joshua Tree National Park reopened this weekend.
Jumbo Rocks Campground in Joshua Tree National Park reopened this weekend.  | Photo: Howie Muzika/Flickr/Creative Commons License

A combination of strong storms and lack of personnel to fix them delayed a handful of campgrounds from opening last week when the government shutdown ended, which effectively reopened all national parks in California. But Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks both had work to complete at some popular campgrounds.

The large Furnace Creek Campground in Death Valley National Park was under construction and was scheduled to reopen earlier this month. Concrete pads are being paved on the main loop, which provides space for RVs. Work stopped during the shutdown, pushing the opening date to this Saturday, October 26.

Wildrose, Thorndike, and Mahogany Flat campgrounds also remain closed after a major storm in July knocked out road access to them. Opening dates for the roads and campgrounds are unknown.

In Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks Campground was also incapacitated due to a storm in September, but reopened just in time for the weekend. That said, one major road -- Park Boulevard between North Entrance and Pinto Basin Road -- is still closed so plan accordingly.

Three trails to spots are also closed in the Cottonwood Springs area: Cottonwood Spring Oasis, Lost Palms Oasis, and Mastodon Peak.

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