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North Entrance to Joshua Tree National Park Reopens

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A storm on September 7 damaged a section of the road near the park's North Entrance. | Photo: Courtesy NPS
A storm on September 7 damaged a section of the road near the park's North Entrance. | Photo: Courtesy NPS

Things are starting to turn around after an early September storm knocked out a few trails and a section of a key road in Joshua Tree National Park. This weekend, the road between the North Entrance outside Twentynine Palms and its intersection with Pinto Basin Road reopened. Depending on what map you're consulting or who you're talking to, the road's name takes on a few variations: Utah Trail, Park Boulevard (which extends to the West Entrance outside the town of Joshua Tree), or Route 12. (This map generally shows what was closed.)

Drivers should note that the repaired road has not been repaved due to lack of funding. Paving will take place next year by the Federal Highways Administration. In the meantime, barricades and signs will alert drivers to the dirt section of road.

Farther south, three storm-damaged trails -- Cottonwood Springs Trail, Mastodon Trail, and Lost Palms Oasis -- remain closed. Depending on funding, they may reopen in early 2014. Other features in the Cottonwood Oasis area, such as the campground and visitor center, remain open.

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