The Ultimate Joshua Tree National Park Quiz

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

The Ultimate Joshua Tree National Park Quiz
Image: iStockphoto.com/Greg Epperson

About This Quiz

Joshua Tree National Park is located in one of the harshest environments in the United States. Some of the park's noteworthy features include the tree for which it is named, ridges that provide breathtaking vistas, and several desert oases. Take this quiz to learn more about California's Joshua Tree National Park.
How did writer J. Smeaton Chase describe the Joshua tree?
“One can scarcely find a term of ugliness to that is not apt to describe this plant.”
"One can scarcely find a term of ugliness that is not apt for this plant," he wrote. If you ask visitors to Joshua Tree National Park, they are likely to say the trees are extremely ugly or uniquely beautiful.
“There is no existing term of ugliness that is apt to describe this plant.”
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however no beholder can find beauty in this plant.”

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In what state is the Joshua Tree National Park located?
Arizona
California
The park is located in the southeastern part of the State of California, on the border between San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
Nevada

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How many campgrounds are available to campers in the park?
six
nine
There are nine campgrounds situated in the park. All campgrounds are open year round and some require reservations.
twelve

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Although the plant is referred to as a Joshua tree, what kind of tree is it in reality?
piñon pine
California juniper
yucca
The Joshua tree is actually an oversized yucca. The tree is commonly found growing in rural graveyards in the Midwest, where it is known as "ghosts in the graveyard” since its flowers appear to be floating when it is in bloom.

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To what family of flower does the Joshua tree or yucca belong?
lily
The Joshua tree or yucca is actually a member of the lily family. The tree is notable for its odd shape, rosettes of evergreen with tough, sword-shaped leaves, and large terminal clusters of white flowers.
orchid
pisonia

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What is the average amount of annual rainfall received in the area of Joshua Tree National Park?
about eight inches
about six inches
about four inches
An average of about four inches (10 cm) of precipitation falls annually in the parched area of Joshua Tree National Park and strong dry winds are common the year around.

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What is a typical high temperature on a summer’s day in the park?
120
110
In Joshua Tree National Park, the temperatures soar to more than 110 degrees F (43 C) in summer and dip well below freezing in the winter. The Joshua tree survives the arid conditions by soaking up maximum moisture during rare showers and minimizing evaporation during long periods of drought.
105

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What vegetable is the blossoming flower of the Joshua tree said to resemble?
cauliflower
broccoli
artichoke
Once a year after a heavy spring rain, the Joshua tree sprouts a spectacular, bizarre-looking blossom that resembles an artichoke with creamy yellow petals.

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How many distinct ecological zones exist within the borders of Joshua Tree National Park?
one
three
Three ecological zones exist within the borders of Joshua Tree National Park.
four

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Where in the park is the Joshua tree forest found?
the Mojave Desert
The Joshua tree forest is found in the Mojave Desert, which is in the western half of the park. In fact, the Mojave Desert's boundaries are defined by the presence of the Joshua trees, which is an indicator species for this desert.
the Eureka Peak
the Colorado Desert

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What is the range of elevation of the Mojave Desert?
between 1,500 and 4,000 feet
between 2,000 and 5,000 feet
In the Mojave Desert, which means High Desert, elevation ranges from 2,000 to 5,000 feet with a few peaks that exceed 5,000 feet (1,524 meters). In this area of the park, you can find jumbled granite formations that are very popular with rock climbers.
between 2,500 and 5,800 feet

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In what mountains is the Mojave Desert located?
Little San Bernardino Mountains
San Gabriel Mountains
both of the above
The Mojave Desert located in the Little San Bernardino Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains. The mountains boundaries are clearly outlined by the San Andreas and the Garlock Faults.

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What is the lowest elevation in the Colorado Desert where part of the Joshua tree National park sits?
275 feet below sea level
The majority of the Colorado Desert is less than 1,000 feet above sea level. The lowest point in the desert sits 275 feet below sea level at Salton Sea.
120 feet below sea level
50 feet below sea level

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What is the typical vegetation that grows in the Colorado Desert part of the park?
Joshua trees
creosote bush
The Colorado Desert portion of the park is dominated by creosote bush. You can also find patches of spindly ocotillo cactus and spiny cholla cactus.
fan palms

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How many oases can you find that are located in the park?
three
five
The Joshua Tree National Park has five oases located within its boundaries. In stark contrast to the harsh desert environment, these oases are a haven surrounded by dense stands of fan palms and lush green plants.
seven

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How big is the Joshua Tree National Park?
790,000 acres
The Joshua Tree National Park extends over 1,234 square miles (3,196 square kilometers). It is slightly larger than the entire state of Rhode Island.
550,000 acres
390,000 acres

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If you wanted to hike the path to Lost Palms Oasis, how far would you have to walk?
two miles
four miles
The hike to Lost Palms Oasis follows a path that is four miles (6.4 kilometers) long. Lost Palms Oasis is in a steep sheltered ravine where you can find over 100 rare California fan palm trees.
seven miles

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What often-snowy mountain peaks can you see from the hiking trail that ends at Eureka Peak?
the San Jacinto and San Gorgonio
A hiking trail to Eureka Peak takes visitors to a ridge overlooking the peaks of the San Jacinto and San Gorgonio mountains. The peak of mount San Jacinto lies within the Mount San Jacinto State Park and the San Gorgonio Mountain peak is the highest in southern California.
the San Bernardino and San Gorgonio
the San Jacinto and San Antonio

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In what year did Mormon pioneers pass through the Mojave Desert and give the name Joshua to the trees from which the park derives its name?
1828
1837
1851
The Mormons named the yucca trees Joshua trees in 1851, because they were inspired to continue their journey by the limbs beckoning them across the desert. It reminded them of the way Joshua called forth the Israelites in biblical times.

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What is the name of the desert city that is closest to Joshua Tree National Park?
Twentynine Palms
The closest city to the park is Twentynine Palms, which is just outside the park. The famous resort city of Palm Springs is just 40 miles away.
Yucca Valley
Palm Springs

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You Got:
/20
iStockphoto.com/Greg Epperson

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