Twentynine Palms, California

Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree National Park

Murals on the walls of the local business.

Location / Description

The city of Twentynine Palms is in the middle of the Mojave Desert between Los Angeles and the Colorado River. The city was incorporated on November 23, 1987, and encompasses 58 square miles (larger than the city of San Francisco) and has grown from a population of 11,000 to more than 27,000. The city of Twentynine Palms is dedicated to securing the quality of life through development and preservation.

About five miles from the main gate of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center lie the main businesses of Twentynine Palms. More businesses are developing around the city including the Nüwü Casino Resort & RV Park which is working with the city on future building plans. The casino could provide more jobs for those living in the area.

Twentynine Palms is proud of its dark night sky -- residents and visitors are still able to see constellations and planets clearly. One of the best places in the world to go stargazing is Joshua Tree National Park which has its headquarters right in Twentynine Palms.

Population / Elevation

15,348 / 2,000 - 2,500 feet above sea level

Weather / Climate

 Twentynine Palms, California - Monthly Climate Normals
   Year  Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec
 High °F  87  69  73  77  84  93  102  107  105  100  90  78  69
 Low °F  58  43  46  49  53  60  68  75  74  69  60  50  43
 Average °F  73  56  60  63  68  76  85  91  90  84  75  64  56
 Rain  6.51  1.0  1.0  .81  .23  .09  .02  .35  .67  .44  .31  .69  .86


Twentynine Palms derives its name from the life-giving waters of the lush oasis where 29 native California Fan Palms grew along the Pinto Mountain fault. More than 8,000 years ago, this area was occupied by the prehistoric Pinto culture. By the time Col. Henry Washington surveyed the region in 1855, the Cahuilla, Chemuevi, Serrano and Paiute had all frequented the oasis in their seasonal migrations. By the late 1800s, prospectors bivouacked here while seeking their fortunes in nearby gold camps, the most famous of which was the Dirty Sock Camp.

In 1910, Bill and Frances Keys, among the first pioneer homesteaders, settled at the Desert Queen Ranch in what is now Joshua Tree National Park. Dr. James B. Luckie is credited with populating the community after World War I ended in 1918, by sending veterans suffering from the effects of mustard gas here for the pure, healing desert air. This Pasadena doctor became a prominent citizen and a founding father of the city.

One WWI veteran, William Campbell, arrived with his wife Elizabeth in 1924 and began homesteading 160 acres off Joe Davis Road where they built a home of native stone, now a bed and breakfast called Roughly Manor at Campbell Branch. Aligned with the Southwest Museum of Los Angeles, the Campbells discovered thousand of archaeological sites and donated land for the first schoolhouse here and for Luckie Park.

In 1952, the U.S. Defense Department established a marine base north of the oasis for glider training. Now known as the U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, this vast area of the Mojave Desert encompasses the world's largest marine base, housing 18-20,000 military personnel.

The city of Twentynine Palms was incorporated March 23, 1987.

Things To Do

Events Calendar



There are hotels and motels in 29 Palms, with something for every taste and price range. For more information and a complete list, click here. (Rates, availability and reservation online)


Joshua Tree National Park
9 campgrounds within the park -- On line reservations

Resources & Nearby Attractions


Cities & Towns


Parks & Monuments


Wilderness & Recreation Areas

  • Sunfair Dry Lake: Recreation area for all-terrain vehicles (ATV) on the site of an ancient lake.
  • Mojave National Preserve: The Desert Protection Act created the 1.4 million-acre Mojave National Preserve in the heart of the Mojave Desert.
  • Big Morongo Canyon Wildlife Preserve: Used by Native Americans as an easy route between low and high deserts, these 3,900 acres are a world renowned small bird sanctuary. (BLM)
  • Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area: A varied landscape for off-highway vehicles, punctuated by steep red rocky mountains, rolling hills, open valleys, dry lake beds and sandy washes. (BLM)
  • Trilobite Wilderness Area: 31,160 acres of Desert Wilderness Area containing trilobite fossils. (BLM)
  • Sheephole Valley Wilderness Area: 174,800 acres of Desert Wilderness Area. (BLM)
  • Cleghorn Lakes Wilderness Area: 33,980 acres of Desert Wilderness Area. (BLM)
  • Cadiz Dunes Wilderness Area: 39,740 acres of Desert Wilderness Area. The Cadiz Sand Dunes, with their unique flora and fauna, are the focal point of this wilderness. (BLM)

Murals of Twentynine Palms

Historic & Points of Interest

  • Joshua Tree & Southern Railroad Museum: Model railroad station houses memorabilia and Live Steam Club. 760-366-8030.
  • 29 Palms Historical Society Museum: Exhibits of artifacts and memorabilia displayed in the original schoolhouse. 760-367-2366.
  • 29 Palms Art Gallery: Exhibits local and out-of area artists in a genuine adobe structure. 760-367-7819.
  • Indian Burial Ground: At least 60 Chemuevi and Serrano are buried here, including the last chief, Jim Pine.
  • Oasis of Mara: The original 29 Palms, now part of Joshua Tree NP headquarters.
  • Murals of Twentynine Palms: Huge historical murals are painted on buildings throughout the city.
  • Marine Corps Air Combat Training Center: The world's largest marine base occupies 932 square miles north of the city.


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