Joshua Tree National Park – Southern California


Cholla Cactus Garden is one of Joshua Tree National Park’s one-of-a-kind features. Located at the merger of the upper Mojave Desert and the lower Colorado Desert, this level quarter-mile loop provides access to an intense concentration of cholla cacti.

Perhaps the cutest cactus on the planet, the cholla has been nicknamed the teddy bear cactus, but this is one teddy bear you do not want to hug! The cactus is covered in spines that will latch in to your skin on the slightest touch.

This defense mechanism is effective for desert survival but can create an unpleasant experience for those who don’t stick to the trail.


Cholla cactus have sharp spines that can easily detach from the plant and attach themselves to passersby.

However, you can easily avoid getting hurt by these spiny plants by staying away from them. If you find yourself close to a cholla cactus, be sure to take caution and avoid getting too close.

A pamphlet at the trailhead provides more information about this unique desert plant. The short easy hike through Cholla Cactus Garden is well worth the stop. Just stay on the path!

Joshua Tree National Park is open every day, year round. Oasis and Joshua Tree Visitor Centers are open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily. Cottonwood Visitor Center is open from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

For more information visit

Think Cholla Cactus. Look, do not touch or get too close. 🌵

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