Joshua Tree National Park experienced heavy traffic due to the Perseid Meteor Shower this past weekend. In an Instagram post from the park, authorities listed a number of concerning activities that took place in the park, including illegal campfires, bumper-to-bumper traffic, and leftover trash.
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In the carousel post on Instagram, Joshua Tree National Park featured a video of their west entrance at 2 AM with cars flowing in and out past the pay station. In a comment on their posts, the park stated that they were expecting a crowd, but the number of visitors was unprecedented. Authorities said: “This might have been the biggest surge of nighttime visitors the park has ever seen.”
Though Joshua Tree officials had been planning an event for the meteor shower and were expecting a crowd, they had not been advertising it. Even with their extended staff and volunteers for the event, they still were not prepared for the turnout that they received.
A number of national park goers parked illegally on the sides of the road after almost every parking spot was filled. In the caption of their Instagram post, Joshua Tree National Park officials said: “Please consider enjoying the meteor shower from the comfort of your own home or on other public lands.”
For visitors who had already planned to come to Joshua Tree, the park asked that visitors follow guidelines such as:
- No campfires due to high chances of wildfires
- Campers must have permits
- Only park in designated parking spots
- If garbage cans are full, please carry out your trash at the end of your trip
Unfortunately, it seems not all visitors followed the guidelines.